by Fred Sampson
(of Equestrian Cornwall -

This meeting is a long way up for the likes of us, so a passport check up was required and as luck would have it, all details were still in date.  The one o’clock start was in our favour as were the traffic friendly roads and we set off about 8.30 and arrived to be first in the public car park.  The thing that struck us was the friendly atmosphere that abounded around us even before the off.  Great crowd of enthusiastic helpers, car park attendants left their army uniforms at home, the Union flag was the correct way up, the course was in ‘good’ condition and the weather, a bit blustery but we can cope with that.  Our first visit to Little Windsor and we were impressed.  Thank you for parading your hounds for us, unfortunately a large hail shower decided to pour down on the hounds and us but nevertheless it was appreciated and a good gallop down the course was a lovely sight to see plus what is not so common nowadays; the informative history of the hunt was greeted with interest.

Some bad news did get passed on to me which dampened things a little, which was the fact the JOHN ROBIN had suffered colic and did not recover.  He has taken some money of mine because he has only managed seconds up to now but I was sure he was going to win soon and not doubt so was Mr Sweetland.  Very sad!

The John Bright Fencing Maiden Race was confined to 5,6 and 7 year olds and was set up for 2 1/2 miles and 13 went to post.  Mr & Mrs Tory’s ENOCH (Emma Tory) was a little better than on his pointing debut but unseated Emma quite early in the race.  The blinkered Mr S Stacey & Mr N Maynard’s MRS PEGGOTY (C Tizzard) was my choice but I had to be content with watching her maintain a good place throughout most of the race but not enough to trouble the jointly owned ABLINGTON DOWN (L Jefford), with Polly Gundry on Countess Goess-Saurau’s THE KING’S FLING two lengths away in second and only a neck ahead of R Alner’s FAIR SPRITE (R Young).  I thought this was a good race for these young maidens but the time of 5m 39 seconds told me that this was perhaps a little stiffer course than it looks.

On next to the Seavington Hunt Members’, Subscribers’ and Farmers’ Race sponsored by The Southern Counties Fresh Foods Ltd.  Four go to post and it is here I can, well, not necessarily make a fortune but I will definitely pay for the petrol.  Mr G Slater’s WILD NATIVE (Miss T Newman) will carry all the money I made at a recent car boot when I sold the artefacts that Ruth will not miss, at least for a couple of months, and by then it will either have been lost to the bookies or doubled and bought something for me!  Probably a little bit of Guinness memorabilia!  My choice was in a good position on passing me for the first time with two complete circuits to go, just taking his time on the heels or even better, maybe upsides, of W Proctor’s COOL CHARACTER.  I am impressed!  The others are close behind. At the second of the ditches the order was COOL CHARACTER, WILD NATIVE followed closely by R Buckler’s THE MASTER’S CHOICE (O Nelmes) and G Foot’s FRANKLIN’S BEST (N Mitchell).  This is just the job, I like winning my money this way!  Out into the country for the final circuit.  COOL CHARACTER found this pace a little too hot for him and dropped back considerably whilst my ‘good thing’ continued well in control in first place. On travelling through the starting area for the final time my horse was travelling well followed by THE MASTER’S CHOICE and FRANKLIN’S BEST with COOL CHARACTER now some way behind.  I now move into a cheering position as I don’t want to drown the recorder, so I move behind someone else’s Chelsea Chariot (most up-to-date name for a 4 x 4!) as I could always apologies afterwards.  This was the order at the final open ditch when THE MASTER’S CHOICE decided he had had enough and fell.  One has a habit of saying ‘Oh! bad luck! with a grin, when finance is involved, I didn’t - or did I?  Penultimate fence my WILD NATIVE, final fence my WILD NATIVE and the race to the line was when it all crumpled – Mr N Mitchell rode out a finish and managed to get less than a neck in front of Miss Newman.  No one consoles you; Ruth is always polite, but why laugh!  Your friends always say –“Had that one, did you?” and how they love it when you say “No”.  Further more they don’t even listen to your hard luck story. Ah well, it just means another car boot very soon!

The Samways Fish Merchants & International Transporters Open Maiden Race was split into two divisions with ten runners in each.  The first division was won easily by Mr G Keirie’s EVEN MORE (R Young) with Mrs S King’s GET A MAN (N Mitchell) and Mr & Mrs Doggrell’s CAUNDLE CHASE (G Edwards) bringing up the minor placings.  The second division was also won by a large margin by Mr Powell’s MY MAN TIM (C Williams), another one of these – ‘Has no known recent assessable form’ – I wonder why they buy these horses with NO form!  Well he has form now- 20 lengths of form.  Richard Woollacott raced home C J & G Jeyes’s EXMOOR FOREST to take second place just half a length better than the Froud Family’s BRUE HOUND BOY, daddy, BREWERY BOY would be pleased with this performance.  Only three finished in both these divisions so it is a little tougher than I thought and the times are in the 6 minute 50 area when tomorrow I will expect Black Forest Lodge to be in the 6 minute 20 area.

Next came the Men’s Open Race.  As ELLIEWELLIEWOO didn’t run in ‘The Members’ at Ottery this will be easier for her so I don’t think I will visit the bookies, as the price will be out of my reach.  The opposition should come from C Fox’s RED BROOK LAD (N Mitchell) but although this horse is appearing to be very consistent I don’t think he will bother ‘EllyWelly’.  Les Jefford had a comfortable ride on EllyWelly and came home 20 lengths to the good in the fastest time of the day, without breaking sweat.  Gosh! Doesn’t this horse look well.  If anyone has any idea of her future programme please let me know as when racing it is a very enjoyable sight.

I will stake the remaining of my hard earned income on the winner of The Gerrard Ladies’ Open Race.  Yes all of it.  Mr Rogers’s NODDADANTE was my investment last week, when I reported that he had walked home with possibly ‘a leg’- well if he did it is repaired very quickly and here he is having another go.  He was also reported as tired last week, well he had a week to catch up on his sleep so maybe this is his turn but not for me. The Hon Dido Harding is still enjoying her horse CARDINAL GAYLE and this horse is not out of it either.  What about the front running grey Mr J Elliott’s CALDAMUS (A Goschen), no not for me I am going for the horse that won in 2000 – Mr D Shone’s DANNICUS ridden by the top lady jockey, Polly Gundry.  Whilst CALDAMUS did not let up being a threat to my investment, it was Polly who brought DANNICUS home to a 2½ length win, followed by CALDAMUS and the lovely CARDINAL GAYLE back in third place.  Money in the pocket again, this is a lovely place!

The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders’ Race brought 8 to the start and it was a well-contested race.  Ruth enjoyed it immensely as the money she had saved by winning a bottle of whisky (my money really!) was on the back of Mrs Walter’s FUNNY FARM (L Hawkins) and this was the one which came past the post first by four lengths from J Boulter & Miss F Wilkins’s WHISPERING PINES (T Clarke) with Markus Goess-Saurau’s STORM FORECAST a further eight lengths back in third place.  So now we both have some money.  If Miss Lyn Hawkins would like to hear the voices of her supporters, besides Ruth’s, on tape just contact me.  The commentator was drowned by the shrieks and screams of ‘come on Lyn!'.  Well done!

Some people got very rich on the result of the last race – not me!  The winner could be punted on with prices anything from 20-1 down.  Mrs G Andrews’s BUCKLOCK, well ridden by Greg Richards came home a winner by six lengths having seldom been out of the first three.  This horse was reported as having a saddle slip at Buckfastleigh when he was expected to do well but nothing slipped in this race and he did the job superbly.  The Tory family’s BARDON BOY (second) ran well as did Mr Pipe’s JUVANTIQUE (third) but on the day it was all BUCKLOCK and he showed how easy it was to create many smiling faces.  I do believe Mrs Andrews, the owner is some relation to Mr Andrews, the gentleman who relieved me of some well-earned cash a few weeks ago – yes!  He’s a bookmaker - bless him!

A great day, blustery conditions, some heavy showers but none of it dampened the spirits of Point to Pointers.  Pack up electric kettle, (the primus could not stand the wind,) and off to B & B near Black Forest Lodge for tomorrow’s 12 o’clock start.  More good Pointing envisaged!