by Brian & Gill Armstrong

A large crowd enjoyed warm spring weather at the Weston & Banwell Harriers point to point at Cothelstone on Wednesday evening.  Sixty five horses contested the eight races, highlighted by a double for trainer David Pipe, and first ever winners for riders Cathy Salway and Tim Eades.

The Opening Hunt Race went to Mister Rf, who made all to give 16-year-old Watchfield rider, Cathy Salway, a winning debut.  Cathy, who starts her GCSE exams next week, has ridden out since the age of six at the Highbridge stables of owner-trainer, Kim Tripp, who was bequeathed Mister Rf as a 4-year-old by Mr Ron Fear.

The Countryside Alliance Club Members Novice Riders race went to the David Pipe-trained Kingsbridge, who made all and was left well clear when favourite Questionaire unseated two out.  This was a first win from seven rides for 22-year-old Nicholashayne rider Tim Eades who has worked in the Pipe yard for three years.  The Pipe double was quickly completed when John Duggan's Timpani took the Restricted race under Richard Young.  Timpani relished the fast ground to give Richard his second win from just four rides for the Pipe stable.

Porlock Hill scored his third Cothelstone win of the season when getting up on the run in after long time leader Silver Minx and Men's National Champion contender Evan Willams had blundered at the last.  The winner was ridden by Dominic Alers-Hankey who arrived just in time to take the ride after his mount, Sea Urchin, had refused to race in a Hunter Chase at Exeter.  Porlock Hill is owned and trained by Sue Popham at West Bagborough just two miles from the Cothelstone course.

Polden Pride forged clear of nearest pursuer Tickerty's Gift from three out to win the Ladies' Open for Lucia Borradaile.  Polden Pride was a gift horse to Lucia last November from Toby Balding, who bred the horse from prolific race mare Bybrook and was present to see him win. Polden Pride loves fast ground and is likely to be in action again this season.

Hylters Chance and Colin Heard followed up Saturday's Holnicote success when taking the Confined by half a length from Moorland Highflyer, mount of Championship contender, Julian Pritchard.  Hylters Chance, trained at Treborough by Polly Curling for owners John Hebditch, Jilly Cook, Maurice Scott and Phil Browne, was recording his third win of the season and must be noted if reappearing again on his favoured fast ground.

Johns Legacy, making his racecourse debut at the age of seven, was a comfortable winner of Division One of the Open Maiden under Nick Mitchell.  The winner was trained at Shurton, near Stogursey, by Sarah Robinson for father, Brian, who bought the horse privately in October 2000.  Sarah had intended to ride Johns Legacy but jocked herself off a few hours before start time as the horse is a hard puller.  The horse will now have a month's break before eventing this summer and returning to the point-to-point field next season. The closing Division Two went to Park End, who led three out for an eight-length win under Martin Sweetland.  Park End is trained at Charmouth by Nigel Legge for his niece, Marie Burrough, a Taunton-based Chartered Surveyor enjoying her first win as an owner.