by Alison Morris

Logging into the website at lunch today, armed with results and barbed comments, I was a little disappointed to see that a review of this meeting had already been posted. However, there a few political comments I would like to make if Dom will post them that is (of course I will - Dom)!

In my photo album, I have a snapshot of the last fence at Brecon (as it was then); it is of Paul Hamer and Sparkling Lord jumping the last; there is mud on the ground and snow on the hills. Beside that there is a paper clipping of Puttingonthestyle taking the same fence in the gathering gloom, a runner in the last race of a thirteen-race marathon card. This is the Brecon I remember, this is the Brecon I love, the one that made me fall in love with the sport and it makes me very sad to say that as things stand right now, Sunday's may have been the last one I attend without a runner.

61 horses went to post on Sunday afternoon. For the occupants of Cerys Daviesí car this equated to at just under £2.00 a runner. £36.00 it cost them to get in. Three adults and a teenager. For that price they got somewhere to park their car, and four toilets per sex to choose from. They were there to support their brother in lawís horse. The brother in law was lucky, he was not asked extra admission for his rear seat passengers in his 4WD. Someone else was, even though they carried one of those 61 runners in the trailer behind them. Robert Rowsell had four people in the front of his lorry; they wanted eight pound for the fourth person. Robertís reply is not printable but he would have had them on a technicality anyway; two of his passengers were jockeys. A friend of mine was carrying equipment for a runner travelling on a shared lorry. They were referred to the secretary re having to pay £16.00 to get in having already paid £10.00 to enter the horse. Gareth Richards had his son with him, a son not old enough to drink, vote or drive. They wanted eight pound for him as well. Itís cheaper, he told me, to get into Cheltenham.

I moaned about this hunts greed last year but this year they went further again. If they are going to charge £10.00 per entry and then £8.00 each on top, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, send the owners some passes! This is an expensive sport anyway, let's not drive it out of the pockets of the real amateurs and into the hands of the professionals!

The racing was okay, a few close finishes to brighten the atmosphere but the fields were too small to have any real interest for the average spectator.

The ground was fast, and more than one horse finished sore. With no great rainfall forecast before Saturday the ground will ride quick at Howick and sadly small fields may once again be the order of the day.

But at least it wont cost £32.00 to get in, and youíll have permanent toilets.