by Brian & Gill Armstrong

A large crowd enjoyed a sunny evening’s racing when the Weston & Banwell Harriers held their point-to-point at Cothelstone on Wednesday. Sixty-seven horses contested the seven races. A highlight was the parade of Arnie Sendall’s Kingscliff and Dido Harding’s Cool Dawn, winners of the Christies Foxhunters Challenge Cup and the Cheltenham Gold Cup respectively, whose trophies were also on show.

The opening Hunt Race was won for the second year running by Mister Rf, who made all to give 17-year-old Watchfield rider Cathy Salway her third career success. Cathy 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 forged clear from the second last to repeat his win of 12 months ago. This was a third career win for 23-year-old Nicholashayne rider Tim Eades who has worked in the Pipe yard for four years.

Can’t Be Scrabble led throughout the last mile to take the Restricted race and give rider Philip Yorke his 23rd winner of the season. Can’t Be Scrabble is trained at Cullompton by Richard Down for Sampford Peverell (near Tiverton) owner-breeder Julian Selby who was especially keen to credit Philip for his ability to settle the horse during his races.

The 12-runner Mens Open went to Suaverof and Dave Mansell who led three out and held off odds-on favourite Porlock Hill with Park End in third. Suaverof is trained at Suckley near Worcester by Jon Rudge for Hallow fire engineer Tom Hayes who bought the horse out of Mark Pitman’s yard at Ascot Sales last year. Tom has three point-to-pointers including Jalcanto, a winner at the North Ledbury three days previously.

In the Ladies Open Mollycarrsbrekfast made virtually all the running to win in the hands of Shurton, near Stogursey, trainer/rider Sarah Robinson. Mollycarrsbrekfast is owned by Sarah’s near neighbours, Eva and Norman Davis, who bought the horse from David Ridge three years ago. Breeder Jeanette Carr-Evans was also present and explained that the horse’s name refers to the full English breakfasts served for many years by her mother Molly to the stable staff at her father Joe’s Hambleton stables near Thirsk.

The Confined race went to Agile King and Charlotte Tizzard who led throughout to hold odds-on favourite Nearly Noble who was never able to challenge. Agile King is owned and trained at Milborne Port by Charlotte’s father Alan. This was the horse’s third win from eight outings this season and he shows great versatility as his previous two wins were gained in very testing conditions at Chipley Park and Ottery St Mary.

The closing Open Maiden race was won in tremendous style by joint-favourite Slaney Lass who drew well clear in the hands of Bishop’s Frome near Hereford owner-trainer Mark Jackson who handled that fine hunter chaser Grimley Gale. Slaney Lass appreciated the fast ground and left hand course and is one to look out for in the future. 
The West of Somerset Championship, sponsored by Lawrences Auctioneers, was won by Messrs Browne, Hebditch, Scott & Mrs Cook, (joint leading owners of Hylters Chance, trained by Polly Curling), Colin Heard (leading male jockey) and Ollie Jackson (leading female jockey).