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Curre & Llangibby at Howick
Sunday 19th February 2017
by Brian Lee

Herefordshire born Richard Patrick, aged 21, rode his first hat-trick and then went onto ride his first four-timer at the well attended Curre & Llangibby fixture which saw the start of the South and West Wales Point-To-Point season.

Richard, who has also chalked-up six winners under rules, took the members' race on Stony Road which he said jumped perfectly throughout, the confined race on Repeat Busines, a division of the restricted on Desert Row, who like Repeat Business is trained by Jonathan Tudor, and a division of the maiden on the Patrick Hanly trained Barney Rubble. Sadly, Stony Road who was winning the members' for the third successive year sustained an injury during the race and had to be put down. Stony Road was owned by the late Vale of Glamorgan hunt - racing stalwart Mrs Jeanne Thomas.

There were ten starters for the ladies's open race and the finish was fought out between two former useful National Hunt performers in Hold Court and Sir Du Bearn with victory going to the former who was ridden by Llancarfan's Isabel Williams the 19-year-old daughter of leading Welsh trainer and former national point-to-point champion rider Evan Williams. There wasn't much between the winner and the runner-up four fences from home but Hold Court, trained by Isabel's mother Catherine, ran on gamely
in the closing stages to win by four lengths from the favourite who was ridden by Jodie Hughes. A delighted Isabel said: "That was just brilliant."

The biggest cheers of the day were for Carmarthen's Ben Jones who riding Gwyn Phillips's seven-year-old chestnut gelding Manhattan Mead won the second division of the open maiden by half-a-length from Tim Vaughan's Moreece, partnered by Charlie Price, after the pair had jumped the last fence together. Ben,aged 17, who is studying to be a farrier is the son of former Welsh champion rider Dai Jones.

Earlier, Ben looked as though he was going to chalk-up his first winner on Shanks A Lot in the second division of the restricted as he was still in with a good chance on the pacemaking Shanks A Lot on the second circuit. However, it was not to be as Hannah Lewis on AlfStar had them in her sight and went on to score by six lengths.

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