by Brian & Gill Marshall

The New Forest Foxhounds staged their annual point-to-point meeting at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain on Saturday. The opening Confined Hunts race went to Makhpiya Patahn and Salisbury rider David Turner, 26, who finished a distance clear of only other finisher Lord Esker. Makhpiya Patahn – whose name translates as “reach for the clouds” in Sioux Indian – is one of three horses trained by owner James Young at his Brockenhurst stables. After the race, James exchanged his cap for a bowler hat to take up his role as a steward of the meeting.

View Hollo made a successful point-to-point debut when taking the Open Maiden race under Ed Walker. View Hollo is one of five horses trained at Naunton, Gloucestershire, by Emma Baker for her mother, Jane Arnold, who bought the horse at Malvern Sales as a two-year-old. View Hollo carried the same cerise colours as Windsor Lad, winner of the 1934 St Leger for Jane’s grandfather Martin Benson.

Fair Wind and Rilly Goschen took the Mixed Open race after all three runners were still in contention at the second last. Fair Wind jumped really well for Rilly and held off favourite Aberfoyle Park by two lengths with Teller Of Tales in third. Fair Wind has now won eight races for delighted Sixpenny Handley owner Rachel Bartlett since being bought unraced from Wally Sturt.

The Intermediate race resulted in an easy success for the Sally Alner-trained Free Gift, who made all the running to provide Daryl Jacob with his sixth winner of the season. This was Free Gift’s third Larkhill win of the season for joint owners Tom Chadney, Doug Guyer, Penny Tozer and Valerie Howard. Free Gift may now be aimed at the Folkestone Hunter Chase evening meeting on 19th May before campaigning under Rules next season.

Sally Alner completed a double when Proby Lady gave a fine exhibition of jumping to win the Restricted race in the hands of Dido Harding. Proby Lady was bought privately in Ireland in Autumn 2002 for Dido and London patent attorney Alice Findlay as a replacement when their Cardinal Gayle retired to the hunting field. Proby Lady prefers right-handed tracks, but has to fit into Dido’s business schedule, which involves regular travel to Asia.

There was a close finish to the closing PPORA Club Members’ race when Blackwater Brave and Sherborne schoolboy Harry Fry, 17, resisted the persistent challenge of Merry Shot and Jamie Snowden by a length. This was a real family occasion as the winner is owned and trained at Cattistock by Harry’s parents Caroline and Richard, while 15-year-old brother George led up the horse on Saturday, winning the best turned-out award.