Following the dreadful weather we had endured last week, the sun shone at Sandon on Easter Saturday, and the public braved the greasy car parks which luckily dried out during the day's racing. It was wonderful to see so many young families having fun on the bank, and hope we have inspired some more Point-to-Point devotees of the future.
Sue Sharratt won the Howsons Members' Race for the North Staffs on DON'T BACK DOWN – the 61st point-to-point win of her splendid career (she also managed another 6 under rules), and her 8th Members' Race at Sandon, and she promptly announced her retirement when receiving her cups. Congratulations to her on such a fantastic career. 2nd was Barnaby Shaw who took the Meynell & South Staffs cups.
The Tom Tavernor Memorial Open Maiden, sponsored by Blithfield Lakeside Barns, was won in really good style by the Sam Allwood trained BROAD SPECTRUM, ridden by another local, Rob Jarrett.
We were honoured to welcome PALYPSO DE CREEK who came for the Baker Wynne & Wilson Ladies Open, and his and Claire Hart's job was made easier when Cailin Aileann deposited Page Fuller after the 1st fence, coming home 15 lengths the better of Katie Ayres on Tirob.
JALINGO'S MATE completed a training double for Sam Allwood when beating Young QC in the Euro Horseboxes-sponsored Rob Turner Memorial 2m5f Maiden, by 1 length in the tightest race of the day.
Jake Coulson and Paco Jack bravely took on the mighty EXECUTIVE BENEFIT, who Joe O'Shea had brought back following last year's Sandon win, but to no avail as Richard Hewitt's fine mare put up a typically powerful display under Gillon Crow to win the Bonhams Mens Open.
Gary Hanmer brought Joe's A Boy in a match for the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate race, but was no match for Claire Hart on KAZURI KATE who came home 20 lengths to the good.
In the Equiform Nutrition PPORA race, the Philip Rowley trained RYANMANN ridden by Jacob Cox came home 8 lengths ahead of the Oliver Greenall trained Threapwood to win at a well-backed 7-2. Congratulations to Jacob on his 1st winner.
Huge thanks must go to everyone who volunteered with their help in the preparation and on the day, and to those owners and trainers who brought their horses – we were proud to see no fallers – and to the crowd for their responsible driving in testing conditions at the top of the hill! We hope everyone enjoyed the day – those still there at 7pm seemed to be – and we look forward to a drier build-up in 2016.