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Sunday 29th January 2006

by Lucy Johnson

LUCY Bridges horrific fall at Black Forest Lodge on Sunday marred the first point-to-point in the Devon and Cornwall area where racing was otherwise of the highest order.

Lucy, 26, had been riding the Marilyn Scudamore-trained Lincoln Place in the ladies’ open when he fell at a fence in front of the crowd. Lucy was catapulted into the ground and subsequently kicked by another horse.

She was taken unconscious to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and later transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. On Monday morning there had been no change to her condition.

A huge crowd had turned out to welcome back point-to-pointing after its usual six month break and Exmoor-based trainer Jeremy Scott was the toast of the meeting when he trained his first ever treble, all ridden by Neil Harris.

The hat trick was spearheaded by Ready To Rumble in the men’s open who was guided to a five length victory having taken up the running approaching three out.

Scott, who trains the gelding for long-term patron Gary Lever, said: “I’m very pleased about that. He was expelled from (Lambourn-based trainer) Noel Chance’s yard because he was very naughty but it’s a very different atmosphere at home and it seems to have really chilled him out.”

Another former Noel Chance inmate, who provided the third leg of the treble, was Southwestern who won the five runner third division of the maiden by a distance. It was the seven-year-old’s first run for Scott who trains him for the Exmoor Partnership.

Scott also claimed the first maiden with the promising mare Osokenda, bred by Michael Wingford Digby, whose dam Song of Kenda was a half sister to Welsh National winner Kendal Cavalier.

Just two finished the race and Osokenda won by a distance on her first start over fences. “We do think a lot of her and she has always jumped well,” said Scott.

The area’s reigning champion Lucy Gardner got the season off to a fine start with a double, both trained by herself.

The first came in the opening members’ race which Tyre Hill Lilly won by a distance and Lucy doubled up on Tsars Twist in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate qualifier.

Aprroaching three out, Tsar’s Twist was neck and neck with Gregory Peckory, but two out, Lucy had the advantage and went on to win by two lengths.

Michael Scudamore, who hails from a family rich in racing tradition, scored the first winner of his race riding career at the second attempt when Feisty Frosty, trained by his mother Marilyn, took the restricted novice riders race.

Scudamore had always wanted to be a professional rugby player but when he realised he might not make the grade before Christmas his switched his attentions to race riding. However, his long term aim is to train racehorses and he currently works for his trainer grandfather Michael Scudamore.

The trip from Wales proved worthwhile for owner/trainer Beth Roberts who was delighted with the performance of Twilight Dancer after she won a competitive ladies’ open race. In the saddle was Bristol veterinary student Isobel Thompsett who was scoring the eight success of her career and first at Black Forest Lodge.

This weekend there is a double bill of racing with the North Cornwall Foxhounds at Wadebridge on Saturday and the Tiverton Foxhounds at Chipley Park on Sunday. First races are off at 12pm.

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