by Lee Glanville

The sun set on the 2004 point to point season in true party fashion at the Torrington Farmers point to point with Ashley Farrant of Bampton crowned national champion. His rival Richard Burton was gallant in defeat - both riders cracked the 50 winner mark this season. Polly Gundry took the ladies' title, and trainer David Pipe relinquished the reins after six years of successfully training winners from his Wellington base.

There were runners, riders, and spectators from all over the country, Yorkshire and Welsh accents amongst the west country burr more usually heard. Despite the long dry spell, the course was prepared by Turfmaster Services using an Terra Spike and Agri-Vator - a machine which saved the day. Secretary Julie Symons said, "I had several sleepless nights wondering what an earth we were going to do as the ground was obviously going to be very hard. But Turf Master promised us good going and that's what we got."

Rachel Green won the Liz Brooks Memorial Trophy for the best riding performance of the day - she led from pillar to post on Khayal, a horse who has not been at his best this season, and beat Ashley Farrant on Squaddie.

Andrew Glassonbury won the Derek Gillard award for the being the youngest rider, from the Devon and Cornwall Area, in the maiden race.

Out of luck in the opener, Farrant pulled up an out-of-sorts Ballysicyos, in the Men's Open, and the race was won by Fred Hutsby who travelled down from Warwickshire with the 14-year old Prate Box.

Rodney Grant's Harnage took the Devon and Cornwall Area novice award with his win in the Restricted, whisking it from under the noses of Impatient Lady and Lady Misprint who had looked home and hosed to share the award. Harnage has been in great form in the latter part of the season, striking up a good partnership with Caroline Prouse.

The ladies' open trophy went back to Wales with Khatani (Lucy Rowsell), who just foiled a Hutsby trained open race double, when Campden Kitty had to settle for second place.

Hawkers Hill (Rilly Goschen) looked an absolute picture in the paddock and duly obliged in the Intermediate.

The final race of the season, the maiden, had to be divided. It was a case of the last run is the sweetest for the Heard family when Josanjamic finally fulfilled the promise shown in his first run at Buckfastleigh. Liam Heard was on board and won by a distance.

The second division went to Jamie Snowden on Vintinsel.

Results: Confined: 1, Khayal, Miss R Green; 2, Squaddie, A Farrant. Two ran, 2l, 6.36.

Restricted: 1, Harnage, Miss C Prouse; 2, Askers Jack, J Sowden; 3, Anotehr Bula, Miss J Buck. Eight ran, 15l, 10l, 6.14.

Men's Open: 1, Prate Box, F Hutsby; 2, Stepaside Boy, G Weatherley. Five ran, only two finished. 2l, 6.09.

Ladies Open: 1, Khatani, Miss L Rowswell; 2, Campden Kitty, Miss J Williams; 3, Epicure, Mrs O Jackson. Eight ran, 3l, 10l, 6.09.

Intermediate: 1, Hawkers Hill, R Goschen; 2, Menantol, Miss A de Lisle Wells; 3, Sherborne Guest, J Kwaitkwoski. Three ran, dist, nk, 6.22.

Maiden Division One: 1, Josanjamic, L Heard; 2, Carvilla, C Gordon; 3, Hayling Star, Alex Charles Jones. Eight ran, dist, 4l, 6.21.

Div Two: 1, Vintinsel, J Snowden; 2, Maloney, Miss C Evans; 3, Beehive Lad, J Sole. Eight ran, 15l, 2l, 6.36.