by Brian & Gill Armstrong
photos by Graham Fisher

The Taunton Vale Harriers held their point-to-point at Fennington Farm, Kingston St Mary, near Taunton, on Wednesday evening. Championship chasing Ashley Farrant rode a treble, taking his seasonís tally to 48, four ahead of Richard Burton, who won the Restricted on Snowtre. There were four winners for trainer David Pipe, but the highlight was Ballysicyosí win in the Dave Pipe Memorial Menís Open, a race staged in memory of Davidís late grandfather, who was a keen supporter of point-to-point racing.

Pipe and Farrant were quickly on the scoresheet when Cimmaroon was a facile winner of the Hunt Members race. This was Cimmaroonís third win of the season for owner Brian Kilpatrick whose familiar emerald green and scarlet colours have been carried by such stars as Sabin Du Loir and Horus.

Pipe and Farrant doubled up when P J Finnís I Am Said I led throughout the final circuit of the Confined race. I Am Said I, who appreciated the firm going, holds an entry in the Doncaster Spring Sales catalogue for 26th May.

Confined winners I Am Said I and Ashley Farrant go to post

The Pipe-Farrant sequence continued when Ballysicyos made most of the running to win the Dave Pipe Memorial Menís Open, sponsored in his fatherís memory by Champion trainer, Martin Pipe. The Challenge Cup was presented by Martin to wife Carol, who jointly owns Ballysicyos with Pam Deal. The Pipe family were thrilled to win the race, not least Dave Pipeís widow, Betty, who watched the race from her car.

Ballysicyos provides Ashley Farrant with a treble and his 150th pointing winner in the Dave Pipe Memorial Mens Open Race

David Pipe completed his four timer when Epicure led throughout the last circuit to take the Ladiesí Open and give rider Ollie Jackson a well-deserved first winner of the season. Epicure was making his point-to-point debut, but could return to Martin Pipe for whom he won three hurdle races in 2002. Owners John and Belinda Harvey are based in Barbados, but were quickly brought up-to-date by David, who telephoned them straight after the race.

Epicure and Ollie Jackson take the Ladies Open completing a four timer for trainer David Pipe

Richard Burton reduced the championship deficit to four when Snowtre led entering the straight to take the Restricted race. Snowtre is trained at Broome near Kidderminster by Helen Needham for her father, Jim Callow, both enjoying their first visit to the Fennington Farm course. Snowtre is normally ridden by Adrian Wintle, who was present on Wednesday but gave up the ride to aid Richardís championship challenge.

Richard Burton posts one for the evening on Snowtre in the Restricted from Sing High and Andy Martin

Ashley Farrantís hopes of a four timer were dashed when Aftermeyourfirst pulled up in the closing Open Maiden race. Bradford Bridge was in contention when slipping up on the bend before three out, leaving Abitofahike to record an easy success. Abitofahike was ridden by Chipping Norton farrier Andy Martin for Banbury trainer Rosemary Gasson, who bought the horse privately in Ireland last autumn.

Abitofahike rewards Andy Martin for his journey to the south west by landing the Open Maiden