Yvonne Goss and her brilliant cross-country horse, Perrys Pearl, achieved their second victory in a Melton Hunt Club Cross-Country Ride in the Cottesmore country. She was first over the line from a strong field of 40 riders from all over England.
Perrys Pearl, 13, a Thoroughbred by Dunbeath, repeated his win for Yvonne two years ago through sheer speed and endurance in holding going. The victorious 41-year-old mother of three from the North Cotswold country a top-class team chase rider for the Forge Flyers helped her route to victory by coolly steering the horse past a pile-up of horses blocking the Leicester Lane crossing.
I quickly switched to another place to jump the in-and-out. It was bigger, but we didnt lose time, said Yvonne.
The ride, sponsored by Gearys Bakeries, was over a 3.7-mile course in a classic stretch of undulating Cottesmore Tuesday country of grass and fences, between Oakham and Knossington, starting near Orton Park and swinging in a loop above Braunston. There was a slogging uphill finish, which reduced some horses to a trot. The route was organised by Cottesmore joint-master Charlie Gordon-Watson, with course-builder Chris Barnett.
Cottesmore supporters were delighted that local hunting farmer, Richard Walker, a former point-to-point rider, captured second place, riding Mr Montana, an former pointer owned by Cottesmore hunt chairman Nick Cheatle. Richard kicked on quickly to keep his place after a stop in Leicester Lane, but was beaten towards the finish by Perrys Pearl.
Third was Lucinda Barrett Nobbs, 21, riding Lambrini King, owned by her employer, Waveney Harriers joint-master John Ibbott.
It was my second attempt at the Melton; I fell at the 10th last time, said a delighted Lucinda.
There was a special cheer when a prize was presented to the rider in fourth place overall, David Redvers, one of the group of pro-hunting protesters who entered the floor of the House of Commons during the hunting debate last September. David, a 34-year-old bloodstock agent from the Ledbury, won first heavyweights prize for his ride on Mr Baxterbasics.
Cottesmore joint-master William Bevin was fifth on Wilson and claimed the veterans prize.
1 & 1st lady, Yvonne Goss (Perrys Pearl); 2, &, 1st gentleman & mwt, 1st farmer, Richard Walker (Mr Montana); 3 & 1st under-25, Lucinda Barrett Nobbs (Lambrini King); 4 & 1st hwt, David Redvers (Mr Baxterbasics); veteran, William Bevin (Wilson); hwt farmer, Edward Drury Lowe (John); novice, Sam Vaughan Jones (Final Comment); Guards Saddle Club, Capt Tim Edwards (Saddle Club horse); Cottesmore subscriber, Roger Weatherby (Rupert); Cottesmore master, Tim Hercock.