There’ll be no need for some jockeys to lay off the chocolate eggs this Easter. The Taunton Vale Foxhounds is staging a special race for riders over the usual 12.5st at their point-to-point on Easter Monday at Kingston St Mary.

Organiser Dominic Alers-Hankey explained: “All the ‘heavies’ must be at least 14st. They will have a schooling session before they race and must ride a thoroughbred.”

Riders include master of the Taunton Vale Richard Mitford-Slade, Marcus Chambers, Devon farmer Tom Brown and local builder Greg Day.

“We wanted to encourage people who are not the usual jockey type, and still hunt regularly, to have a go,” Mr Mitford-Slade told H&H.

“I’m built like a rugby player, so have never had the opportunity to race before. I thought ‘if I don’t do it now I never will’. It’s a totally different ball game riding over fences at speed with short stirrups, so I thought I’d give it a crack.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (1 April, ’10)