The season is about finished and there have been plenty of ups and downs. Injuries cursed a few of us in Yorkshire, but we will be back to fight for our titles next year.
The Anglo-Irish Challenge held at Chaddesley Corbett was a huge success, not only because Great Britain did us proud and won for the third year, but it was also a fun day with a packed-out crowd. The party was fun, too.
The last northern meeting was held at Hexham and there were huge entries. The spectacle of the day was the last, the mares’ Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) race where two top mares Splendid Blue and Executive Benefit fought it out, the latter just prevailing by a nose. The TBA created this great series to encourage people to breed.
Another impressive winner was Damiens Dilemma, the leading novice horse from the north, who led from pillar to post.
Both him and young jockey Harriett Bryce are worth keeping an eye on next season.
The point-to-point championship final at Stratford Racecourse (29 May) displayed some fantastic racing.
Both Will Biddick, who will take the national men’s championship for the fourth time, and ladies’ champion Gina Andrews — soon to be Ellis (Gina is marrying fellow jockey Tom Ellis at the end of the month) — had winners. Poor Tom took a bad fall recently and we hope he manages to get rid of the crutches before his big day.
The girls had a good day at Stratford too, with Jane Williams, Claire Hart and Hannah Lewis all enjoying victories. AGA has been a great support for the ladies’ series once again, and a deserving Jane Williams won the final. Roll on next season.
Ref: Horse & Hound; 11 June