Warwickshire hunt unveils new team chase course

  • The Warwickshire hunt opens its new team chase course on Sunday 11 September and will present a trophy in memory of honorary hunt joint-secretary Jo Rugman.

    Mrs Rugman, 37, died on 6 March at the VWH team chase following a rotational fall.

    Her death sparked a review of safety in the sport, which is ongoing (news, 30 June).

    Winners of the intermediate speed class, at Hill Farm, Watergall, near Southam, will receive a new trophy donated in memory of Mrs Rugman, who was a member of leading team chasing team RoR Lycetts A Class Act.

    Lifelong Warwickshire subscriber Bill Longford has donated the silver rose bowl.

    Mrs Rugman’s husband John said: “Jo adored her hunting and team chasing and would thoroughly approve of this venue.

    “If she were here today, she would be competing fiercely for the rose bowl.”

    Until this year, the Warwickshire event was held in the spring, most recently at Horley near Banbury.

    The move to an autumn date and a new course, with substantial hedges and timber, reflects a return to the sport’s Corinthian origins.

    Course-designer Nick DaSilva said: “Landowners Mark and Charlotte Warner and the Warwickshire have given me an incredible opportunity to construct a course over old pasture land, incorporating many natural hedges.”

    Novice and intermediate classes will be held this year, and organiser Julia Grundy hopes to include an open qualifier in future.

    Entries are open until 5 September. E-mail: joncowper@btinternet.com for a schedule.

    Spectators will be able to view the panoramic course layout from a central point, with admission at £5 per car.

    This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (11 August, 2011)

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