The last Yorkshire point-to-point of the season was at John Wade’s farm and it is always a great meeting for dishing out the area titles. I held on to the Yorkshire ladies’ title and Chris Dawson and last year’s champion Richard Smith were battling for the Yorkshire men’s title, but Richard claimed it.
The novice men’s was tight at the top too, but Will Milburn eventually won and the novice ladies’ went to shepherd Alice Petch. There was a lot of champagne being sprayed in the changing room after the last race!
It’s the time of year for sales and I go to look for young maidens and open horses for owners. Going to the sales is a good insight into what horses are on the market and what prices they are going for.
Everyone has a type they prefer and I look for slightly smaller, nippier horses and those with good movement. It’s also a good idea to take form into account, although a lot of horses benefit from a change of scenery.
This is a good part of the season to give them time out on the spring grass as it helps to keep them fresh for racing, and we start reducing the amount of work they do, especially those who’ve had a long year. We pick and choose the ground to avoid jarring them on hard going, too. Every horse is different, but the better you look after them, the longer they last.
This article was first published in the 22 May issue of Horse & Hound magazine