H&H picks five first-time point-to-point jockeys to look out for this season.
Background: hunting and pony racing
Based at: works at Grand National-winning trainer Donald McCain’s Cheshire yard.
Career to date: Ross began hunting aged four and is steeped in the chase. His late father Graham Chapman was a master of the Haydon, his uncle Alan Chapman is a joint-master of Braes of Derwent, his aunt Julie Ross their hunt secretary and his uncle Russell Ross their point-to-point committee chairman.
His ambition is to be a jockey and he landed his job with Donald McCain via an internet search, on the recommendation of Charlie Johnston, son of leading Flat trainer Mark.
He rides out and schools regularly for his uncle Russell.
Horses for 2012-13: “Ross will ride Boher Storm, who gave his cousin Sally Lyons a debut success three years ago,” says Russell. “We’ll have eight pointers next season, so he’ll have plenty of chances.”
First ride: Boher Storm at Alnwick on 16 December.
What makes him worth watching: “He’s fearless and he’s gaining loads of experience as a jockey while schooling and riding work at Donald’s,” says Russell.
Background: pony racing
Based at: George lives with parents Peter and Helen at Newdigate near Dorking. His ambition is to be champion Flat race jockey.
Career to date: George won 76 pony races and was the Charles Owen national leading 138cm rider — for the most points accumulated during the season — three times. He dominated the south-east area with three 138cm and four 148cm titles.
He rides out his father’s Flat racers and enjoyed a placement with Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott after receiving a Rose Bengal Scholarship for his dedication throughout the 2009 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series.
Horses for 2012-13: “I’m going to combine pointing and riding in amateur Flat races and then assess my future after I’ve taken my A levels in June,” says the Ashcombe School pupil. “We’re still arranging my pointing rides, but I’ll ride Picansort on the Flat for my father.”
What makes him worth watching: proven Flat race riding skills including judgement of pace.
Area: Devon & Cornwall
Background: pony racing
Based at: Pippa lives with parents Lawrence and Lee near Holbeton, Devon. She is studying for her A levels and intends to go to university.
Career to date: Pippa started pony racing aged nine and had over 55 rides in her seven-year career. She won the 2009 Devon and Cornwall 138cm final and area points series with Ravara Super Ted, a former show pony bought in Ireland by Alan and Jane Walter. She has ridden out for former national men’s point-to-point champion Leslie Jefford and alongside current champion Will Biddick at Victor Dartnell’s North Devon stables.
Horses for 2012-13: Sunken Secret, a Flete Park winner in May, and Bright Idea — “another for the Walter-Glanville syndicate”, says Lee.
First ride: “Leslie offered her the ride on [nine-race winner] Doof at Wadebridge in December, but we’ll be in New Zealand on a family holiday, so it will probably be Sunken Secret in January,” says Lee.
What makes her worth watching: totally driven in whatever she does. “You could certainly never accuse Pippa of not trying,” says Lee.
Area: East Anglia
Background: amateur rider
Based at: works and rides out for Newmarket-based trainer James Fanshawe.
Career to date: born in Exeter, Luke began his riding career by helping out as a 14-year-old at former H&H columnist Richard Woollacott’s Devon yard. He joined James Fanshawe after attending the British Racing School (BRS) and returned to the Newmarket handler 18 months ago after spells with Nicky Henderson and Chris Wall.
He rides out High Jinx and led up the high-class stayer before his recent Prix du Cadran second at Longchamp on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day. He has ridden in 11 amateur Flat races under Rules.
Horses for 2012-13: “I ride out at lunchtimes for Soham trainer Michelle Bentham, who trained Jurado Express to win four hunter chases, and will ride her Brampton Bryan winner Deny Everything,” says Luke. “I may also partner Anywhere for Glen Broom, who is a good friend of my father Frank.”
First ride: “Deny Everything is cantering after an 18-month layoff and should be out early in the New Year,” says Luke.
What makes him worth watching: the experience gained in licensed yards and on the track will give him a race-riding edge over many novices.
Based at: Clare lives in Ulceby with her parents Adair, Brocklesby field master, and Karen, a joint-master of the Brocklesby and former Midlands point-to-point area secretary. A budding scientist, Clare has just started her A levels and plans to go to university.
Career to date: she has been a member of the Brocklesby Pony Club branch since a young age, but hunting is her main love.
“Clare lives for hunting and never misses a day,” says Karen. “She even did Wednesday meets last season during her GCSE year.”
Horses for 2012-13: Tiagra, a £1,500 Doncaster purchase out of Paul Webber’s yard in August.
“We were looking for a good jumper who would be a safe conveyance and went for Tiagra,” says Karen.
First ride: “The plan is for Clare to ride at Thorpe Lodge at the end of January, then at the South Wold and then the Brocklesby,” says Karen. “Both her father Adair and her grandfather George have won the Brocklesby hunt race, so she would love to take part in that.
“A lot of her friends are planning to compete in the race, so there’s quite a momentum building up, which is good for the sport.”
What makes her worth watching: her hunting background makes her a good judge of a stride at any obstacle.
To read the full feature on ones to watch this season, plus the rest of the point-to-point special including a full fixtures list see the current issue of H&H (15 November 2012)
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