AGA man is a little off the pace on seasonal reappearance at sunny Cottenham

AGA Dual Control National Open Horse Championship is up and running but the AGA man needed the run!

I was up just after 5am and busy on twitter, despite the fact that I didn’t need to leave for another four hours! Excited? Just a bit! The drive was pleasant – about 90 miles – and the winter sunshine, along with Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs (I know, soppy AGA man!), ensured that I arrived at Cottenham in good spirits.

Great value!
Great value!

The car was loaded with copies of our AGA Living magazine preview, which contains a sample of some of the Christmas content from the latest edition of the magazine. This includes an interview with Mary Berry, so if you weren’t lucky enough to get a copy today then you can download it here, or grab a copy when you see me at Barbury Castle next weekend. There was also a new jacket in the back of the car, a jacket that will be able to withstand whatever mother nature chooses to throw at us this season, but more of that later.

DSCN9633
The number board for the PPORA Club Members Conditions race

DSCN9632
Beth Eckley has just spotted the AGA man … was it the new jacket?
The stand fills up as the crowd try to get a glimpse of the AGA man's new jacket!
The stand fills up as the crowd try to get a glimpse of the AGA man’s new jacket!
Jackie Oliver took a photo of my new jacket ... with the wide angle lens!
Jackie Oliver took a photo of my new jacket … with the wide angle lens!
Four in the mens open ...
Four in the mens open …

... and an effortless win for Earth Dream… and an effortless win for Earth Dream (photo courtesy of Graftonwood)The boys chalk up the ladies openThe boys chalk up a competitive ladies openDSCN9661Not another photo of the number board!

The mens and ladies open races were of particular interest today as the first points in our new owners championship – the AGA Dual Control National Open Horse Championship – were up for grabs, with points also available in the mixed open at Black Forest Lodge.

Rossmore Lad & Sagalyrique fight out the finish in the ladies
Rossmore Lad & Sagalyrique fight out the finish in the ladies (thanks for the pic Graftonwood)
For the second season running the ladies was won by Angela Rucker and Sagalyrique
For the second season running the ladies was won by Angela Rucker and Sagalyrique (thanks for the pic Graftonwood)

Jackie Oliver thought it would be a great idea if I was in the presentation photo so I didn’t let her down. Meanwhile Mr Rucker thought it was a great idea to give an AGA to the owner who wins our new championship. I agree with him.

Where's Johnny?
Where’s Johnny?

Beazo was doing a brisk trade in the sunshine, with copies of his new Big Green Annual flying out of the back of the Beazemobile!

First success as a trainer for our AGA champion
First success as a trainer for our AGA champion

Some familiar colours were carried to victory in the Restricted race as our AGA series champion, Page Fuller, gave Moscow Blaze a very accomplished ride to win by 18 lengths.

Earl Grez & Joe Hill
Earl Grez & Joe Hill (thanks for the pic Graftonwood)
Mr Hill explains that if there is some champers at the presentation then he's having it ...
Mr Hill explains that if there is some champers at the presentation then he’s having it …
... and he got it!
… and he got it!

Earl Grez was a good winner of the Open Maiden for Alan Hill under son Joe, with wife Lawney and daughter Gaby on hand to ensure that it was a real family affair.

6) Can Mestret - Gina Andrews 20131201 Cottenham-6236
Can Mestret & Gina Andrews

By my own admission I was a bit off the pace on my first outing of the season and I was back in the car and heading for home by the time that Gina Andrews crossed the line to win the Open Maiden for 4,5& 6 year olds. I might just get away with it though as I’m not sure whether Gina reads my blog … and I’m sure nobody is going to reveal my secret!

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