Huge point-to-point crowd in Yorkshire as AGA visit Easterby country, with more AGA hats and a special guest appearance from Channel 4 Racing man, Nick Luck!

Frosty morning, warm Yorkshire welcome, great racing, nice people, the return of Amicelli, impressive AGA ladies winner, an AGA ladies title challenger from the north-east, Channel 4 Racing man in attendance, and lots of Easterby's wearing AGA hats - that pretty much sums up a great day at Sheriff Hutton!

Towards the end of the 2012 season Cherry Coward gave me some great advice about my blog, she said “I like it, but you go on a bit sometimes”. I took the advice and ever since I have tried to keep the words to a minimum and let the photos do the talking, so lets hope Cherry approves of this weeks effort!

Foreverpresenting and connections after winning the YAPPC Club Members Riders Conditions (Div 1)
Foreverpresenting and connections after winning the YAPPC Club Members Riders Conditions (Div 1)

So, here goes, there are 29 photos featuring people, horses and AGA hats – which were just as popular in Yorkshire as in the rest of the country! You’ll also notice an AGA Dual Control cooker in some of the pics, that’s our latest electric cooker and I need to sell some, so if you currently own a tired old oil AGA and it’s ready to meet its maker, please get in touch!

Amicelli and Mister Spodge (pink) battle it out at the head of affairs
Amicelli and Mister Splodge (pink) battle it out at the head of affairs – Jacqueline may or may not have had words with one of her fellow riders

Yes, that’s right, at the grand old age of 15, Amicelli was back on a racecourse! I’d written a blog piece last season celebrating his retirement, but the former AGA champion was now strutting around the paddock as if he owned it!

Cherry Coward (brown jacket & coloured cap) looks on as 15 year old Amicelli makes his comeback from injury
Cherry Coward (brown jacket & coloured cap) looks on as 15 year old Amicelli makes his comeback from injury

15 year old former AGA champion Amicelli (pink & blue striped sleeves)  leads on the first circuit of the YAPPC Club Members Riders Conditions (Div 2)
15 year old former AGA champion Amicelli (pink & blue striped sleeves) leads on the first circuit of the YAPPC Club Members Riders Conditions (Div 2)
Amicelli, Karis Clarkson and Jacqueline Coward
Amicelli, Karis Clarkson and Jacqueline Coward

What a performance, he lead nearly all the way and was only headed approaching the last fence, and that was by a horse 9 years younger than him! Something tells me that we’ll see him again soon, maybe in an AGA ladies race!

Onetwobeat and rider Derek Smith have just won the Restricted in a very close finish
Onetwobeat and rider Derek Smith have just won the Restricted in a very close finish
L-R Helen Hart, Claire Hart, Jackie Woodville, Mike Dawson (owner, Palypso De Creek)
L-R Helen Hart, Claire Hart, Jackie Woodville, Mike Dawson (owner, Palypso De Creek)

We had been loaded down with delicious cakes when we arrived, in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. They were baked by Mrs S and two of our AGA Home Ambassadors, Ursula Evans and Carolyn Chesshire, and there wasn’t a crumb left by the end of the day!

Cakes from Mrs and two of our AGA Home Ambassadors
Cakes from Mrs and two of our AGA Home Ambassadors
L-R Kristy Kettlewell, rider Catherine Walton and Lucy Kerr, followed by Laura Clark and Nosecond Chance (no 9)
L-R Kristy Kettlewell, rider Catherine Walton and Lucy Kerr, followed by Laura Clark and Nosecond Chance (no 9)
Here come the girls! Emma Todd leads Alice Petch (red cross belts), Catherine Walton (green cap), Lorna Brooke (black cap) and Jessica Gillam (white cap)
Here come the girls! Emma Todd leads Alice Petch (red cross belts), Catherine Walton (green cap), Lorna Brooke (black cap) and Jessica Gillam (white cap)

The third AGA ladies open race of the season was always going to be competitive for two reasons, the entry was good and this is Yorkshire!

Eventual winner Ockey De Neulliac (green cap) leads on the second circuit of the AGA Ladies Open at Sheriff Hutton
Eventual winner Ockey De Neulliac (green cap) leads on the second circuit of the AGA Ladies Open at Sheriff Hutton
Eventual winner Ockey De Neulliac (green cap) leads Oaklands Robbie on the first circuit in the AGA Ladies Open at Sheriff Hutton
Eventual winner Ockey De Neulliac (green cap) is joined by Oaklands Robbie after jumping the AGA fence on the first circuit in the AGA Ladies Open at Sheriff Hutton
Ockey De Neulliac leads the field out on their final circuit in front of a packed  crowd at Sheriff Hutton
Ockey De Neulliac leads the field out on their final circuit in front of a packed crowd at Sheriff Hutton

Ockey De Neulliac was an impressive winner, piloted by Catherine Walton, who is the reigning Amateur Lady Jockeys Flat Champion. She was in great form after the race and we’re delighted to have a live AGA title challenger from the north-east! The winning connections – Neil Mechie, Justin Landy & Kristy Kettlewell – were also in great form, and very pleased to learn that the 10 points has put them firmly in the running to win our owners championship, and a new AGA!

Channel 4 Racing's Nick Luck presents winning rider Catherine Walton with the Brightwells Challenge Trophy, along with David Simpson from AGA (far left) & owners Neil Mechie and Justin Landy
Channel 4 Racing’s Nick Luck presents winning rider Catherine Walton with the Brightwells Challenge Trophy, along with David Simpson from AGA (far left) & owners Neil Mechie and Justin Landy

Mick Easterby had appeared on the Morning Line on Channel 4 the previous weekend and had done a very fine job of promoting the Yorkshire Area Point-to-Point Club meeting. He had also managed to persuade presenter Nick Luck to chuck his wellies in the boot and head up to Yorkshire following his Saturday stint on Channel 4 Racing’s programme from Warwick Racecourse.

Nick Luck, Catherine Walton, David Simpson
Nick Luck, Catherine Walton, David Simpson

Nick was great fun and very kindly agreed to join me to present the trophies to our winners, although I would imagine that when he woke up on Sunday morning he probably didn’t think that by 2pm he would be stood in a field wearing an AGA hat!

Claire Hart - AGA Total Control Champion 2012
Claire Hart – AGA Total Control Champion 2012

Claire Hart had travelled up to Yorkshire to ride last seasons star performer Palypso De Creek, but connections decided to sit this one out. That’s a shame because I would have loved to see Ockey De Neulliac go head to head with Palypso, that would have been some race!

Janet Drake ... she really wanted a pink hat!
Janet Drake is a massive supporter of our AGA series, but she really wanted a pink hat!
The whole family can enjoy a day out at a point-to-point meeting!
The whole family can enjoy a day out at a point-to-point meeting!Emma Lund shows off her Silver Cross pram while Samantha Coward shows off her AGA hat!
As ever at a point-to-point, the bar was busy
As ever at a point-to-point, the bar was busy and Richard Drake (right) found time for a swift one
L-R: Becky Mason, Joanna Mason, Pixie, Laura Mason, Jessica Gillam
L-R: Becky Mason, Joanna Mason, Pixie, Laura Mason, Jessica Gillam
L-R Dan Walden, Cindy Simpson, Mark Fitzpatrick, Bella Sowray, Lucinda Egerton, Lorna Brooke
L-R Dan Walden, Lucinda Simpson, Mark Fitzpatrick, Bella Sowray, Lucinda Egerton, Lorna Brooke
L-R: Kitty Denny, Jacqueline Coward, Bobby Denny
L-R: Kitty Denny, Jacqueline Coward, Bobby Denny
Dan, Bertie, Laura & Mark
Another photo opportunity for the AGA boys, L-R: Dan, Bertie, Laura & Mark
Point-to-point racing has a reputation for being very sociable, especially in Yorkshire
Point-to-point racing has a reputation for being very sociable, especially in Yorkshire, Lucinda Egerton (far right) enjoyed her day
Sarah Easterby, Tim Easterby, Emily Easterby and Thomas Easterby (front)
Sarah Easterby, Tim Easterby, Emily Easterby and Thomas Easterby (front)
Tim Easterby, Samantha Coward, Jacqueline Coward, Jo Mason (with Pixie) and Thomas Easterby (front)
Tim Easterby, Samantha Coward, Jacqueline Coward, Jo Mason (with Pixie) and Thomas Easterby (front)
Local butcher Philip Parkin (Parko) requested a hat after seeing them on facebook
Local butcher Philip Parkin (Parko) requested a hat after seeing them on facebook
One race to go! Announcer Charlotte Russell (purple hat) checks out some of Louise Pollard's photos, in the background Honourable Secretary Christine Drury (fur headband) relaxes after a busy day
One race to go! Announcer Charlotte Russell (purple hat) checks out some of Louise Pollard’s photos, in the background Honourable Secretary Christine Drury (fur headband) relaxes after a busy day
Sam Drake leads up Devil At Midnight before the last
Sam Drake – an AGA finalist in 2012 – leads up Devil At Midnight before the last – you need an AGA hat Sammy!

That’s about it from me, after the AGA race I concentrated on social shots (as you can see from the photos above), and there are quite a few people featured who are great supporters of the AGA series, they also like AGA hats! Some are AGA owners and some would like to be, hopefully they will watch this fabulous new AGA film and be inspired to buy one … they know where I am! PS – how did I do Cherry?

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