The north-east weather men had promised us sunshine by the time the first race was under way, but instead we had rain, mist, more rain, black and grey clouds and loads of mud, with the sun finally appearing as we started our journey home! But that didn’t matter, and it all just added to the drama as we were treated to a fabulous days racing, which included yet another exciting and competitive AGA ladies open race.
Some creative parking (which may or may not have involved something being moved) was followed by a quick trundle around the lorry park, although the rain ensured that not many people were willing to leave the shelter of their lorries.
The sponsors hut was well populated and the doorman had his work cut out checking badges, in fact Mrs S nearly didn’t get in as she had left hers in the car. The “I’m with him” line is obviously one that has been used before, but it worked and she was in!
I love days like this, although I only have to clean my wellies and jacket when I return home, cleaning muddy tack and even muddier horses must be great fun!
On our last visit to Alnwick in December Mrs S refused to leave the AGA van, but today she was running around like a spring lamb (slight exaggeration) and seemed to be relishing the underfoot conditions!
The fellas were a bit mucky – well, plastered in mud would be a more apt description – and now it was the girls turn to brave the elements. Eight declared runners from an entry of eleven was excellent (one short of my Friday prediction of seven), and the scene was set for another competitive AGA ladies open race.
You may notice that there is a pic of the first three home jumping the last fence, and then there’s a lot of nice pics from the post race presentation, however, there’s none from the winners enclosure. That’s because the last fence is a long way from the paddock if you’re not fit, and it’s a lot quicker to get from the finishing line to the paddock if you’re on horseback. No excuse though, and the fitness issue is being addressed – as you will know if you use Snapchat – although I had to laugh when when racegoer remarked “that AGA man needs a wind op the way he was blowing walking back up the side of the paddock”.
That’s two new AGA jackets for Catherine Walton now, and it’s safe to say that we have a live title contender from the north-east (which is great for our series). We’re heading for Friars Haugh in the Scottish Borders this weekend for another Northern area fixture, and you wouldn’t bet against Catherine notching a hat-trick of AGA wins!
My race day is non-stop, with lots of photos and lots of talking … and lots of AGA hats, but there’s never enough time to talk to everybody! With that in mind there’s no surprise that the photos tend to be fairly random, and I’m never going to manage to capture something from every race, but that all adds to the fun!
They didn’t really insist, but it was a great idea (not mine), and it was good of them to join in the fun, thanks lads!
Siobhan Doolan and Shona Everitt are always great craic, but they were looking rather glum as they leaned against the paddock fence, despite Siobhan’s 3rd place in the AGA ladies.
And this was the reason, they wanted an AGA hat! And what a difference it made, just look at those smiles!
And that’s it for this week, the car needed three strong blokes (I was one of them) to push it out of the mud, and the AGA van needed the tractor, and just as we pulled onto the main road the sun came out! No complaints whatsoever though as we had a tremendous day (one of my best ever days at a point-to-point), and I’d like to sign off this blog post by thanking George White and the team at Alnwick, cheers!