Bryony Frost delivers Aikideau right on the line at Badbury Rings to win her first ever AGA race

An overnight stay in sunny (yes, I really did say sunny) Bournemouth preceded our visit to Badbury Rings for the seventh AGA Ladies Open race of the season, although the sun didn’t last and Sunday was rather gloomy. Having said that we had a tremendous day and for the second time this season Mrs S was heard to say ‘I’m not cold’ while on a point-to-point racecourse!

The snapper gets snapped! Ripper Rippon has the AGA man in her lens
The snapper gets snapped! Ripper Rippon has the AGA man in her lens

The Countryside Alliance Club fixture was high on my list pre-season and it was a good choice, ticking lots of boxes – a huge crowd and a tidy entry for the AGA race being two of those ticked boxes.

The Hon. Secretary, Jane Stockdale
The Hon. Secretary, Jane Stockdale

Anyway, before I look at some of the other highlights from the day let’s take a look at how the AGA Ladies Open panned out.

Charly Prichard
Charly Prichard and Silver Token

I'm normally by the last fence but had a different perspective on the race today, this is my view from the trailer
I’m normally by the last fence but had a different perspective on the race today, this is my view from the trailer
Action from the race
Action from the race, Byerley Bear leads as the field head out on their last circuit
Pipped on the line! Aikideau gets up to beat Byerley Bear
Pipped on the line! Aikideau gets up to beat Byerley Bear
From my angle it was impossible to call but Aikideau got the verdict - just!
From my angle it was impossible to call but Aikideau got the verdict – just!

Another great race! Our series has been blessed with some competitive racing – not just this season, but also in previous seasons – and we had another good ‘un today, with Bryony Frost managing to get Aikideau’s nose in front right where it mattered, on the line! It was tough on Leanda Tickle and Byerley Bear but this pair have a few more wins in them this season, that’s for sure!

Mrs Barber and Mrs S
Mrs Barber and Mrs S

The win was celebrated with gusto by connections and not for the first time this season Mrs S found herself in the centre of the celebrations. That’s a real privilege and it adds another angle to our sponsorship, giving us an insight into just what it means to have a point-to-point winner.

Give us a hug!
Give us a hug!
She might enjoy this so much that she'll let me have a horse!
She might enjoy this so much that she’ll let me have a horse …
Hope so!
… hope so!
I'd love to know what was said here, it obviously tickled Mrs S!
I’d love to know what was said here, it obviously tickled Mrs S!
And she didn't even back it!
And she didn’t even back it!

The presentation was just as much fun with the whole family joining in, which is great to see.

Who's that on the end?
Who’s that on the end?
Young Ollie is having fun!
Young Ollie is having fun with the cup!
I don't think it's supposed to go on your head!
I don’t think it’s supposed to go on your head!
And finally we have the winning trainer (Jack Barber) and jockey (Bryony Frost) in the frame
And finally we have the winning trainer (Jack Barber) and jockey (Bryony Frost) in the frame

It was a very long day (11 races), but very enjoyable, with lots of incident and some fantastic performances, plus, once again we met some very nice people. Lets’s take a look at some of the other highlights from the day …

Our free bet in conjunction with the Racing Plus (Pointing Plus) was very well received, and here you can see me with Mike Smith after we had counted the free bet tokens (great initiative Mike!)
Our free bet in conjunction with the Racing Plus (Pointing Plus) was very well received, and here you can see me with Mike Smith after we had counted the free bet tokens (great initiative Mike!)
The bookies also contributed to the Cancer Research UK fundraising (in support of Heather Kemp's Cheltenham Festival Charity race ride)
The bookies also contributed to the Cancer Research UK fundraising (in support of Heather Kemp’s Cheltenham Festival Charity race ride)
Somebody backed the winner ... with his free bet!
Somebody backed the winner … with his free bet!
Sarah Henderson, Ripper Rippon and Tiggerr Bush
Sarah Henderson, Ripper Rippon and Tiggerr Bush

The Henderson family (and friends) were out in force to support Camilla Henderson and the apple of her eye, Khyber Kim, with dad Nicky and sister Sarah joining a healthy contingent from the Marcus Foley stable in the paddock.

Marcus Foley and Nicky Henderson flank Camilla in the paddock
Marcus Foley and Nicky Henderson flank Camilla in the paddock
Khyber Kim looked in good order in the paddock
Camilla was all smiles and ‘Khyb’s’ (as he is affectionately known) looked  in grand fettle
Tom Humphries, Ed Doggrell and Matt Riall
Tom Humphries, Ed Doggrell and Matt Riall
Action from the CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs)
Action from the CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs)
Josh Guerriero and Jimmy Frost are among this group of jockeys watching the race by the final fence
Josh Guerriero and Jimmy Frost are among this group of jockeys watching the race by the final fence
It was good to see some of the senior lads from the weighing room out on the course supporting the novice riders
It was good to see some of the senior lads from the weighing room (and Kate Nutt) out on the course supporting the novice riders
Action from the CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs)
Action from the CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs), eventual winner Cock Of The Rock is in the cheekpieces

It didn’t go to plan for Camilla and Khyber Kim and they were upsides the eventual winner Cock Of The Rock at the third last when they took a crunching fall. Camilla was taken to hospital but both are ok and will be back on the course again soon, you can read the Marcus Foley blog from Badbury Rings here.

Sean Bowen and trainer David Brace receive mementoes following the CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs)
Sean Bowen and trainer David Brace receive mementoes following the CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs)
Has anyone seen a dog in the paddock?
Has anyone seen a dog in the paddock?
I think there's something missing here!
I think there’s something missing here!
Another highlight was Ravethebrave winning the Bonhams Mens Open, Lawney Hill receives the trophy from the very dapper Bonhams man
Another highlight was Ravethebrave winning the Bonhams Mens Open, Lawney Hill receives the trophy from the very dapper Bonhams man

The day wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the lorry park, both to commiserate with those whose day had not gone to plan, and to share a drink with the winners … and a slice of pizza.

The pizza has arrived!
The pizza has arrived!
Josh Guerriero has just won the Open Maiden (Div 1, Part 2) 5yo&up on Go On Henry
Josh Guerriero has just won the Open Maiden (Div 1, Part 2) 5yo&up on Go On Henry
A 100/1 winner for Sam Painting, seen here with trainer Laura Thomas and Monika Gasparova
A 100/1 winner for Sam Painting, seen here with trainer Laura Thomas and Monika Gasparova
The claasy What A Friend, winner of over £300k under rules and 4th in the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup
The classy What A Friend, winner of over £300k under rules and 4th in the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup

It was a mammoth day but we thoroughly enjoyed it and I’d love to come back here again. The boys brought the AGA Dual Control van, but the AGA show trailer would not look out of place in the impressive trade stand area!

Dan and Mark had a steady stream of visitors to the AGA van
Dan and Mark had a steady stream of visitors to the AGA van

We hit the road for the long drive back to the Midlands at 5.14pm after another great day on a point-to-point racecourse, and with plenty to talk about during the journey. There are some more photos here on the AGA Point-to-Point Facebook page, where you can also keep up to date with all of the news from our lady riders’ championship, and our owners championship.

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