Why the lack of blog posts? Well, I’ve missed a few weeks due to being incredibly busy, and there have also been a few ‘technical issues’. I fully intended to catch up and write a blog post for every point-to-point meeting that I’ve been to since my last post – Didmarton, Garthorpe, Charlton Horethorne, Wadebridge, Howick, High Easter and Hackwood Park. But I’ve had to give up on that idea as it’s the weekend again and I’m off pointing!
So, to get back on track I’m starting with a double header from two very good meetings last weekend – High Easter (Horseheath Hunts Club) and Hackwood Park (Hampshire Hunt).
The Horseheath Hunts Club meeting at High Easter came about because of the abandonment of all fixtures that were due to take place at Horseheath this season. Thankfully they arranged it for a day without an AGA qualifier, and I was able to add another course to my ever growing list.
The photos suggest it was a lovely sunny day – and it was – but there was a heavy shower before racing commenced, and it just happened to be as I was putting the AGA signs up!
Mrs S had a day at home so I was ‘flying solo’ today, but there were plenty of familiar faces and the welcome was warm, plus the solo journey meant I was able to choose all of the music (about 5 hours worth!).
With 9 entered for the 13th AGA Ladies Open race of the season I wasn’t surprised to see only 3 declared, but the 3 were all good ‘uns so we had a decent race on our hands.
My question down at the start was ‘who’s going to make the running’, Cynthia Haydon answered quick as a flash, with a smile and and a very firm ‘me’.
Little Legend was made to work for his 11th point-to-point win by See You Jack, although he did it well and winning rider Cynthia Haydon was delighted, immediately nominating the AGA final at Stratford Racecourse as a target for her star performer.
I was grateful to Lawney Hill for agreeing to do the post race presentation and she soon had us all smiling, especially when she swapped hats with Cynthia’s dad, Michael.
It was quite fitting that Cynthia and Little Legend were the cover stars of the Pointing Plus pull-out (which was once again superb), and I only wish I had remembered to get this photo before they put the horse back on the lorry!
I just managed to make it home before dark, surprising Mrs S in the process, and after a quick bite to eat it was time to load the car for Sunday and Hackwood Park!
This was a landmark point-to-point meeting for us as the rather smart (and rather big) AGA show trailer was making it’s point-to-point debut. Normally seen at County Shows, this was the first time we had ventured onto a pointing field with it, and I’m very pleased to say that it was a huge success!
Spring at Hackwood Park – the weather was interesting, but the ‘shower’ soon passed and we were to have a very pleasant afternoon, although the AGA stand was creaking under the weight of people sheltering from the rain at one point!
Lawney Hill was in an AGA photo for the second day running, this time sporting a rather natty new bobble hat (with possibly the largest bobble ever seen on a bobble hat!). Next time you bump into Alan Hill ask him about the hat …
We’ve had some great AGA Ladies Open races this season and we had a tasty looking race in prospect today with 6 declared.
I really fancied Shoreacres in this one … so I backed Up To The Mark (I’m not very good at betting!).
Wow! What a cracker, with Shoreacres and Hannah Lewis just getting up to beat Moscow Blaze and Page Fuller. The pair had a great battle all the way up the run-in and it certainly got the crowd going. There are a lot of talented lady riders around at the moment (loads in fact), and these two played a big part in our series last season, Hannah finished runner-up in the AGA championship for lady riders, and Page won the AGA series final on That’s Rhythm.
The 3rd placed horse was Well Mett, who was making his long awaited point-to-point debut, and it was mission accomplished for Jelly O’Brien as the 7 year old is now qualified for the AGA final in May.
Hannah was chuffed to bits, not just with the win and the the 10 AGA championship points, but also because she had finally got her hands on an AGA jacket.
The Bonhams Mens Open folowed our race and Big Al was in winning form as his horse, Dante’s Storm recorded a tidy win under Philip York (his first of the season).
Meanwhile back at the AGA stand Mrs S’s homemade cake was going down well, and the AGA fridge was also getting lots of attention.
It was a successful weekend and a very successful pointing debut for the AGA show trailer, which fitted in really well at Hackwood Park, and we’ll definitely be seeing it in action again before the end of the season! Well done to the team at High Easter on Saturday and the team at Hackwood Park on Sunday, two great days, 10 out of 10!