Is Bitterley the most picturesque point-to-point course in the country? I’ve been to rather a lot of courses all over the UK but this one is now in my top 5, what a marvellous setting for a sporting event! I was joined by several AGA colleagues today and they were also impressed with the setting!
The action got under way with a popular win for Minella For Party in the Members race, and Victoria Collins, Sarah Dawson and Hannah Watson celebrated accordingly – long into the night!
Hannah Watson was the first person I spoke to when I arrived as we had parked next to each other, however, I didn’t take this as any kind of sign so Minella For Party wasn’t carrying any of my pocket money!
There was a Bonhams Mens Open race on the card and we parked next to each other in the sponsors car park, I comfortably won the battle of the flags but the nice Bonhams man definitely had the best car!
The AGA Ladies attracted a field of 6 (quality again), although I must apologise to Carl Evans as I had marked Sagalyrique down as a runner and he then talked about this horse in his preview. It had been marked as a runner in the decs tent but the decision was then made not to run, thankfully Carl accepted my apology.
I expect an exciting race every week, and we had another one today, with the first three in the betting finished in that order. Invisible Man (Phine Banks) and Universal Soldier (Hannah Lewis) fought out the finish, with Bubbly Breeze (Ali Galliers-Pratt) chasing them home.
Invisible Man is owned by point-to-point legend, Pat Tollit, who is still very sprightly at the age of 82, and is still very much enjoying her pointing.
Three of the girls are part of the AGA Cookshop team (one of them, Caroline, invented the Iconic design), so never one to pass up on a photo opportunity I suggested we get a few pics by the AGA Iconic flags. Naturally the AGA hats were ready to be deployed and as you can see from the pic, all four girls chose pink!
Phine Banks celebrated her win by giving everyone cake! I was first in the queue (I like cake), and Phine had plenty of other willing takers, including Jelly O’Brien – although I think my slice was bigger!
There were two Charles Stanley pony races after racing and a fair few people stayed to watch (great for the young riders), and who knows, we could have been watching a future champion!
Well, another great day on a point-to-point course had almost come to a close, and my final task was to take all of the AGA banners down before saying goodbye (and thank you) to Honourable Secretary Mandy Davies. I will definitely visit Bitterley again.