Catherine Walton – an AGA Champion in waiting?

Catherine Walton lit up the AGA Championship for lady riders last season, surging into an early lead with three brilliant wins in successive weeks during January – at Sheriff Hutton, Alnwick and Friars Haugh – and she was never headed. Another win was notched at Whitcliffe Grange in March, and as the field jumped off in the AGA series final at Stratford Racecourse in May hopes were high that she could take the AGA back to the north-east. Despite being cheered on by a lively group of family and friends she was out of luck, as Sacred Mountain finished out of the places and Catherine had to settle for second place in the AGA championship. It was still a great effort and Catherine now holds the record for having more AGA jackets and hats than anyone in the world!

L-R Kristy Kettlewell, rider Catherine Walton, and Lucy Kerr, followed by Laura Clark and Nosecond Chance (no 9)
Sheriff Hutton – L-R Kristy Kettlewell, rider Catherine Walton, and Lucy Kerr, followed by Laura Clark and Nosecond Chance (no 9)

Oaklands Robbie (white cap) and Ockey De Neulliac go head to head on the first circuit of the AGA ladies open at Sheriff Hutton
Oaklands Robbie (white cap) and Ockey De Neulliac go head to head on the first circuit
L-R: Kristy Kettlewell and Lucy Kerr lead in Catherine Walton and Ockey De Neulliac, with owner/trainer Neil Mechie
L-R: Kristy Kettlewell and Lucy Kerr lead in Catherine Walton and Ockey De Neulliac, with owner/trainer Neil Mechie
Nick Luck, Catherine Walton, David Simpson
Nick Luck, Catherine Walton, David Simpson
Sacred Mountain (orange and red) jumps the last ahead of eventual 3rd Non Dom (Siobhan Doolan)
Alnwick – Sacred Mountain (orange and red) jumps the last ahead of eventual 3rd Non Dom (Siobhan Doolan)
Another AGA jacket for Catherine! L-R: Ron Lillie (AGA), Catherine Walton & Grant Lillie (AGA)
Another AGA jacket for Catherine! L-R: Ron Lillie (AGA), Catherine Walton & Grant Lillie (AGA)
Catherine enters the paddock at Friars Haugh, could she make it 3 in a row?
Catherine enters the paddock at Friars Haugh, could she make it 3 in a row?
It's a 2nd AGA ladies open win in 3 weeks for Ockey De Neulliac and Catherine Walton, and 3 out of 3 for Catherine!
It’s a 2nd AGA ladies open win in 3 weeks for Ockey De Neulliac and Catherine Walton, and 3 out of 3 for Catherine in AGA ladies open races!
More AGA hats! L-R Kristy Kettlewell, Catherine Walton, Charlotte Walton
More AGA hats! L-R Kristy Kettlewell, Catherine Walton, Charlotte Walton
This time its the turn of Maxwil at Whitcliffe Grange, can Catherine make it 4? YES SHE CAN!
This time its the turn of Maxwil at Whitcliffe Grange, can Catherine make it 4? YES SHE CAN!
That's 4 AGA jackets now!
That’s 4 AGA wins and 4 jackets now … but we’ve lost count of the hats!
It's not an AGA race this time but Ockey and Catherine have done it again, this time at Cheltenham!
It’s not an AGA race this time but Ockey and Catherine have done it again, this time at Cheltenham!
I'll swap you for an AGA jacket!
I’ll swap you for an AGA jacket!
Cheltenham selfie with the AGA man!
Cheltenham selfie with the AGA man!
She also popped over to Fairyhouse to cheer on Team GB in the Tattersalls Ireland International PtP challenge
She also popped over to Fairyhouse to cheer on Team GB in the Tattersalls Ireland International PtP challenge
AGA final at Stratford - Sacred Mountain and Cath in the paddock
AGA final at Stratford – Sacred Mountain and Cath in the paddock
Out of luck at Stratford, but still smiling!
Out of luck at Stratford, but still smiling!
And still smiling, this time with my son, Bradley, and Frankie Walton (quite a character)
And still smiling, this time with my son, Bradley, and Frankie Walton (quite a character)
With her prize for finishing runner-up in the AGA championship, a marvellous AGA Food Hall hamper!
The prize for finishing runner-up in the AGA championship, a marvellous AGA Food Hall hamper! Plus a Bullseye moment as we say “this is what you could have won” (for those of you who remember the iconic game show which was hosted by Jim Bowen)

I hope Catherine enjoys looking back at these pics, it was quite a season and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks for the memories!

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