Is it really five years? That was the question I asked myself in the build-up to this, our fifth AGA final, and the fourth one where I have been organiser and front man. There will, of course, be lots of other questions to ask during the coming weeks, along with some detailed analysis. However, one thing is for certain, the AGA name is now synonymous with Point-to-Point horse racing – particularly ladies racing – and the hard work of the last five years is paying off. We have established ourselves at the heart of the farming and rural communities and I’m very proud of the part that I have played in doing this, along with my hard working wife (known universally as Mrs S), and lots of hard working colleagues. Anyway, that’s far too many words, so in the hope that you are all still reading I will now let the pictures do the talking! Please enjoy this pictorial record of the fifth AGA Point-to-Point Championship final.
Mrs S worked her magic on the tables again
And the view was superb from our new location overlooking the parade ring
Nigel and Andrew Norman were on course early (right) and were soon getting stuck into the race card, along with Carl Evans (centre) and the AGA man – the AGA beer was to remain untouched until our nights work was complete!
AGA Rangemaster Group CEO, William McGrath, gets proceedings underway with an introduction to set the scene for the evening ahead
The injection of a bit of humour always goes down well!
The first race of the evening was the inaugural Subaru Restricted final, which was won by Claire Hart and Dabinett Moon. Claire was whisked away from the winners enclosure (thanks Ripper) and gave a great interview in the AGA marquee, still mud spattered and in her silks, Carl Evans asked the questions!
Carl was joined next by 2012 AGA Final winner, Jacqueline Coward, who marked the card and talked us through the closing stages of her 2012 AGA victory on the legendary, Amicelli
The AGA guests line up for a photo call in the parade ring before the AGA final
I was rather pleased with my new AGA branding, and delighted that the wonderful team at Stratford Racecourse allowed me to leave it there for the Saturday evening as well!
I was really pleased that Rose and Sam brought the classy Current Event to run in our race, it was nice to catch up with Mr Nicholls too
Instructions are dispensed… they must have been good!
Selections are made…
“I’m only the taxi driver”, said Mr Frost
Another photo of my new branding… I like it!
Here come the girls…
Mr & Mrs Frost
Jane stretches clear on What A Laugh
Bryony and Current Event follow her home
Nick Champion (left) congratulates Richard Davies-Cooke
A nice touch as two Hunt horses lead our winner in
Jane Williams – 4 AGA finals, 2 wins, 2 seconds, oh, and an AGA championship. That’s some record!
This is how we did it…
Jane’s mum, Diana Williams, was rather pleased
Me and the AGA queen!
This is how I did it!
While Jane was winning the race, Hannah was winning another AGA! Yes, for the second year running, Hannah Lewis won the AGA Championship for lady riders!
Tears in my eyes!
What is Lawney up to!
While Hannah was making her speech, Lawney Hill was waiting patiently to address the AGA guests
Lawney had a little something for Mrs S, and some very kind words!
Those kind words made me smile
Attention is now on the Pertemps Network Stratford Foxhunters Champion Hunters’ Chase, where Gina Andrews is about to do something rather special…
The ‘husband to be’ is getting quite excited!
Much excitement for a ride that was described as ‘brilliant’, and rightly so!
There’s a couple of AGA winners in the middle!
Mrs S loved those gloves!
The ‘husband to be’ (Tom Ellis, right) has regained his composure after Gina’s heroics!
Mr & Mrs Simpson, or mam and dad to me!
At this point it is very tempting to carry on and post lots more photos – of the social variety, however, there’s loads, so I think I’ll create a photo gallery just for the social shots! That will be ready soon but for now I’ll finish with some thank you’s, starting with the lady in the next photograph.
For the second season running Grace travelled down from the north-east to take our photos at the final (hundreds) and once again the pics are brilliant.
Carl Evans was once again superb so he is also on my thank you list, cheers fella!
Jacqueline Coward, Ripper Rippon, Claire Hart, Hannah Lewis and Jane Williams all make the thank you list, as do all of my AGA colleagues. They put up with last minute requests and the occasional rant, but they always come up with the goods. The awesome team at Stratford Racecourse and the legend that is Mrs S get a big fat thank you. And every single person in the point-to-point community gets one too, as without their support this would not work.
Have I thanked everyone yet?
The biggest thank you of all has to go to AGA Rangemaster for allowing me to do what I do with the sponsorship, without that support there wouldn’t be an AGA man, and I wouldn’t be writing this.
I’m glad that I am. See you next season?