Saturday 14th May 2005
by Stella Havard
The hard work put in by the Golden Valley hunt supporters was repaid when the crowds flocked to their point-to-point at Bredwardine.
The dismal weather forecast proved to be completely wrong as the sun shone for the eight races during the afternoon, and it was certainly a bright day for many locals.
Dorstone owner Neil Price celebrated his first ever winner when Fencethegap (Rob Hodges) sprinted clear of Highbridge (Patrick Crozier) and Epic Duel (P Haynes) to land the competitive Hunt race. The gelding is trained by Neil’s girlfriend, Jane Lloyd, and was also the first winner she has sent out from her small stable.
Herefordshire-based pilot, Dave Mansell partnered a memorable double with Somerset raider Lucky Wyn and Arrow’s Gold, the latter a welcome change of luck for the hard-working Ivington trainer, Mark Doyle.
Talented rider, Nick Oliver is never one to sing his own praises, but his prowess in the saddle is unmistakable, and his unexpected winner on the Caroline Walker-trained Spicey Case sealed the Welsh Border Area Championship for him. It also took him to jointly head the table for the Mark Richards Trophy, which was later presented in the late rider’s memory by his father, David Richards. Mark, a leading amateur rider in the 1980’s, was tragically killed during military training manoeuvres at a very tender age, and left a great gap in the lives of all who knew him.
Emma James also signed off a successful Welsh Border season with an emotional victory on Ron Miel, a first winner for owner Rose Senter, trained by her son Paul. Emma now retains her Leading Lady Rider trophy.
The Brightwells Confined Championship Race was almost a fairy tale outcome for the 16-year old Go Go Gallant, who lived up to his name under Helen Grundy, and made every yard of the running to just be pipped by Totland Bay (Tim Weston), who is nine years his junior.
The brilliant day was shadowed by rider Tim Lane taking a crashing fall at the last fence with Dazzling Jim. The horse galloped away unscathed, but Tim was airlifted to Hereford Hospital with suspected spinal injuries. A CT scan later revealed three cracked vertebrae.