Welsh ladies champion Lucy Rowsell, who was badly injured in a fall at the start of the season, came in for plenty of cheers when she landed the maiden race on Caroline Marles's Dagenham Yank at the well attended Monmouthshire Hunt Steeplechases last Saturday.
Her injuries were so bad that it was feared that she would not ride again but fearless Lucy, who had earlier finished third in her comeback ride on Club Royal in the ladies' open, made every post a winning one on the seven-year-old bay gelding to come home two lengths clear of Anshan's Dream. "That was just brilliant and what I have been waiting for” said Lucy on dismounting.
The ladies' open went to Steve Flook's Fantastic Champion who under Jodi Hughes took up the running approaching the second last fence to score by six lengths from the pacemaking Vanilla Man. Vanilla Man’s rider Rebecca Athay did really well to stay aboard until after passing the winning post after a mistake at the final obstacle.
Liam Payter, 24, took the men's open on Mrs Rae Jones's Loch Ennel who was winning for the third time this season. Loch Ennel led two fences from the finish to beat Euryalus by two lengths.
In the confined race, Bridgend's William Oakes picked up a spare ride on the outsider of three La Maestra and beat the odds-on favourite Buckland Boy by a distance after taking up the running three fences from home. The French-bred winning hurdler was a first training success for Jenna Day, 21, from Cwmbran, but the race lost a lot of its interest when the second favourite Ivanoph ran out when leading at the sixth fence.
Roger Weaver's homebred Another Bit, partnered by Rilly Goschen, made all to take the restricted by five lengths from the even money favourite Case Equal ridden by Chloe Roddick and Sophie Cornwell had a walk-over on Dawn Tranter's Waddon Hill in the members' race.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Tom David, 16, on chalking-up his first winner in just a handful of rides on Elizabeth Kulbicki's Tanmeya in a division of the maiden at the Ledbury meeting. Tom, who rides out for National Hunt trainer Evan Williams made all the running on the 10-1 outsider to beat former national champion rider Julian Pritchard. Tom's grandfather Jim Thomas was a successful rider between-the-flags as was his great grandfather Jack Thomas.
Jeanne Thomas's five-year-old Mr Worth, who is qualified with the Pentyrch Hunt, won a division of the maiden at the Ludlow. Enthusiasts whose memories go back to the 1960's will recall another good Welsh point-to-pointer of that name who used to be ridden by leading rider Bill Jones and can it be a co-incidence that there is also a horse called Bill Jones which is also qualified with the Pentyrch?
Cowbridge's James Tudor travelled to the Vale of Aylesbury and rode three winners Eastern Apple 3-1, Alliance Main 8-1 and Bering Gifts 1-3. The men's open race at the Ystrad & Taf Fechan next Saturday has been sponsored by Paddy Power and the winner qualifies for the £10,000 Volkswagen Touareg Final at Towcester on May 14. The first of the seven races is at 2.p.m.
A football match between West Wales and South Wales point-to-point jockeys will be held at Clarbeston Road, Haverfordwest, on April 22. Any past or present riders wishing to take part should contact Tom
Faulkner on 07834158222. Marc Barber will captain the West Wales side and Tom Faulkner the South Wales team. The money raised will go to the local injured jockeys' fund and after the match everyone will be meeting up at The Picton in Haverfordwest.
Members: Waddon Hill (Sophie Cornwell) walked over
Confined: La Maestra (William Oakes) 10-1
Men's Open: Lough Ennel (Liam Payter)1-3 fav.
Ladies' Open: Fantastic Champion (Jodi Hughes) 11-10 fav.
Restricted: Another Bit (Rilly Goschen) 12-1
Maiden: Dagenham Yank (Lucy Rowsell) evens fav.