Ed Kenney-Herbert, 27, rode his first winner for seven years on Duxy Hill Lady in the Men's Open at Ston Easton. Duxy Hill Lady and Humbel Origins (Nick Williams) had the race between them throughout the final circuit before Kim Tripp and Francis Read's nine-year-old mare forged clear from three out. "It's my first win since Choc at the Army at Larkhill in January 2004, but my third win in four rides at Ston Easton", said Ed, who works as a project manager installing 22 wind turbines on a Swedish wind farm.
Miss Midnight took her winning sequence to three in the Ladies' contest. Jenny Carr kept John and Greer Norman's Miss Midnight close to the pace before forging clear of long-time leader Triggernometry (Charlotte Tizzard) in the straight. "We intended to run her in a Newton Abbot Hunter chase, but she banged a fetlock so we came here", admitted Thornicombe trainer Mary Tory, who was keen to credit the organisers for their work preparing the course.
Redlynch first-season trainer Hugo Froud made a winning start with the Nick Williams-partnered Rushing Nature, who took the 2m 4f Maiden after Murtaad ejected Tigga Barnes at the last when upsides. "He's my only pointer, although I've several youngsters for next season", said Hugo, who worked as pupil assistant for two years at Brian Meehan's Manton yard. Hugo trains Rushing Nature for a 15-strong syndicate of former Bristol University friends organised by Charlie Vaughan-Fowler.
1961 National Champion Rider John Daniell was present to see his namesake cruise home in the Restricted. "The horse is the fifth generation of a family of winners that John has been involved with, so we rang him on the way to tell him to come here", said winning rider Amanda Bush.
Apprentice farrier Charlie Dando, 19, opened his account – "at about the 80th attempt", he felt – on Artistic Approach in the 3 mile Maiden. Owned and trained by Charlie's father David and his sister Lucy, Artistic Approach made all and stormed clear from the final chicane.
William Cox took the 138cm Pony Race on his 12-year-old Dipford Moon Walker, and in-form Harry Cobden and Calypso prevailed in a three-way battle up the straight for the 148cm contest.