WEST SOMERSET VALE
SATURDAY 10 APRIL 2004
by Brian & Gill Armstrong
The West Somerset Vale Hunt held its annual point to point
meeting at Cothelstone, near Taunton, on Saturday. 53 horses contested the
The opening Hunt race went to Miss Karingaroo, who asserted
after the last under 21-year-old Seale-Hayne Agricultural College student
William White. This was a first-ever winner for owners Andrew Pope and Julie
Pocock from Stolford on the Somerset coast and was a real family occasion as
the horse was led up by Andrew’s 17-year-old daughter Becky.
Kildysart Lady led approaching the last to take the
Restricted race. This was a ninth career win for rider Ben Woodhouse, 22,
who works as a pupil assistant to Richard “Johnson” White at Philip
Hobbs’ Bilbrook stables. Kildysart Lady is owned and trained at Enmore by
Charlotte Budd, who bought the horse from Chris and Sue Popham two years
ago. Charlotte will be familiar to many readers as Charlotte Brew, the first
lady to ride in the Grand National, on Barony Fort in 1977.
Sir William took the Mixed Open, leading five out under
Richard Woolacott and holding the persistent challenge of Gladiatorial by
two lengths. Sir William, who had received back treatment since his last
run, is trained at South Molton by Emely Thompson and was winning his sixth
race for retired South Molton farmer Richard Westacott, who bought the horse
from breeder Len Bond after seeing him run in a Mounsey Hill Gate
point-to-point four years ago.
The Novice Riders Intermediate race went to Polka to give
21-year-old Wembdon rider Jo Buck the third win of her career. Polka is
owned and trained at Fitzhead near Bishops Lydeard by semi-retired farmer
Gerald Greenway, who bought the horse from Percy Norman while enjoying a
drink at the 2001 Tiverton point-to-point at Chipley Park. Polka will now be
aimed at the Devon & Somerset Staghounds Members race before running in
a Newton Abbot Novices Hunters Chase.
The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members’ race was won
by Rhythm King and Godfrey Maundrell, who led throughout the last circuit
and, despite hanging, held the renewed challenge of early leader Father Jim
by a length. Rhythm King was bought out of Jim Old’s yard in September
2003 and was a ninth win of the season for Godfrey and an eighth from just
four horses for first-season trainer Paul Thompson, 30, who is based at
Godfrey’s Marlborough stables.
Division One of the Open Maiden race was won impressively by
So Peaceful who was in the van throughout and forged well clear under Robert
Stephens. This was a first-ever winner for Wootton Courtenay trainer Belinda
Powell and for her partner Ian Stephens and mother Sue Jones, who bought the
horse from Robert Pocock after the 2002 point-to-point season.
Darren Edwards took Division Two of the Open Maiden race on
Lady Widd, trained by Sue Popham just a mile from the course at West
Bagborough. Lady Widd was bought at Doncaster in 2003 for “The Friends of
Eddy Hall”, a 20-strong syndicate of Millfield Prep School teachers and
their families and friends headed by Tim Harris. The syndicate derives its
name from Edgarley Hall, the original name of the school.