BLACK FOREST LODGE
by Lee Glanville
Those who missed the Mid Devon
Hunt point to point at Blackforest Lodge missed some good racing -
and the chance to support a small hunt at a time when funds are
Highlight of the card was a
competitive ladies' open race. Ladies' races used to be renowned
for their lickety split pace but fell out of favour with organising
hunts in the 90s as they were poorly supported and many featured
Mixed Opens instead, in a bid to gain more runners. Now, once
again, there is a resurgence of lady riders and trainers are keen
to run good horses under a lighter weight and there will be none
more competitive than the Mid Devon.
Charlotte Stucley set out in
front on her game multiple winner Phoenix Phlyer and soon had the
field spread eagled as they tried to keep on early terms. As the
race progressed four horses, Phoenix Phlyer, Hasten Bak (Lucy
Gardner), Colquhoun (Ollie Jackson) and Sailors Folly (Polly
Gundry) - all smart performers - broke almost two fences clear from
the other runners.
Ollie Jackson gradually crept
closer on Colquhoun and pounced to win close home in a time of five
minutes, 47 seconds.
Jackson had earlier trained the
winner of the men's open, Polar Champ who made light work of it
under Guy Weatherley, winning by 25 lengths.
Firm ground specialists are
currently making the most of conditions and Morris Piper skipped
round a course he loves under Richard Woollacott to land the
opening Confined race after a close finish with South Devon farrier
John Berwick's Bruthuinne.
It is not only local horses on
show at a point to point. All Eyez On Me ran well at the first
meeting at Blackforest Lodge and made a return journey from the
Albrighton Woodland Hunt - near Ludlow - to record a first winner
for rider Zoe Hammond in the Restricted. Zoe has a young family who
were all there cheering "Come on Mummy!" in the closing stages as
fellow long distance traveller, Another Bit (Adrian Wintle) from
the Berkeley Hunt, made a late challenge.
Highway Oak, who has shown form
on much softer ground, looked a picture in the paddock and ran a
great race under former national champion rider Leslie Jefford. The
race which was a qualifier for the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate
hunter chase final on May 11.
The Biddick family made the trip
from Cornwall pay off with a win for Foxy Judas in the 10 runner
maiden - a first winner of the season for up and coming rider, Will
Confined: 1, Morris Piper, R Woollacott; 2, Bruthuinne ( D
McKenna); 3, Wise Reflection, L Jefford. three ran, 1 1/2l, dist,
Men's Open: 1, Polar Champ, G
Weatherley; 2, Carbonado, R Shute; 3, Sol Music, L Jefford. Three
ran, 25l, dist, 6.02.
Ladies' Open: 1, Colquhoun, Mrs
O Jackson; 2, Phoenix Phlyer, Miss C Stucley; 3, Hasten Bak, Miss L
Gardner. Seven ran, 1l, 25l, 5.47.
Intermediate: 1, Highway Oak, L
Jefford; 2, Dante's Promise, G Maundrell; 3, Happy Team, Mrs O
Jackson.Six ran, 4l, 15l, 6.05.
Restricted: 1, All Eyez On
Restricted, Mrs Z Hammond; 2, Another Bit, A Wintle; 3, Frankly
Fear, W Biddick. Five ran, 2l, 1/2l, 6.13.
Open Maiden: 1, Foxy Judas, W
Biddick; 2, General Short, R Woollacott; 3, Can You Talk, L Rowe.
10 ran, 7l, 3l, 6.08.