COUNTRYSIDE RACE DAY AT CHEPSTOW
WEDNESDAY 7 MAY 2003
by Alison Morris
The Countryside Race Day
ended in a light hearted note with a Charity race for “Non Jockeys”
riding qualified Point to
Pointers who had all been loaned for the day by generous owners. The race
was over a mile and a half with all obstacles omitted! Despite the fun
nature of the event it was taken seriously by all concerned, and attracted
some hefty betting. Jockeys included Tudor Harries who’s comeback,
according to the race card, rivalled Piggott’s; Jan Mathias, a mother of
two who had never ridden in a race before but who is from a family of
successful point to point trainers; Steve Hughes, a former PtP rider who
had lost plenty of weight for the race; and Keith Pearce successful permit
holder who was“ under intense pressure to hold up the standards set by
his daughters and their husbands”. The Countryside Alliance’s Director
In Wales Adrian Simpson was also having a crack, but had to hand his
mobile in at the start.
The most amusing aspect
of it all was the sight of the regular pilots, scurrying around carrying
tack and even washing horses down afterwards; now they know what it feels
like for the rest of us every weekend.
Debbie Hamer, whose husband Paul had provided one of his charges in Books Way , commented that she had never seen so many white faces before a race and Keith Pearce was reported to have been “To scared to speak” all afternoon. The battle was eventually won by Mr Pearce himself, with his own Ile Distinct, one which you could have picked from the form book anyway, had he not been potentially handicapped by his jockey! Minor honours went to Oo Ee Be (who liked the bends at Chepstow), Books Way and Tragic Belle. All winning owners were presented with Champagne and there was much celebrating in the Countryside Alliance suite afterwards.
This was such a popular event that many people have expressed an interest in having a go themselves, so hopefully it will be a regular feature on the Countryside card…may even have a go myself!!!