The South Pembrokeshire Hunt hosted another wonderful Easter Monday Point to Point at Lydstep, pulling in a large crowd that came to enjoy the unique atmosphere and an exciting days racing in the sunshine.
The first race of the day was taken by the Amber Mathias trained Midnight Folie with Ben Jones on board; the pair made the running and appeared to make easy work of the race, coming home well clear of The Doc for Mickey Bowen and Peter Bryan in 2nd with Shrewd Tactics and Isabel Williams in 3rd. The 16yo Rosies Peacock, a former winner of 34 point to points was given an affectionate cheer by the crowd when coming home in 4th under Matthew Barber. Midnight Folie is described as 'A pleasure to do at home' and is regularly ridden out by Amber's mother in law Jan Mathias.
The biggest cheer of the day came following the Men's Open Race where Walkabout Creek and Ben Jones crossed the line a distance ahead of the favourite Don Bersy back in 2nd. Walkabout Creek's Owner/Trainer Dawn Smedley from Crymych, Pembrokeshire works full time as a school teacher and has done a wonderful job of sweetening up the 12yo to win in good style. This also gave talented young jockey Ben Jones a double on the day following on from his treble at Bonvilston the Saturday before, now putting him on 10 winners for the season.
Welsh rugby star Cory Hill who is one of the syndicate members that own Highway Jewel made the trip to Lydstep for the first time to watch the 4/9 favourite take the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate Race under Bradley Gibbs for trainer David Gibbs. The 5yo chestnut mare by Ask raced keenly from the start to finish 18 lengths ahead of Ruperra Tom and Jack Tudor in 2ndmaking it three wins from her last three starts between the flags.
The Ladies Open Race was taken by the impressive Hold Court and Isabel Williams, daughter of South Wales trainer Evan Williams. The pair hit the front three fences from the finish and were positive in front to finish 25 lengths ahead of PatricktomBoru and local jockey Jodie Hughes in 2nd with Tiger Rag and Anna Lewis a further 8 lengths back in 3rd. Isabel said she was 'Over the moon' with the consistent gelding trained by her Grandmother Mary Evans. The 12yo really showed his versatility and class as he took the very same race the year before in heavy, testing ground.
The Gareth Moore trained AirpurDesbois took the Open Maiden Race for 7yo's and over under Gloucestershire jockey James King, it was the closest finish of the day with runner up Italian Symphony and Byron Moorcroft only one and quarter lengths back in 2nd. Quick N' Easy finished in 3rd under novice rider Bobby Thomas.
The Open Maiden Race gave a delighted Will Harman his first winner as a trainer when 20/1 shot Tipalong Tyler partnered by Peter Bryan finished 12 lengths ahead of Ask Kate Lizzie. The 5yo mare stands at only 15.1hh but took to her first run over fences very well having previously run in two point to point flat races.
The last race of the day saw the Luke Price trained Holy Water and Byron Moorcroft win The Restricted Race 8 lengths ahead of Snow Puma and James King. Byron was confident about the 8yo gelding before the race and later described how he has 'Bags of speed'.
A big thank you is owed the land owners and volunteers who did a fantastic job of aerating and watering the course during this unseasonably dry spring to produce safe and even ground on the day. The Tivyside Hunt Committee will now be working tirelessly ahead of their point to point which see's us return to Lydstep again next Sunday 28th of April which promises to be another exciting days racing in West Wales.