The South Durham Hunt hosted the final point-to-point of the Yorkshire season at Howe Hills, Mordon on Saturday 14th May and although there were some small fields the crowd certainly witnessed some of the most exciting finishes of the season.
Racing started with the Burnetts four, five and six year olds Open Maiden Race, run over the shorter distance of 2m4f. There were three runners in the race who were tightly grouped from start to finish, however, over the final fence, Midnight In Venice and Thats Digby had pulled clear of Fouroclock Fox ridden by Holly Patton, making her debut for boss Chris Dawson. It was neck and neck all the way to the line with Midnight In Venice prevailing by a neck under Nick Orpwood and the Joe Wright partnered Thats Digby coming home in second. Fouroclock Fox completed to take third.
George F White sponsored the Hunt race which was a match between Colorado Kid and Kilmacallogue Bay. Once again the crowd were holding their breathe as the pair came hammer and tongs down the hill, matching strides all the way. As Kilmacallogue Bay ridden by Emma Yardley wandered off his line slightly, Colorado Kid and Tom Hamilton took advantage to win by a neck.
Know The Rules has been knocking on the door all season and he finally got his head in front in the Latimer Hinks Mens Open race. Again the field of three had been racing closely together but Richard Smith drove his mount out to the line to win by a length from Billing and Nick Orpwood with Sportingfriendship finishing third for Will Easterby.
Jacqueline Coward, who claims to be retiring at the end of the season, won her last race in Yorkshire in the Hewitts Solicitors Ladies Open partnering My Old Piano who was winning his 31st race. My Old Piano was, as usual, held up at the rear of the field and in the tightest finish of the day it was a pair of 14 year olds fighting for victory with Ask Bobby who had made all finishing a short head back in second under Amy Waugh. Blackthirteen came home third for Jess Gillam.
The Nortonthorpe Industrial Park Ltd Restricted Race went the way of On Vacation ridden by John Dawson. The gelding looked as though he was capable of more when winning his maiden earlier in the season and proved so here to win from long time leader Mr Bingley and Tristan Davidson. Barton Jubilee had been running well for Christy Furness but faded into third.
In the Paxtons Confined Hunts Race Nodform Richard made the journey from the Midlands for jockey Tom Strawson worth the while when the pair landed this by the biggest margin of the day of 10 lengths. Roll The Dice came home second for Jacqueline Coward with TC Spitfire, the only other runner finishing third for Tristan Davidson.
The biggest field of the day was the Open Maiden Race kindly sponsored by Par Petroleum and Midnight Milly continued to build on her recent promise to land this under leading novice rider, Christy Furness. Follow The Pals came home in second under Amy Waugh with Lonely Soldier, another front runner finishing third for Joe Wright.
The days' results did nothing to affect the championship titles with long time leaders Jacqueline Coward winning the White Rose Saddlery Ladies Championship and William Easterby taking the Strutt & Parker Gentlemans championship. Amy Collier won the ladies novice title in only her first season and Christy Furness landed the mens equivalent, both sponsored by Cundalls. William Easterby's family had more success with their own Greensalt winning both the novice and open horse award, sponsored by Northern Bookmakers which contributed to Sarah Easterby becoming the J. G Burnell Electrical Leading Owner.
The Yorkshire point-to-point fraternity will be getting together again on Sunday 5th June at an 'End of Season Bash' at Mill House Farm, Bulmer, YO60 7TP, featuring a golf putting competition. Tickets are £15 and can be purchased from Sam Coward, Amanda Sunter or Sue Mason.