by Lee Glanville

The biggest cheer of the day at the Mid Devon point to point at Blackforest Lodge, went up for Dartmoor master Michael Weir whose Ballyknock Rose won the second division of the maiden under Vanessa Shaw. All Weir's horses are hunted thoroughly by hunt staff and this mare is no exception.

A good crowd had watched Ashley Farrant and trainer David Pipe notch up a double with Polar Champ in the men's open and then Canterbury Jack, owned by PJ Finn, in the Restricted. Bishops Blade, Edward Retter's Wadebridge
winner, fell at the ditch on the last circuit, leaving course winner Bessie Bunter and Alpine Fugue to throw down the challenge, but Farrant was able to draw clear.

Jenny Congdon got off the mark for the season with a well-judged ride on her great old servant O So Bossy, who has lost none of his enthusiasm at 14 years old. The outsider of three, Congdon kept to the inner and made a break from Friar Waddon and Midnight Coup, at the top of the hill. They came back into contention but Congdon, who works for Philip Hobbs, was able to push again and win comfortably.

Ladies' national champion Polly Gundry opted for front running tactics on Sailor's Folly and led from pillar to post aboard Richard Kevin-Hughes' grey, trained on the edge of Dartmoor. She kept Berkeley qualified Sunburnt
back in second and Phoenix Phlyer ­ often a front runner with Charlotte Stucley ­ well held in third. 

Gundry's ride in the first division of the maiden, another for Kelvin Hughes, Mr Moondancer, will surely progress after
a lovely round which saw the Muhtarram five year old finish third to Johnsair, an eight year old by Un Desperado. He had finished a half length second in his last run at the Heythrop. Johnsair always had the edge over Coralinga but the pair were involved in a battle throughout, until the eventual winner stepped up a gear close home.

The course is ideal for Morris Piper (Richard Woollacott) who looked great in the paddock and proved his well being by winning the Intermediate decisively for trainer Rosemary Partridge, beating form horse Earls Toy into second place.

Results: Members': 1, O So Bossy, Miss J Congdon (6-1); 2, Midnight Coup, A Farrant; 3, Friar Waddon, C Heard. Three ran, 6l, 4l, 6.14.

Men's Open: 1, Polar Champ, A Farrant (fav); 2, Kingston Venture, J Barnes; 3, Ashbury Star, d Alers Hankey. Six ran, 5l, dist, 6.01.

Ladies' Open: 1, Sailors Folly, Miss P Gundry (5-4); 2, Sunburnt, Miss J Houldey; 3, Phoenix Phlyer, Miss C Stucley. Six ran, 10l 1/2l, 6.02.

Intermediate: 1, Morris Piper, R Woollacott (7-2); 2, Earl's Toy, H Fry; 3, Silver Pot Black, M Barber. Seven ran, 10l, 8l, 6.14.

Restricted: 1, Canterbury Jack, A Farrant (fav); 2, Alpine Fugue, Miss S Lewis; 3, Bessie Bunter, D Edwards. 11 ran, 10l, 2l, 6.10.

Maiden Div One: 1, Johnsair, G Perkins (9/4); 2, Coralinga, N Wilmington; 3, My Moondancer, Miss P Gundry. 13 ran, 4l, 20l, 6.16.

Div Two: 1, Ballyknock Rose,Miss V Shaw(9-1); 2, Gipsy Girl, R Stephens; 3, Smokey Joe, C Heywood. 10 ran, 5l, dist, 6.16.