A beautiful Easter Monday saw a record estimated 15,000 gather at Lockinge for the 55 th Annual Old Berks Hunts’ Point-to-Point & Country Day. Thousands arrived to grace the morning sunshine with a walk around the course, as the cars kept arriving in droves.
According to Chairman of the Organising Committee Tony Constance, the crowds were up by 10% on last year with a rise in trade stands and food outlets on offer. Cars once again were forced to use the overflow parking area to cope with the sheer volume of visitors.
With temperatures soaring many sought refreshment at the beer tent, which became the focal social point for the younger generation, with the crowd spilling onto the hill for an ideal viewpoint of the finishing stretch.
Racing UK’s cameras covered the racing with Mark Johnson adding a thoroughly enjoyable and enthusiastic commentary for each race.
The first race, the The Kidson-Trigg OBH Members’, Subscribers’and Farmers’ Race, was won by Claire Matheson on Meandmrsjones, with a fine display of jumping to beat off the challenge of defending champion Tessa Good on Boyne Banks.
The standout performer of the day was Sam Waley-Cohen who rode both Menantol in The Bear at Wantage Intermediate Race and Lord Code in The Darbys International Restricted Race. He deservedly picked up the Stan Mellor Ride of the Day Award.
Justin Mort rode well to fend off Claire Matheson going for the double with victory on Mr Naborro in the James French 4x4 Countryside Alliance Club Members’ Race for Novice Riders. The VW Touareg Men’s Open Race was won by Sharlom, with Micky Harris on board. Gavin Hall on Moonlight Knight took home the spoils in the Motorworld Open Maiden Race.
Jessica Benfield on Red Pepper fought off the stiff competition in the first of the two Pinewood Perpetual Trophy Pony races. Sugar Plum, ridden by Emma Prest was a superb winner in the second Pony race beating Edward Sibbick on Longriver Lupin.
he Best Picnic competition returned with a vast array of spreads giving the judges a full stomach to ponder their decision. The winner this year was Helen Hall who lives near Swindon. Helen has been producing a picnic at Lockinge for 25 years, and according to her husband, spent 4 days in preparation, with a nettle quiche, and her ‘Evil Pate’ with Eton Mess, winning over the judges’ palette.