APRIL 2004
by Brian & Gill Armstrong

The Seavington Hunt staged their point-to-point at Littlewindsor on Saturday. There was a first–ever win for 16-year-old rider George Fry, while current Men’s Championship leader, Ashley Farrant, rode a double, taking his seasonal total to 32.

The opening 2˝ mile Open Maiden race for 56&7yo went to odds-on favourite Lutteur Bleu, who made virtually all the running under Michael Miller. Lutteur Bleu was bought at St Cloud Breeze Up Sales last summer by John Boulter and Fern Wilkins, who train the horse at home at Milton Abbas.

The Hunt Members race was a family occasion as the two runners, The Earth Moved and Captain Random (who shared the Best Turned Out Award) were owned, trained and ridden by sisters Sally Godfrey and Jane Reed. Captain Random made much of the running, but after a sustained duel in the straight The Earth Moved just got the verdict by a short head. Sally, who received the winning trophy from her aunt, Jilly Cobden, bought the horse privately from Roger Penny two years ago

The Open Maiden race was won by Harjach, who made most of the running under Nadden Wilmington. The horse is one of three trained at Rousdon (near Lyme Regis) by Paul Phillips, who owns the horse in partnership with grandfather Edwin Phillips and Branscombe farmer Peter Reed. This was a welcome tonic for Edwin, currently recovering in hospital following a hip replacement operation.

Ashley Farrant got on the scoresheet when Red Native was a facile winner of the Men’s Open from only other rival Dale Creek. Red Native is trained by Richard Barber at his stables overlooking the course for brother-in-law Peter Maltby who described this as “a nice confidence booster” after the horse’s recent Wincanton Hunter Chase fall.

The Ladies’ Open went to Cento and Charlotte Stucley, who looked in control when the subsequently remounted Father Jim parted company with Charlotte Tizzard at the last. The horse is one of three owned and trained by solicitors Sarah and Nigel Faulks at their South Molton home. Sarah was keen to credit Julie Wing for all her help in the training of the horses.

The biggest cheers of the day were reserved for 16-year-old Sherborne schoolboy George Fry, who got up close home to take the Novice Riders race on Blackwater Brave. This was a first-ever win from just three rides for George, who did especially well to maintain the partnership when Blackwater Brave pitched on landing at the second last. Blackwater Brave is one of four horses owned and trained at Halstock by George’s parents, Richard and Caroline.  George’s brother Harry is currently recovering from a broken collarbone and should be back in action at the Cotley meeting on Bank Holiday Monday, May 3rd.

Ashley Farrant completed his double when the David Pipe-trained five-year-old Rose Of The Hill maintained his unbeaten record in the closing three runner Restricted race. Rose Of The Hill was  purchased by David at Tattersalls Ireland Sales in June 2003 from breeder Lady Earle, who was an interested spectator on Saturday.