There was plenty of action, thrills and spills as the first PRA pony race of the season got under way at the Mid Devon point to point at Black Forest Lodge.
Eight ponies went to post for both races with runners travelling from as far away as Shropshire to get an early run. The first race, for ponies 138cm and under, was held up a little when Angelic (Tamby Welch) set off at a gallop in the wrong direction, just as the ponies were about to start. She stopped at the top of the far hill and was led back by a mounted steward to rejoin the other runners. Best Turned Out pony Talponciau Perfect Print (Hamish Clarke) made the early running with the field bunched up behind but by the top of the far hill Tyler Heard on Richard Prince’s first time out five-year-old The Jobs Not Straight was in the lead. It is a long way from the finish there, especially on the holding ground, but he galloped on well, challenged by proven star Wee Anthony ( William Cox) who got his mount home by half a length with Fergus Gillard on Veno Star just four lengths third. There was an encouraging effort from My Golden Dream ( James Armstrong) in fifth and expect better from the headstrong Angelic next time out – she had probably run her race before the start.
The 148s were a competitive bunch, all looking for a good first run out on a long distance course. Predictably Total Eclipse was untroubled, giving William Cox a double, and won by 25 lengths but, fortunately her presence hadn’t put other runners off and they had a good race in behind for the placings.
In a blanket finish long time second Springs (Thomasina Eyston), having her best run for a while, was head to head with Hawksfield Flyer (Theo Gillard), eventually securing second, and Heavenly Rose (Jimmy Daly, eventual fourth, was battling with Mytoplot (Arron Butterfield).
Results of the Mid Devon Pony Races at Black Forest Lodge, Feb 2, soft ground:
1, Wee Anthony, William Cox;
2, The Jobs Not Straight, Tyler Heard;
3, Veno Star, Fergus Gillard;
4, Talponciau Perfect Print, Hamish Clarke (BTO);
5, My Golden Dream, James Armstrong;
6, Milly, Luca Morgan;
7, Angelic, Tamby Welch;
8, Oscar, Morgan Winstone.
Eight ran, 1/2l, 4l, 2.32mins.
1, Total Eclipse, William Cox;
2, Springs, Thomasina Eyston;
3, Hawkesfield Flyer, Theo Gillard;
4, Heavenly Rose, Jimmy Daly;
5, Mytoplot, Arron Butterfield;
6, Plym Steps, Michael Treneer;
PU Derwent Dream Dancer,
8 ran, 25l, hd, 3.34 mins
The next pony races are at Buckfastleigh on Feb 16. Entries to Ms C Heard, 12 Hone Terrace, Station Road, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, TA2 6BP by first post Saturday please. To find out more about pony racing go to www.ponyracingauthority.co.uk