BYERLEY BEAR has an excellent record at the Royal Cornwall Showground and notched up his fifth Ladies’ Open success of the season with another efficient display of sound jumping and front running in the AGA Ladies’ Open at Wadebridge. The nine-year-old stayed on strongly to beat King of Alcatraz with Wee Fly well held in third.

“He travels so well and picked up when I asked him,” reported Leanda Tickle, whose fine Cheltenham Foxhunter ride on Made in Time on the previous day had ended in a nasty fall at the second last. Byerley Bear’s owner Roger Knowles nominated the East Cornwall at Great Trethew as the next likely target in his quest for the National Leading Horse title.

Byerley Bear’s trainer Robert Chanin has another useful pointer in his yard in Welstonedruid, and this progressive six-year-old won for the fourth time this season with Ian Chanin in the saddle in the Confined.

Described as “uncomplicated” by his trainer, Welstonedruid was making up for his uncharacteristic fall at Didmarton last time. He had to survive quite a lengthy stewards’ enquiry however for possible interference on the run-in this time. The runner up Great Gusto was gradually closing before Bryony Frost switched the challenger 100 yards from home. It was deemed that the incident did not affect the result.

Bryony Frost went one better in the first Open Maiden on her father’s seven-year-old Sangram who was confirming the promise he had shown in Irish points. “I bought him from Gerald Penfold in Ireland and he has pleased in his home work”, said Jimmy Frost.

Sangram was being strongly pressed by Robbie Henderson’s mount Madam Be when she fell at the last, but Henderson took himself to the 10 winner mark for the season in the other section of the Maiden on Fivefortyfive, who stayed on strongly to make a successful racecourse debut. .Home bred by owner Julian Selby, this six-year-old is a half brother to the same owner’s useful Harry’s Farewell. Described as, “so green,” by the jockey, the Ed Walker trained gelding could have a bright future. “He was going to run last spring but he was babyish. He would have run here before Christmas but it was too soft so we have waited until now,” remarked the owner.

The secret of finding winners at Wadebridge lies in the “horses for courses” theory. Apart from Byerley Bear (five times) and Welstonedruid (twice), the Intermediate was fought out between Sobre Tresor and Lightening Jack, both of whom had been successful on the track two months ago. Given a patient ride by novice Taylor Pook, Sobre Tresor came out on top.

Sir Watty made all the running to take the Restricted under Darren Edwards, putting a couple of disappointing runs in the mud behind him. This was a popular success for Westcountry stalwart David Rogers whose colours have been familiar in the area for over 40 years. “He is a lovely horse at home, my retirement horse. I ride him all the time, except schooling,” reported the delighted owner who confided to being “nearly eighty.”

Jamie Thomas had followed his runner up spot on Lightening Jack with another second to Sir Watty on Ratline Rosie, but had lifted his seasonal total to six when getting Bellflower Boy home in the Men’s Open. This five runner event was reduced to two as the favourite Googoobarabajagal was pulled up approaching the final ditch where Almail fell and Ben Robarts was knocked from the saddle of Pauillac. The winner was the first success of the season for Culmstock based trainer Stuart Sampson. At least Ben Robarts, who was celebrating his birthday, gained some consolation since he owns the winner.


LIGHTENING JACK was backed from 5-2 to 6-4 favourite in the Intermediate but could not quite get on terms with SOBRE TRESOR who was receiving 5lbs. The Somerset trained winner was easy to back at 5-2 but readily made up for dislodging his young rider at Barbury and Charlton Horethorne.The Open Maiden was divided on the day with just eight runners in each section.

SANGRAM (4’s to 2’s) made a successful English debut for the Nikki Frost yard in the first division. His main rival proved to be the four-year-old MADAM BE (3’s to 13-8) who looked a big danger when falling at the last.


Results of the Western meeting


Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at


The following photographers were at the meeting: Bath Photographic (Marcus Bath), David ‘AGAman’ Simpson, Equus Prints (Stephen Wensley), presentation photos by Mike Smith and Wild Westcountry (Roy Kemp)


Sunday 23rd March, Lamerton Point-To-Point, Kilworthy (near Tavistock).