Brian Armstrong, Horse & Hound’s point-to-point correspondent, has died after a long illness. He was 62.
Armstrong, who lived in Somerset and shared the role of press officer for the Wessex Area with his wife, Gill, was not only a talented writer, but also a photographer whose pictures were a feature of the magazine’s point-to-point and hunter chase coverage. He had become correspondent in 2007.
For the past two seasons he had defied the debilitating effects of cancer and continued to report from meetings, and over many years had gained the respect of owners, trainers, riders and officials, particularly in the West Country where he rarely missed a fixture.
Clare Hazell, chief executive of the Point-to-Point Authority, said: “Brian was a popular member of the point-to-point circuit, whose reporting was always accurate and entertaining. In spite of his illness he continued to attend meetings from the first day of the season until the last. He clearly loved the sport, but gave so much back in his reports.
Britain’s 2014/15 point-to-point season is to be celebrated in style at a stunning new venue and with a record-breaking champion to honour.
The Four Pillars Hotel, a lakeside location within Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire, is to be the stage for the National Awards Dinner and Dance, which takes place on Saturday, November 14, during Cheltenham’s Open Meeting. The effervescent ‘At The Races’ presenter Luke Harvey, is to host the glittering event.
Heading a star cast of champions and winners from the past season will be Will Biddick, who smashed the British record for victories in one season, taking the previous best of 56 to a new high of 68 wins.
Cornishman Biddick has won the Fuller’s Brewery Leading men’s title for the past four years, while Gina Andrews, will step up to receive the women’s championship for the second time after a four-year gap – her sister, Bridget, now a conditional jockey, was the previous season’s champion.
16 year old, Harry Cobden, now a conditional jockey with champion jumps trainer, Paul Nicholls will receive the Fuller’s Brewery male novice riders’ prize, while Lara Mahon, takes the Fullers Brewery female novices’ award.
Cobden will also receive a share of the Connolly’s RED MILLS champion point-to-pointer award, which goes jointly to his horse Cock of The Rock and to Rosie’s Peacock, owned, trained and bred by David Llewellyn. Both horses won seven times last season. Jack Barber and Rachael Green – who has since become Mrs Anthony Honeyball – will share the Connolly’s-sponsored trainer’s title, while Nick Wright, who is chairman of the Point-to-Point Racing Company, gains the champion owner award.
Other prizes on the night include the Jockey Club Leading Novice Mare award, for which the £500 prize this year goes to Audrey Goodwin the owner of Miss Gotaway. Mickey Bowen, Ciaran Gethings and Claire Hart respectively pick up the Point-to-Point Racing Company-sponsored champion hunter chase trainer and rider honours.
Tickets costing £80 a head are available from the Point-to-Point Authority, so book your seat and be part of a celebration of Britain’s point-to-point champions and a great party.
Further information from the Point-to-Point Authority: 01793 781990