“Memories are like antiques, the older they are the more valuable they became.”
During this difficult time with all point-to-pointing cancelled for the season, I am putting together a few articles about past Devon & Cornwall race meetings on to our website to keep us going. I hope to bring to life some past memories and perhaps provide a flavour of how things were in days gone by.
Since the first area fixture to be scuppered by the coronavirus was the Lamerton last Sunday, we start with a Lamerton meeting at Kilworthy 49 years ago (27th March 1971).
I hope that readers of a certain age (if indeed there are any readers) will remember some of the horses and jockeys involved. I was actually at the Pytchley meeting at Guilsborough, Northants that day watching such jockeys as Dick Saunders, John Docker, Peter Hobbs and Bill Tellwright in action.
Lamerton at Kilworthy 27 March 1971;
1 Devon Rock (Frank Ryall)
2 Jocrow (D Moore)
3 Ireland’s Joy (R Edwards)
4 ran; 2l; dist; SP 2-5fav
1 Trewithett (Mrs Rame Fell)
2 Clyderound (Miss E Pinsent)
3 Warrior Prince (Miss J Blight)
11 ran; 1l 1/2l; SP 3-1 jt fav
1 Golden Batman (Tony Hartnoll)
2 Delia’s Diadem (C Micklem)
3 Barn Dance (M Williams)
5l; 12l; SP 6-4 jt fav
1 Sea Spirit (Hendrik Wiegersma)
2 Victory Spirit (Col CR Spencer)
3 Barter’s Peice (W Dennis)
11ran; SP 6-4 jt fav
Adjacent Hunts’ Maiden
1 Rummy Hand (Tim Le C Grice)
2 Merry Lord (TJ Harris)
3 Miss Cosmo (N Lethbridge)
9 ran; 2l; dist; SP 6-1
Only five races for us lucky race readers in those days! Just illustrates the good value of today’s point-to-points. When I first went to Kilworthy in the late 1970’s I remember immediately after jumping the last fence there was a very sharp right hand turn before a stiff run in below the car park along the bottom of the field of about 150 yards.
The 1971 Men’s Open winner Sea Spirit (by Spiritus) was a useful performer qualified with the Taunton Vale owned by Peter Blackburn. He also scored at the Tetcott at Crimp Morwenstow that season. Victory Spirit, qualified with Spooners & West Dartmoor, was also by Spiritus and enjoyed a remarkably consistent career from 1964 until retirement in 1973, winning 26 point-to-points and two hunter chases from 53 starts. Barbers Peice (funny spelling and his sire Cinecolor had changed hands for only 65 gns as a three-year-old) also won the Stevenstone Members’, the Torrington Farmers Members and the South Tetcott Moderate in 1971.
The Ladies’ Open winner Trewithett went on to win the Spooners Ladies’ easily and went well for Rame Fell. He was a strong stayer and a far better horse on long tracks like Kilworthy, where he won three times. The runner up Clyderound stayed on to get within one length of the winner. She was a soft ground specialist at tracks like Buckfastleigh and Tehidy. The Tetcott gelding Warrior Prince was useful on his best form and went well for his rider Jill Blight (now Jill Dennis).
Golden Batman won eight of his 13 races in 1971 , including an unbeaten hat trick at Buckfastleigh. His regular rider Anthony Hartnoll finished seventh in the 1971 National jockeys table. Delia’s Diadem was a genuine mare winning three of her four points in 1971, with Charles Micklem taking over from the late Joan Depree. She led at the last in this race at Kilworthy before being outpaced by the winner. Barn Dance had won a few times on the flat in his early days but was probably past his best by 1971.
Frank Ryall needs little introduction to local followers. He was in the twilight of his career by 1971. His career total of 218 point-to-point winners has only been surpassed today by a handful of riders. He owned his Hunt race winner Devon Rock who was a bit one paced, but followed up in his Members’ the following year.
The Maiden race looked fairly moderate but the winner Rummy Hand went on to win the Dartmoor & Modbury Harriers Members’ at Buckfastleigh later in 1971 where the going was published as firm to hard. He later developed into a useful point-to-pointer winning races under Janine Evans ( later Janine Mills) and subsequently took a hunter chase at Haldon ridden by Anthony Mildmay-White. He even ran in a Cheltenham Foxhunters but was past his best by then.
“Hunter Chasers and Point-to-Pointers”
“Horse and Hound Year book”