Category Archives: Granville Taylor

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – SILVERTON POINT-TO-POINT

With the new point-to-point season fast approaching, here is another personal reminiscence, this time from Silverton Hunt fixtures past to whet the appetite for exciting days soon to come.

Baily’s Hunting Directory records Silverton Huntinformation from 1863. The Master then was Mr T Webber who held that esteemed office until 1895. According to my records, the first point-to-pointheld by the Silverton was on 23 March 1923 at Newton St Cyres. They raced there from 1923 until 1929 when the fixture was transferred to Shobrookenear Crediton.

Shobrooke was a stiff Devon track, right-handed with some plough and a long, hard pull up to the finish. The Silverton meeting was held at that coursefrom 23 March 1929 until their last fixture there on 3 April 1971, with a break in the war years. It becamea joint meeting with the Tiverton in 1964.Their final combined meeting at Shobrooke in 1971 saw wins in the saddle for Fred Rawle and Grant Cann, but Martin Pipe could only finish runner up ridingFaberstown in the Members’. Mr Pipe went on to carve out a successful career as a trainer!

There was no Silverton fixture in 1972, but on 28 March 1973 the point-to-point went it alone and moved to the East Devon course at Hayes Barton, Clyst Honiton.

The next move was to Thorverton in 1978. I remember going there in 1985 for the final meeting at that course. Chris Down rode a double on Holcombe Lass and Macnab’s Quest, as did Philip Scholfield on Sandsprite and Harvest Hymn. Sara Luxton won the Ladies’ on Isotip, and Philip Rawlerode Dull Light to win the Men’s Open. These were the good old days for us race readers with never more than five or six races.

In 1986 yet another move took the Silverton to Haldon. I must confess that personally I never enjoyed point-to-point racing on the inside of Haldonracecourse, although I had a good view for race reading from the pigeon loft which was the judge’s box in the centre of the course.  I had been used to National Hunt racing at “Devon and Exeter” (who changed it to “Exeter”?). Admittedly some good point-to-point racing ensued at Haldon with generally decent fields, but there were some funny results including in 1992 when a long odds-onfavourite was beaten after a questionable ride. I remember the brilliant Proud Son winning on his debut the following year. He later went on to win the Horse and Hound Cup. In addition such good Ladies’ horses such as Khattaf and For A Lark did their stuff at Haldon over the years.

And so the fixture was taken on to Black Forest Lodge in 1997. There are plenty of good memories of the fixtures at Black Forest Lodge on the Earl of Devon’s land which was a proper point-to-point course with the benefit of quick draining soil. At the early season fixture horses came from Wales and the Midlands which led to competitive racing. My racereporting always saw me on the hill side overlooking the last fence where the whole action could be seenwith a good pair of binoculars. There was only a single occasion when fog descended which forced me to go down between the last fence and the penultimate to see anything of the action. 

As 18-year-old Rachael Blackmore trudged back after her fall from Cheekyrun   in the Silverton Open Maiden on 27 March 2010,  nobody would have dreamt that the young Irish novice jockey would eventually become the first female to ride the winner of the Grand National. This is a true story however and Devon owner/trainer Gordon Chambers readily recalled the occasion, “Yes, Rachael was just getting started. I bought two horses from Ireland from a pal of mine which were ready to run and part of the deal was he would bring them over and stay with me and see them run, and could he also bring over a young girl who had been riding out for him and if I thought she was good enough could she ride them over here. She was very keen and had not had many opportunities. Having watched her, I thought she was good enough !”

It was a shame that this popular viewing course,superbly prepared under  Clerk of the Course Norman Chanin, should be lost for good after the 2018 season. The intention for the Hunt to race at the new Dunsmore, Silverton course was thwarted by the pandemic, although the closely associated DunsmoreClub managed an initial meeting there in November 2019.

Let’s hope that Dunsmore proves a successful new home. The Club meeting this season is on Sunday 14 November. The new season opens on Saturday 30 October at Ottery St Mary with the East Devon fixture.

GRANVILLE TAYLOR

Acknowledgments:

Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers, Sale & MacKenzie ,various years

.Baily’s Hunting Directory

The Continuing Story of Point-to-Point Racing, Michael Williams

Mr Michael Kutapan – Point to Point History & Research( Jumping For Fun web site)

The Pointer (David Coulton

Footnote:

A big gelding called Native Trail won a division of the Silverton Adjacent Hunts’ Maiden in 1983 with Jimmy Frost in the saddle. 

The unbeaten top rated two-year-old of 2021, Native Trail, won the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last week to become favourite for next year’s Derby. It looks as though Godolphin has stolen the name.

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES: TIVERTON FOXHOUNDS POINT-TO-POINT

To whet the appetite for the rapidly approaching newpoint-to-point season, I am pleased to add anotherreminiscence from the Devon & Cornwall area to the collection I wrote during the first COVID lockdown .

The original set of reminiscences was designed as aseries solely in lieu of local meetings lost in the midst of website COVID restrictions from March until June 2020, hence a number of hunts were not covered. One of those not covered was the Tiverton Foxhounds, which has now found a regular home at Chipley Park. It was not always so, since the meeting has had several venues over the years.

For those interested in the history of the Tiverton Foxhounds point-to-point, it stretches back well over a century. The early Foxhounds fixtures in the late 19th century were shared together with Sir John Amory’s Staghounds and Sir John Amory’s Harriers

Joint fixtures with the Staghounds continued until the first world war (1914) at such locations as Peadhill ,Tiverton and Holmead. No further fixtures were held after that war until 1921. 

The re-start on 9th April 1921 saw a combined meeting between the Tiverton Hunt and the Tiverton Staghounds at Peadhill.  This combination transferred their point-to-point to Pileywell, near Tiverton, in 1924 and continued at that venue until the last meeting before the second world war on 22ndApril 1939. The Devon Yeomanry joined the combined hunts meeting in 1935 and 1936. Roderick Heathcoat-Amory (Sir Ian’s son) rode his own horse Lightning to win the 1937 Members’ race at Pileywell    

The Tiverton Foxhounds held their first independent fixture on 12th April 1947 (after snow had covered the whole country that winter). Cullompton was the venue and remained so until it closed after the fixture held on 6th April 1957. I don’t have many facts about the course at Cullompton. 

They raced at at Shobrooke from 1958 until 1963. Shobrooke was a very stiff, undulating course with some drop fences and plough thrown in for good measure. It was right-handed with a long hard pull up to the finish .

No meetings were held after 1963 until 22nd April 1972, when Halberton Court became the new venueuntil it was closed in 1982. This is where I come in if you will forgive a few personal anecdotes because I was there on March 7th 1981 in a press capacity (my goodness was it really 40 years ago). I remember the day mostly because I had to be towed off the track in deep mud, very kindly by the point-to-point secretary .

I had to resort to the form book to recall that Robert Chanin rode the Hunt race winner on Trig Point, beating Grant Cann on the favourite Spider Legs.The evergreen gelding Devon Spirit and Keith Pookwon the Adjacent Hunts’, just one of that gallantgelding’s six victories that season at the age of 16.Wiener Chic and Sue Reynard beat Moonstep (Pip Fisher) and Gay Express (Biddy Peck) in the Ladies’,and Lucky Friday, won the Open under his owner/trainer Andrew Congdon from the Torrington Farmers’

I do remember that the going was really heavy that day and True Member with Kevin Bishop in the saddle beat a big field in the Restricted. Some well known local riders figured in the last which was the Adjacent Hunts Maiden (whatever happened to Adjacent Maidens?). Honey Jump relished the deep ground under Martyn Keenor to beat Fabulous Spirit (George Turner) and Sandsprite (Philip Scholfield) in a very slowly run race. 

Not quite the end of the day because there was still time for Grant Cann and Oliver Carter to inform “the press” – me- that Grant was about to announce hisretirement from the saddle (perhaps because he was beaten on the Hunt race jolly) . Fortunately I took their tale that day with a pinch of salt and ignored it. Grant’s eventual retirement was forced upon him four years later when a freak accident ended his excellent career with a total of 217 point-to-point winners behind him.

That turned out to be the last ever meeting at Halberton Court, and the point-to-point was abandoned the next season. In 1983 a new era began at Bishop’s Court, Ottery St Mary, where divisions of the Men’s Open, Ladies’ Open and Adjacent Maiden meant a nine-race card. Winning riders that day included Jimmy Frost on Flying Camel (“more camel than flying”, relates the form book), Polly Curling, Janine Mills, nee Evans, (riding one of my favourite horses of all time Silver Ransome), Stuart Kittow, Peter Hobbs and the aforementioned Grant Cann

The Tiverton said goodbye to Ottery after the 1987 season, moving to Stallenge Thorne near Milvertonfor a Wednesday afternoon  fixture the following year. What a shame these popular, well attended weekday point-to-point meetings do not figure in the modern fixture list. The Tiverton Foxhounds spent 12years at that excellent track on farmland hosted by Ken and Caroline Nicholas. Sadly Ken passed away recently.

I remember Stallenge Thorne as a demanding left handed track with good fences and reasonable viewing. One of the best pointers to win there would have been Earthmover who won the Ladies’ Open under Polly Curling prior to going on to two Cheltenham Foxhunter victories.

Modern day West country point-to-point followerswill be familiar with Chipley Park, near Wellington,and handy for the M5 ,which has hosted the fixture since 2000. Chipley is a right handed course with a steady incline to the finish up a dog leg home straight which favours staying types, and seems to attract big fields. Several Welsh trained and Midland based runners turn up every year and after race schooling seems to attract a cast of thousands. It is a very fair, good viewing course, but the bend at the bottom of the track can get boggy in wet weather. The 2021 meeting was lost to the COVID lockdown. 

The Chipley Park date for the diary this season is Sunday 23rd January 2022, meanwhile we look forward to welcoming back point-to-pointing at Ottery St Mary on Saturday 30th October with the East Devon meeting.

GRANVILLE TAYLOR

Acknowledgments:

Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers, Sale & MacKenzie ,various years

The Point-to-Point Calendar 1937-38, Arthur W Coaten

The Continuing Story of Point-to-Point Racing, Michael Williams

Mr Michael Kutapan – Point to Point History & Research( Jumping For Fun web site)

The Pointer (David Coulton)

DEVON & CORNWALL AREA AWARDS 2021

DEVON & CORNWALL AREA AWARDS 2021

Awards in accordance with p45 of The Planner 2020/21

LEADING LADY RIDER

J G Kellock Memorial Challenge Trophy

Chloe Emsley

Ladies Open winner Board Of Trade ridden by Chloe Emsley (left) in a hard-fought battle with Southfield Theatre ridden by Lily Bradstock
Ladies Open winner Board Of Trade ridden by Chloe Emsley (left) in a hard-fought battle with Southfield Theatre ridden by Lily Bradstock

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDER

Peter Pearn Memorial Challenge Cup

Darren Edwards

Race winner Port O'Clock, ridden by Darren Edwards
Four Burrow Point-To-Point. Conditions race winner Port O’Clock, ridden by Darren Edwards. From Trebudannon on 24th April 2021.

LEADING NOVICE RIDERS:

LADY

Charlotte Summersby

Eric The Third, ridden by Charlotte Summersby
Four Burrow Point-To-Point. RoR & The Jockey Club conditions race winner Eric The Third, ridden by Charlotte Summersby. From Trebudannon on 24th April 2021.

GENTLEMAN

Conor Houlihan

LEADING TRAINER: MORE THAN FIVE HORSES

Dean Summersby

FIVE HORSES OR LESS

H J Widdicombe Memorial Challenge Trophy

John Heard

LEADING OWNER

G K Probert Perpetual Challenge Cup

Not So Innocent Partnership

OWNER / RIDER MOST POINTS ONE HORSE

Silver Ransome Perpetual Challenge Cup

Holly-Anne Drowne – Quinto

Holly Anne-Drowne riding Quinto at the 2021 Eggesford point-to-point
Holly Anne-Drowne riding Quinto at the 2021 Eggesford point-to-point

LEADING VETERAN RIDER

Orchard Perpetual Challenge Cup

Darren Edwards

OWNER OF LEADING HORSE

Axminster Carpets Perpetual Challenge Cup

Not So Innocent Partnership – Where’s Wilma

Race 2: Intermediate winner Where's Wilma, ridden by Matt Hampton, jumping the last
Race 2: Intermediate winner Where’s Wilma, ridden by Matt Hampton, jumping the last

OWNER OF LEADING NOVICE HORSE

Little Vanity Perpetual Challenge Cup

Dean Summersby, Rita Underhill & Ruth Burrow – Party Tunes

Four Burrow Point-To-Point

OWNER OF LEADING MARE

Cornish Princess Perpetual Challenge Cup

Not So Innocent Partnership – Where’s Wilma

Conditions (Division 1) winners Bridge Of Spies (centre, blue and purple silks) and Where's Wilma (far side, blue and maroon silks) who couldn't be split at the line, with the judge declaring a dead-heat verdict
Conditions (Division 1) winners Bridge Of Spies (centre, blue and purple silks) and Where’s Wilma (far side, blue and maroon silks) who couldn’t be split at the line, with the judge declaring a dead-heat verdict

OWNER OF LEADING VETERAN HORSE (12 YEARS & OVER)

Anjuba Perpetual Challenge Trophy

Emma Summersby, N Banks, T Hughes, Belinda Fuller – Honest Deed

OWNER / BREEDER OF LEADING HORSE BRED IN THE AREA

Seal Marine Perpetual Challenge Trophy

Lucinda Tylor – Jimmy Snipe

RIDER GAINING MOST POINTS AT A SINGLE MEETING

Prideaux Horse Perpetual Challenge Trophy

Darren Edwards 14 points at Four Burrow

RIDER OF WINNER WITH LONGEST SP

Devon & Cornwall Bookmakers Perpetual Challenge Trophy

Darren Andrews – Jimmy Snipe Dulverton West Maiden – 33-1

WESTERN MORNING NEWS TROPHY

To be announced

Any queries to Awards Co-ordinator Granville Taylor

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Preview: East Devon Point-To-Point at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary – Saturday 30th October 2021
With Pointing getting underway on it's annual Autumnal start this Saturday, the …
GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – SILVERTON POINT-TO-POINT
With the new point-to-point season fast approaching, here is another personal reminiscence, …
2021-22 Fixtures
GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES: TIVERTON FOXHOUNDS POINT-TO-POINT
To whet the appetite for the rapidly approaching newpoint-to-point season, I am …

RESULTS – TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS 6TH JUNE

GOING GOOD TO FIRM

HUNT RACE (SPONSOR WINSTON PINCOMBE LAND ROVERS)

  1. Dr Rhythm (Martin McIntyre) evens fav in touch, jumped well, led 16th, stayed on, comf
  2. Broughtons Rhythm (Fionn Summers) 7-1 went 2nd 16th, chased winner, kept on
  3. Oscar Lantern (Ella Herbison) 14-1 well in touch, 4th two out, stayed on to take 3rd flat

8 ran; 4l; 18l; 5m 48s

OPEN MAIDEN (RIVERSIDE CARAVAN PARK)

  1. Bennys Miracle (Rob Hawker) 7-1 alwys prom, hdwy 15th, effort two out, led flat, kept on well
  2. Mad for Action (Abigail Lewis) 14-1 led 2nd, hampered bend apprg 11th, led again 14th til headed flat
  3. Top Cliche (Jake Bament) 20-1 midfield, stayed on without troubling leaders

12 ran; 4l; 8l; 5m 52s

INTERMEDIATE (SAUL KIDSTON, EXMOOR HAY & STRAW LTD)

  1. Awesome Tunes (Darren Edwards) 9-2 jumped left, led to 15th & again three out, driven clear flat, gamely
  2. Largy Mountain (James King) 1-2 fav held up midfield, hdwy 14th, challenged & every chance two out, no extra flat
  3. Rien du Tout (Darren Andrews) 8-1 in touch, went 3rd three out, stayed on flat without troubling leaders

10 ran; 3 1/2l; 2l; 5m45s

MEN’S OPEN (SID TARR MEMORIAL CUP)

  1. Los Alamos (James King) evens fav chased ldrs,5th three out, strong run to lead flat, driven out
  2. River Myth (Darren Andrews) 4-1 tracked ldrs, hdwy 16th, every chance last, no extra nr finish
  3. Eric the Third (Jake Bament) 6-1 prom, led three out til after last, kept on one pace

10 ran; 2 1/2l; 1 ½ l ; 5m 43s

LADIES’ OPEN (GREENSLADE TAYLOR HUNT)

  1. Moscow Prices (Lucy Mager) 7-4 held up in touch, hdwy 13th, led 16th, ridden out
  2. Mahler Style (Ella Orttewell) 7-1 in touch, every chance three out, outpaced, fin well
  3. Wotzizname (Megan Bevan) 5-4 fav behind, hdwy 13th, effort to challenge three out, every chance next, no extra flat

10 ran; 7l; 1l; 5m 42s

RESTRICTED (TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES COMPANY LTD)

  1. Fan Club Aulmes (James King) 2-1 fav held up in touch, went 3rd 14th, smooth hdwy to lead apprg last, edged left flat, stayed on
  2. O’Faolains Lad (Charlie Sprake) 11-2 led, mistake 13th, headed apprg last, kept on flat
  3. The Dartmoor Rose (Darren Andrews) 6-1 in touch, went 2nd, 15th, outpaced apprg last, kept on one pace flat

10 ran; 2 1/2l; 2 1/2l ; 5m 49s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Preview: East Devon Point-To-Point at Bishops Court, Ottery St Mary – Saturday 30th October 2021
With Pointing getting underway on it's annual Autumnal start this Saturday, the …
GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – SILVERTON POINT-TO-POINT
With the new point-to-point season fast approaching, here is another personal reminiscence, …
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GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES: TIVERTON FOXHOUNDS POINT-TO-POINT
To whet the appetite for the rapidly approaching newpoint-to-point season, I am …

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EXMOOR AT BRATTON DOWN on 29th June 2021

GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EXMOOR

There was a good line of nine bookies at Bratton Down on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend, and it was also nice to see spectators allowed to return, although limited in number. It was also a relief to get a proper race card at Bratton Down instead of the sheets of paper which are virtually impossible to work with- well done to the organisers.

The Hunt race at Bratton looked a simple puzzle so I piled in on Hadmeathello (try saying it) to justify 1-2/ 4-7. He had impressed me when winning at Dingley but Chloe Emsley never seemed really happy on the beast on this occasion , neither was I. He was well held on the run in by The Mulcair (7-4 to 13-8) giving Blumndell’s schoolboy Finn Muirhead his first winner.

They went 4-1 joint favourites Florrie Webb and Thewinnertakeitall in the 11-runner Maiden. Darren Edwards took a crashing fall from the latter, but Florrie did the job well, setting Conor Houlihan off on his weekend five winner spree. I did some each way thieving on Minella Beag (5-1) who had caught the eye at the previous fixture here. She finished third. The Dartmoor Rose (12’s to 8’s) was nearly brought down at the 10th and this run can be ignored.

Weston-Super-Mare rider/ trainer Lucy Mager is a much under rated jockey and gave Moscow Prices (6-4 to 11-8) a perfect waiting ride to win the Ladies’. If you think I am talking through my pocket, no, I did not have a bet.

The Men’s Open featured a re-match of the Trebudannon Open between the useful mare River Myth and the big imposing gelding Los Alamos (who won that day). It was a bit like Little and Large. River Myth proved an uneasy favourite here (1-2 to 8-13) with Los Alamos clipped in from 3’s to 11-4 to atone for his poor Holnicote run last time. I don’t suppose that Coolmore had Bratton Down in mind when they bred this son of Galileo, but he is a classy pointer, now with leading owner Jason Warner, and readily drew clear up the hill.

The first division of the Conditions race produced the finish of the season. Conor Houlihan on Bridge of Spies (6-1) and Matt Hampton on Where’s Wilma (drifted to 9-4) charged up the hill locked together and were still inseparable at the post. Neither deserved to lose and a dead heat was a fitting result. Crown of Thorns (3-1) ran his usual solid race to finish third and fourth placed Beau Sancy (10’s to 8’s) was well there until the final fence.

Blairs Cove (2-1) made all and won the second division easily under James King, who is about to be crowned National champion jockey for the first time. Runner up Rolling Dylan (2’s to 7-4 fav) had a BHA rating of 143 in his prime, but is not the force he was. He is a fine schoolmaster though.

Darren Edwards took another heavy fall in the getting out stakes as Jimmy Tew (2-1) over jumped at the ninth and brought down Spivey Cove (9-1). Best to Come (3’s to 4’s) came from well off the pace under Conor Houlihan to claim the prize. Runner up Golly its Molly (20-1) showed her first worthwhile form and can only improve further, but Evron (7-2 to 3’s) folded quickly after leading from half way.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

RESULTS- SOUTH TETCOTT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON 31ST MAY 2021

GOING: GOOD, GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES

CONDITIONS (SPONSOR RACE HILL GARAGE)

  1. Definite Dilemma (Conor Houlihan) evens fav prom, led two out, stayed on well
  2. Party Tunes (Darren Edwards) 9-4 disputed lead til two out, no extra flat
  3. Anolysee Moriniere (Isaac Buncle) 50-1 prog 14th, went 3rd two out, kept on

12 ran; 8l; 1 1/2l; 6m 31s

RESTRICTED (COODES SOLICITORS)

  1. Twig (Beau Morgan) 3-1 well in touch, led apprg last, ran on well
  2. Russian Invasion (Darren Edwards) 2-1 fav led til apprg last, no extra flat
  3. Aclassagold (Conor Houlihan) 3-1 every chance three out, gradually wknd

9 ran; 4 1/2l;;10l; 6m 35s

MIXED OPEN (SIMPKINS EDWARDS)

  1. Honest Deed (Darren Edwards) 11-8 fav made most, stayed on gamely
  2. Eric The Third (Darren Andrews) 6-1 effort three out, kept on
  3. Master Dancer (Chloe Emsley) 11-4 3rd from three out, alwys held

5 ran; 1 3/4l; 10l; 6m 37s

MIXED OPEN NOVICE RIDERS (TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES COMPANY)

  1. Gentleman Farmer (Conor Houlihan) 7-2 made all, unchallenged
  2. Always on the Run (Conor Baker) 25-1 well held from three out, snatched 2nd on line
  3. Static Jack (Michael Treneer) evens fav hdwy 14th, short lived effort three out, no extra

5 ran; distance; short head; 6m 30s

MAIDEN CONDITIONS (PRJ ENGINEERING)

  1. Elusive Intentions (Darren Andrews) 10-1 led from 7th, held on well
  2. Honest Opinion (Darren Edwards) 2-1 fav sustained chall from three out, no extra nr finish
  3. Riding Shotgun (Natalie Parker) 4-1 good hdwy 15th, effort three out, grad wknd

11 ran; 2 3/4l; 5l; 6m 34s

OPEN MAIDEN 2M 4F (FC CLEANING SYSTEMS)

  1. Bon Calvados (Darren Edwards) 11-8 fav led from 6th, keen hold, mistakes, ran on
  2. Roc the Boat (Vinny Webster) 11-4 chased wnr bad mstk two out, no extra
  3. Midnight Jitterbug (Finn Lambert) 8-1 hdwy 15th, wknd two out

7 ran; 10l; 6l; 5m 28s

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

REPORT: SOUTH TETCOTT AT UPCOTT CROSS on 31st May 2021

Conor Houlihan added a double to his Bratton Down treble at the South Tetcott Bank Holiday fixture at Upcott Cross to elevate himself to the nine winner mark and into the lead for the National Novice Riders’ Championship.

The Irishman, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall, began with a hard fought success in the opening Race Hill Garage sponsored Conditions event. His mount Definite Dilemma, trained by his boss Will Biddick, runs in the colours of his father Martin, who was able to watch the action in County Waterford via the popular live streaming. He would have seen Conor shake off Darren Edwards on Party Tunes after a sustained battle in the home straight.

Conditions winner Definite Dilemma, ridden by Conor Houlihan
Conditions winner Definite Dilemma, ridden by Conor Houlihan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

A further success for the Irish jockey followed as Gentleman Farmer made all the running to win the Totnes & Bridgetown Races Company Novice Riders’ Mixed Open. Home bred by Richard Hawker, the lightly raced nine-year-old strolled home to win unchallenged.

Mixed Open for Novice Riders winner Gentleman Farmer, ridden by Conor Houlihan
Mixed Open for Novice Riders winner Gentleman Farmer, ridden by Conor Houlihan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

It is not all plain sailing at this game and a fall on Safe Harbour in the FC Cleaning Systems Maiden literally brought Houlihan back down to earth. The winner Bon Calvados proved anything but an armchair ride for Darren Edwards, racing keenly, and hanging and jumping erratically, but reaching the judge with eight lengths to spare over Roc the Boat. A half brother to Saint Calvados, who was narrowly beaten by Min in last year’s Ryanair Chase, Bon Calvados had been placed in a Market Rasen bumper for Olly Murphy, and is now in the care of Alan Hill for the Cross Channel Racing Club.

Edwards himself had been in the wars two days previously at Bratton Down when two heavy falls put his participation for this meeting in doubt. The Devon & Cornwall champion jockey bounced back however in typically determined fashion, and two winners and three seconds from five rides was his reward.

His win on the game veteran Honest Deed in the Simpkins Edwards Mixed Open was particularly apt, since it was announced afterwards that the Dean Summersby trained gelding had gone into honourable retirement after taking his career wins into double figures for his quartet of local owners.

Mixed Open winner Honest Deed, ridden by Darren Edwards.
Mixed Open winner Honest Deed, ridden by Darren Edwards. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

16-year-old Beau Morgan gave a polished performance to score on the Matt Hampton trained Twig in the Coodes Solicitors Restricted, beating Darren Edwards on 2-1 favourite Russian Invasion into second place. “This is my second point-to-point winner. I have just left school and plan to ride in Jersey in the summer to gain experience,” said the young rider, who lives near Bath and judging by the cheering had brought his fan club with him to Devon.

Restricted winner Twig (far side), ridden by Beau Morgan
Restricted winner Twig (far side), ridden by Beau Morgan. South Tetcott Point-To-Point at Upcott Cross on 31st May 2021. photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

It was the turn of Darren Andrews as Elusive Intentions just outstayed the Darren Edwards ridden Honest Opinion in the PRJ Engineering Maiden Conditions race. The winner is trained at Mappowder, near Sturminster Newton, by Harriet Brown for owner Shirley Prideaux who bought the well bred seven -year-old at Tattersalls Ascot sales two years ago.. “He is a big horse and has had a lot of niggles,” explained the trainer who was enjoying her first winner of this truncated season.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

REPORT: EXMOOR AT BRATTON DOWN on 29th May 2021

“MAY is a pious fraud of the almanac. A ghastly parody of the real Spring”

From Under the Willows by
James Russell Lovell , 1819-1891, American poet

I couldn’t agree more Mr Lovell. The month of May is not supposed to be cold and wet in England. Even the Exmoor point-to-point had to be postponed for six days, but at least we finally got some action in front of a crowd enjoying ice cream weather for the second of the traditional three late season fixtures at Bratton Down.

A first time treble for jockey Conor Houlihan, and a double for the champion elect James King were the highlights of the Exmoor fixture on a day when motorway hold -ups caused delays, late arrivals, and in the case of some horse boxes no shows.

Restricted winner Florrie Webb (centre), ridden by Conor Houlihan
Restricted winner Florrie Webb (centre), ridden by Conor Houlihan. Exmoor Point-To-Point at Bratton Down on 29th May 2021

Conor Houlihan is set to land his first Devon & Cornwall Novice riders’ title, and the 23-year-old from Dungarvan, County Waterford, who works in Will Biddick’s Somerset yard, kicked off with a five lengths success on the Biddick trained Florrie Webb in the Rosettes Direct Restricted. With his boss and mentor on crutches after breaking an ankle, the tall Irishman proved an able substitute in the saddle, sending seven-year-old Florrie Webb clear after jumping the last.

A dead heat on Bridge of Spies in the Bielby colours in the first division of the Kingdon family sponsored Conditions race saw Houlihan force his mount up to share the spoils with the favourite Where’s Wilma (Matt Hampton). This pair swooped on Crown of Thorns and Beau Sancy at the foot of the hill and battled it out all the way up the climb to the line. “We were both flat out and happy to share a dead heat,” remarked Matt Hampton.

Conditions (Division 1) winners Bridge Of Spies (centre, blue and purple silks) and Where's Wilma (far side, blue and maroon silks) who couldn't be split at the line, with the judge declaring a dead-heat verdict
Conditions (Division 1) winners Bridge Of Spies (centre, blue and purple silks) and Where’s Wilma (far side, blue and maroon silks) who couldn’t be split at the line, with the judge declaring a dead-heat verdict

A chance ride on Tattersalls Leading Owner Jason Warner’s eight-year-old Best to Come rounded off Houlihan’s successful day in the Totnes & Bridgetown Open Maiden. James King handed over this ride due to a sore ankle, but had earlier lifted his season’s tally to 28 thanks to Los Alamos and Blairs Cove.

Los Alamos mastered odds-on favourite River Myth jumping the last in the Moore Scarrott Men’s Open to add to his Trebudannon win. “He got stuck in the mud at Holnicote last time and the drier ground helped here,” reported the jockey.

Men's Open winner Los Alamos (James King) pulls away from River Myth (Darren Andrews)
Men’s Open winner Los Alamos (James King) pulls away from River Myth (Darren Andrews). Exmoor Point-To-Point at Bratton Down on 29th May 2021 photo: Athwenna Irons/WMN

Forcing tactics paid off for King as Jason Warner’s Blairs Cove led all the way to take the Wedgewood Buildings Ltd Conditions Race Division Two at the expense of the favourite Rolling Dylan (Isaac Buncle).

It was a memorable day for 17-year-old Finn Muirhead, who partnered his first point-to-point winner on the Camilla Scott trained The Mulcair in the colours of his father Alex in the RSM Beares & Brian Thorne & Son sponsored Hunt Race. The Mulcair pulled clear of Hadmeathello up the finishing climb under his promising teenage rider, who is a pony racing graduate and nephew of Jamie Osborne, who is currently studying for A levels at Blundell’s School, Tiverton.

Hunt Members winner The Mulcair, ridden by Finn Muirhead
Hunt Members winner The Mulcair, ridden by Finn Muirhead. Exmoor Point-To-Point at Bratton Down on 29th May 2021

After her successful ride at Stratford upon Avon on the previous evening, Chloe Emsley, who is looking sure to lift her first Devon & Cornwall ladies’ title this year, had to settle for the runner up spot behind The Mulcair on Hadmeathello in the Hunt Race.

She occupied the same spot on Inch Rock in the Bray Leino Ladies’ Open, where Moscow Prices was a stylish seven lengths winner. Lucy Mager, who shares ownership of 11-year-old Moscow Prices with Kim Tripp, trains the gelding at Weston-Super-Mare. “He was my second winner of the season and we might come back to Bratton next week,” remarked Lucy.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Point Press Officer and PtPRC Race Reader

RESULTS – EXMOOR AT BRATTON DOWN on 29th MAY 2021

Going: Good

HUNT (SPONSORS RSM BEARES & BRIAN THORNE & SON), MRS H M WALEY-COHEN CUP

  1. The Mulcair (Finn Muirhead) 13-8 alwys prom, effort three out, led last, stayed on well
  2. Hadmeathello (Chloe Emsley) 1-2 fav witrh ldrs, led four out til headed last, no extra flat
  3. Darsi’s Pass (Mervyn Woodward) 25-1 hdwy 15th, outpaced two out

5 ran; 4l; 18l; 6m 5s

RESTRICTED (MR D WALLACE, ROSETTES DIRECT), GUY JACKSON MEMORIAL TROPHY

  1. Florrie Webb (Conor Houlihan) 4-1 jt fav led / disp 12th til left clear two out, stayed on well
  2. Forty Acres (George Hiscock) 5-1 held up, good late hdwy, kept on flat
  3. Minella Beag (Chloe Emsley) 5-1 held up, some hdwy two out, kept on one pace

11 ran; 5l; neck; 5m 53s

LADIES’ OPEN (BRAY LEINO), C B B SMITH-BINGHAM CUP

  1. Moscow Prices (Lucy Mager) 11-8 well in touch, effort two out, led & soon clear after last
  2. Inch Rock (Chloe Emsley) 6-1 prom, slt lead 13th til headed after last
  3. Mahler Style (Ella Orttewell) 11-2 led / disp til 13th, wknd two out

5 ran; 7l; 2l; 5m 52s

MEN’S OPEN (MOORE SCARROTT) CAPT TIM FORSTER MEMORIAL CUP

  1. Los Alamos (James King) 11-4 in touch, went 2nd tenth, led apprg last, soon clear
  2. River Myth (Darren Andrews) 8-13 fav led 6th til apprg last, eased when beaten flat
  3. Mister Dick (Conor Houlihan) 6-1 led til 5th, lost touch three out

4 ran; 15l; 15l; 6m 2s

CONDITIONS 8 year olds & over, DONNA KINGDON MEMORIAL CUP

DIV 1 (THE KINGDON FAMILY)

1 dh. Bridge of Spies (Conor Houlihan) 6-1 good hdwy 14th, effort last, strong run flat, battled on gamely to dead heat

1 dh. Where’s Wilma (Matt Hampton) 9-4 fav midfield, hdwy 13th, went 4th three out, effort last, slight lead 100 yards out, stayed on gamely to dead heat

3. Crown of Thorns (Martin McIntyre) 3-1 prom, led 12th, disp two out til headed after last, no extra flat

9 ran; dead heat; 5l;

DIV 2 (TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES COMPANY)
  1. Blairs Cove (James King) 2-1 made all, clear two out, ridden out
  2. Rolling Dylan (Isaac Buncle) 7-4 mstk 12th, chased ldrs three out, went 2nd flat
  3. Broughton’s Rhythm (Fionn Summers) 12-1 well in touch, every chance three out, kept on one pace flat

7 ran; 4l; 10l; 5m 49s

OPEN MAIDEN (TOTNES & BRIDGETOWN RACES COMPANY), C C J SIMMONDS CUP

  1. Best to Come (Conor Houlihan) 4-1 held up, hdwy 15th, went 2nd next, led after last, dvn clear flat
  2. Golly It’s Molly (Jake Bament) 20-1 alwys prom, led two out til after last, kept on
  3. Cuzzicombe (Vinny Webster) 7-1 held up, hdwy two out, nearest at finish

9 ran; 5l; short head; 6m 3s

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

JOCKEYS TITLES LATEST STANDINGS 2021 DEVON & CORNWALL AREA

DEVON & CORNWALL AREA JOCKEYS TITLES 2021
STANDINGS AFTER DULVERTON WEST MEETING (3 meetings left)

LEADING GENTLEMAN RIDER – PETER PEARN MEMORIAL CHALLENGE CUP

Darren Edwards

Will Biddick

Conor Houlihan

Josh Newman

Darren Andrews

Matt Hampton

47 points

40 points

25 points

21 points

19 points

13 points

LEADING LADY RIDER – J G KELLOCK MEMORIAL PERPETUAL CHALLENGE TROPHY

Chloe Emsley

Charlotte Summersby

Megan Bevan

Natalie Parker

Hollie-Anne Drowne

24 points

13 points

6 points

5 points

3 points

LEADING NOVICE GENTLEMAN RIDER

Conor Houlihan

Charlie Sprake

Fionn Summers

Isaac Buncle

Otis Morgan

Barnaby Treneer

Michael Treneer

25 points

8 points

8 points

7 points

6 points

6 points

4 points

LEADING NOVICE LADY RIDER

Charlotte Summersby

Megan Bevan

Holly-Anne Drowne

13 points

6 points

3 points

2 riders with 2 points

Please refer any queries to Granville Taylor

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN