Tag Archives: Exmoor


“I love your hills and I love your dales, and I love your flocks a-bleating…..”

John Keats, English poet, 1795 – 1821

.AFTER the suspension of point-to-point racing due to COVID, and the need to hold meetings behind closed doors, the Dulverton West fixture welcomed back a crowd of paying enthusiasts, together with a strong line of bookmakers, for their Monday evening fixture at Bratton Down, where the hills and dales are an essential part of the scenery

On an evening when the sun seemed to rise to the occasion by illuminating the Exmoor backcloth, and with a racecourse atmosphere that had been lacking for so long, spectators were treated to some very exciting finishes.

A winner over four miles at Flete Park last month, Know the Score had been dropped in class after his recent Cheltenham hunter chase effort, and started a shade of odds-on when landing the Brends Hotel Mixed Open over an extended four miles.

After racing stride for stride for most of the journey with Imogen’s Thunder, Martin (“Fly”) McIntyre poached a handy lead on Know the Score at the last, but was all out up the stamina sapping final climb to hold the rallying Imogen’s Thunder (Charlie Sprake) by half a length.

“He battled well. We got into a lovely rhythm and I was happy all the way,” reported the jockey, who had walked away from a crunching fall at Edgcote on the previous day.

Leslie Jefford trains the eight-year-old ex-David Pipe inmate for the Angove family and said, “We took him to Cheltenham and it didn’t work out. He is very genuine but not experienced with his fencing yet.”

There was an even closer finish to the 12-runner Mardon Recycling Machinery Maiden which went to Jimmy Snipe by a “nose”. One third of the field were eliminated when a loose horse barged into them on the bottom bend at half way. By this time Businessman was out in front under Darren Edwards, but the seven-year-old could not sustain the gallop and was running on empty at the end only to be caught by 33-1 outsider Jimmy Snipe (Darren Andrews) on the line.

Owned by Lucinda Tylor, the lightly raced winner is from the family of 1988 Grand National hero Rhyme ‘N’ Reason, but came into the race with three non completions from his early season exploits. “We tried a change of tactics today to more front running. He always jumps well but found it challenging and it’s taken a long time with him,” explained Danielle Kenealy, who was saddling her first winner since her partner Joe Tickle took out a full licence.

The judge’s winning verdict of a nose cropped up again in the following Sandhill Racing, PJ Hobbs Conditions race as Minim Mouse (Josh Newman) was adjudged to have held on by that amount as Coningsby charged at her in the dying strides.

Minim Mouse was bred by her owner Gail Dare and is trained by Chloe Newman at Woolminstone near Crewkerne. “We had to treat her for gastric ulcers and it has made a massive difference. She will go on holiday now,” said the trainer. Josh Newman reported, “She really enjoyed it and jumped well but I got there miles too soon.”

Ottery St Mary trainer Ed Walker saddled first and third in the Andrew Maddox Restricted race. The winner Dancing Dave was only fifth jumping the last, but stormed up the hill to give jockey Chloe Emsley her sixth winner of the season in a bunched finish. “I knew he would stay and the hill suited him,” reported the jockey, enjoying her best season. The winner runs in the colours of Stuart Jarrett, whose wife owns third placed Minella Beag.

The gallant Wotzizname stayed on strongly to hold Skylander (Otis Morgan) in the Totnes & Bridgetown PPORA Conditions race for nine-year-olds and over. This was a first winning ride for 17-year-old Megan Bevan who works for the Colin Tizzard yard. The elated young recruit from the pony racing circuit said, “This was my sixth ride and I thought I had a chance when we jumped the open ditch. The pace was very quick and I saved enough energy to get home. He picked up well for me.”

Cranmore based Sarah Gould trains the winner for her family. The 11-year-old gelding was successful under rules in his younger days for Harry Fry’s yard. Wotzizname was nicely backed from 10’s to 7’s but the unplaced odds-on favourite Dr Time, ridden by championship chasing James King, was in trouble after an early mistake.

The King and Francesca Nimmo combination fared better in the concluding James Pryce Tractors Intermediate thanks to the progressive Largy Mountain. Valerie Cockburn’s promising Yeats seven-year-old put six lengths between himself and French Piece (Tommie O’Brien) after the latter had blundered at the last.

Granville Taylor
Granville Taylor

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

Photo credit: Megan Cobley Photography

RESCHEDULED: PREVIEW: Exmoor POINT-TO-POINT AT Bratton Down ON Saturday 29th May 2021

The re-arranged meeting for The Exmoor Foxhounds to stage their day at the popular Bratton Down course takes place this coming Saturday 29th May. This is the second meeting to take place here this season, and again will be opening it’s gates to the public for viewing. Seven races are on offer with a start time of 2pm. Over 100 entries have been received for this event which promises to be another super day of racing.

Both the Ladies and Men’s Open races have attracted top class entries. In the Bray Leino-sponsored Ladies race Virak stands out for the Sam Loxton team, having won his last four races which include Hunter Chase wins at both Wincanton and Musselburgh under regular jockey Natalie Parker, however he will probably run at Stratford on Friday evening, this could leave the race for Copain de Classe to snatch, he is another ex National Hunt entry for the Loxton team, and could improve on his third to Famous Clermont at Cothelstone, The Roestone for the Robert Chanin team should be there among the finishers if reproducing his win at Cherrybrook under Martin McIntyre.

The Moore Scarrott Accountants-sponsored Men’s Open has attracted another Loxton team entry in Chameron who won a Hunter Chase at Leicester in February. Chameron’s recent run at Cothelstone saw him finishing second having had a few jumping errors which could have cost him the race that day, although he also holds an entry at Upcott Cross on Monday and connection smay choose there for him to run. Upcott Cross winner River Myth entered for trainer Stuart Sampson, will be looking to follow up on her run at Upcott Cross when coming home the four-length winner that day and has the benefit of a mares weight allowance although she too holds an entry for the Upcott meeting. Recent runner up in a Hunter Chase at Leicester The Muclair for the Camilla Scott team can’t be left out of the equation, they had an unlucky fall last time out at Upcott Cross when ridden by Finn Muirhead.

The Muclair is also entered in the opening RSM Beares & B Thorne-sponsored Members race where he could come up against Hadmeathello(Stuart Payne) a Dingley winner, and recent Flete Park second Gunner Vic for the Hugh Thomas team.

In the Rosettes Direct-sponsored Restricted race Edabean ran a close fourth here last weekend and could come back for another try for trainer Jason Warner and leading gentleman jockey James King. Florrie Webb (Will Biddick) won the members race at Cothelstone in April and has the benefit of a mare’s weight allowance, together with The Dartmoor Rose (Charlotte Rowe) won her maiden at Trebudannon and is another with a mare’s weight allowance. 

There are two divisions of the conditions race which are run in the memory of Donna Kingdon. In the first division Where’s Wilma could follow up on her Upcott Cross win under jockey Matt Hampton. Cloudy Music for team Summersby just missed out on a win by a short head at Upcott Cross, Rein du Tout won an Intermediate at Holnicote earlier this month and could repeat that form for jockey Darren Andrews.

In the second division Copain de Classe (Sam Loxton) could come on for his run at Cothelstone where he finished third that day. Pancrace could improve on his second place at Upcott Cross and win this under jockey Robert Hawker. Finally there is Totnes & Bridgetown Racing Co Ltd-sponsored Open Maiden race which could go the way of Honest Opinion for the Dean Summersby team to follow up on her four-length second at Upcott Cross earlier this month and will be handy here if not another heading to Upcott Cross on Monday, along with Acaras an outside raider looking dangerous after their second at the Upcott Cross meeting. Jimmy Tew has been a worthy place winner in his points so far for the Janet Ackner team andis another catching the eye.

There will be on course facilities bar, food stands, bookies and many trade stands, providing a great day out in the country for all the family. e-tickets can be obtained via visiting https://pointingdc.co.uk/tickets. Under 16’s go free but must also apply for a ticket.

The Exmoor Point-To-Point racecourse is located at Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming EX31 4SG

Live streaming of the Exmoor Point-To-Point is available via the website for those wishing to watch from the comfort of their homes, tickets for which can be purchased from https://www.pointingdc.co.uk/Live.

Betting can also take place for races at the Exmoor Point-To-Point via registering with either Richard Pittard on 07711298746 or Dave Phillips 07810775119.

Donna Harris
Donna Harris

Best selling Children’s Author Interested in journalism, novel writing. Currently PRO Devon & Cornwall Point to Point.

Photo credit: Megan Cobley Photography

Trainer profile: Keith and Janet Cumings

We are a family run point-to-point livery yard based near South Molton, on the edge of Exmoor, offering a 5 star accommodation for all our horses.  We treat them all as individuals and pride ourselves on attention to detail. We start with roadwork on our quiet country lanes with steep hills, ideal for muscle-building. We train mainly on grass gallops, and frequent trips to the moor, which the horses love. Our all-weather sand and rubber school is ideal for loose schooling and flatwork, also invaluable when winter weather sets in, ensuring that horses do not have to miss a day’s work. We also have use of a superb all-weather gallop and an all-weather schooling ring.

We hunt mainly with the Devon & Somerset Staghounds, and believe in qualifying horses properly, as it is a great way to educate young horses on all sorts of terrain and it introduces them to crowds of horses and people.

Over the years we have enjoyed success with some lovely horses:

Persian Scimitar           (won 7 Hunter Chases in the 80’s)

Flame ‘O’ Frensi          (won 24 points and 2 Hunter Chases)

Khattaf                          (won 26 Ladies Opens)

More recently, Starember Lad, Friar Waddon, Mine’s A Gin, Swiftwood and Touch of Flame were prolific winners, resulting in an excess of 250 winners for the yard so far.

Daughter Jo was National Novice Champion and rode over 100 winners herself. Now married with children, she still rides out regularly.

Bonanza Boy started his career with us, hunting and schooling.

Similarly Gold Cup winner Master Oats came for some hunting and a change of scenery.

Recent winners from the yard, The Disengager, Alpha Native, The Wealerdealer and Typical Oscar have now progressed to the NH scene.

We use top jockeys such as Will Biddick, Josh Guerriero, Sam Allwood, Matt Hampton and Michael Heard, and travel all over the South West.

Horses for this season include, Certain Flight, Go On Henry, Whenharrymetsally and Gone That Way plus a new batch of youngsters sourced from sales in Ireland that are learning their job.

There are full or part shares of Ownership available for the coming season.  We plan to have runners on the opening day of the 2013/14 season at Black Forest Lodge.

Our daughter Nicky heads a competent happy team who work hard to produce fit, well turned out horses.  A huge picnic and drinks basket, makes for a happy day for all.

Read Carolyn Tanner’s trainer feature on the national website at: http://www.pointtopoint.co.uk/go/news/Keith_cummings.html