Countryside Alliance Race Day – Friday 30th May 2014
This year we started off with two riders from the Essex Hunt. Joint master Chris Padfield riding his Point to Pointer ‘Out of Range’, (Big Harry), and Becki Trembath on a horse kindly lent to her by Sam and Adrian.
Preparation were going well until Becki’s horse was withdrawn as the ground conditions were not suited to the horse, and then after going to Doncaster and completing the racing training session there was a problem and Chris was also unable to ride on the day. After several frantic phone calls Chris very kindly offered his horse to Becki to make sure the Essex were represented on the day. This all happen on the Monday prior to the race and it was quickly organised for Becki to try the horse on the Wednesday at the trainers yard in Oxfordshire and if they got on ok, she would ride in the race.
There was a fantastic atmosphere at Newmarket on the day, with the Essex turning up in force to support our rider who was one of nine starters in the race this year. The jockey’s were weighed in and poor Harry not only had to put up with a rider he had only met once before, but also the fact she only weighed 8 1/2 stone which meant he also had to carry a 3 1/5 stone ‘dead weight’ cloth. Most of the horses appeared to be flat race thoroughbreds but Chris’s handsome point to pointer looked very much the part. Our only concern was ‘would he stop at the finish’ as normally his races were 2.5+ miles long and this was only 1 mile.
They set off from the start at a blistering pace but Big Harry was with them all the way. He and Becki finished a creditable 6th and if the race had been longer I am sure he would have crept right up to the front as the others were slowing down when they crossed the finishing line and he was only just getting into his stride.
Anyway, It was a day to remember and the race was followed by lunch, a speech from Baroness Mallalieu and the Countryside Alliances Auction of Promises. The sun shone and everyone enjoyed the racing. Thank you everyone from Chris and Becki for your generous sponsorship and roll on next year.