February has been a much slower month racing-wise with me only having two rides however, it has still been very busy!
Image kindly provided by Richard Weller-Poley Photography
I didn’t have any rides over the 12/13th of Feb so I headed home to have some downtime, seeing the family before heading back south for a day with the Bicester hounds on Valentine’s Day - how else should Valentine’s be spent other than on a horse following hounds with my best friend?!
This event saw off the last of the “nice” weather before the storms blew in. That particular week we had a lot of rain that didn’t help Fox Valley's chances at Horseheath that weekend. We took her hoping it would stay good-to-soft as she needed the run. The rain didn’t stop from the moment we arrived and from the flag dropping, she hated every minute of it. Even though she tried her best, the mud got the better of her and we pulled up after jumping the third last.
The next weekend saw the return of Kingston Blount and what a glorious day it was! I didn’t ride but I took my beloved LateNightFumble to run in the intermediate, who is owned and bred by Pippa Ellis. There were only three runners, one of which had already beaten her on her seasonal debut at Chaddesley; the Bradley Gibbs trained Fier Jaguen. After a foot-perfect round of jumping, she came home in front by 40 lengths. She seems to be improving with every run and has big hooves to fill being a half-sister to LateNightPass!
Pancake day was the next event in my calendar and we had a few girls around to take part in a pancake eating competition. I failed miserably managing four however my rival in the novice championship, Ellie Callwood, managed 8 along with Meg who looks after Tommy (Blazing Tom). Safe to say we’ve had enough pancakes for another year!
Last weekend I headed back to Ampton with Blazing Tom for the Ladies Open. There were only eight entries, three of which were Alan Hill’s horses. Four had declared and no one wanted to make the running. After getting a better jump than No Hassle Hoff at the first I was left alone in front…not where I wanted to be! He travelled off the bridle and spent most of his time spooking at banners before I got some company after a circuit that allowed the pace to quicken. After a good round of jumping, we pulled clear after two out and finished 4 lengths in front to win! We’ll now go back to the drawing board and decide what to do with him next. I also managed to win the Hugh Hodge memorial trophy for being the leading winning jockey at Ampton this season.
This coming weekend I’ll be back aboard Fox Valley at High Easter for the Novice Riders. It looks like a competitive race but she has been in good form at home so she should run a nice race.
I’m definitely looking forwards to the clocks changing and the spring weather kicking in, making the pointing even more enjoyable. Until next month….