He’s De Boss! Jamie Hepburn & Robin De Boss make it 4 from 4 in the 2018 Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders’ Series Final
Four went to post in the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders’ Series Final and it was last week’s Guilsborough runner up Subtitle (Will Marshall) who was first to throw down the gauntlet.
Making a bold bid to claim the race from the front, his pursuers were content to follow in his wake until, with four left to jump, Robin De Boss and Jamie Hepburn produced their takeover bid, and were quickly left at the head of affairs as a fencing error brought an early conclusion to Subtitle’s race.
Down the hill and turning for home Aupcharlie, patiently ridden by Michaela Tallett, looked all set as a potential threat, but despite holding just half a length advantage at the last, Robin De Boss and showed no signs of being under serious pressure and opened up a comfortable two and a half lengths margin at the line.
The Trainer told us…
“He’s just the same at home, he’s very competitive, and when he works with others he’s the one who always wants to finish in front,” remarked his delighted trainer Jo Hepburn, who trains just the one horse for the Felton, Foulkes, Hepburn, Sunnucks Partnership, a small group of family and friends.
” We’ve had an amazing time this season, and he’s exceeded our wildest expectations from when we bought him,”
“We spent two days at Doncaster, watching horses coming and going and being sold to people with bigger budgets than us. I was starting to think I would go back to Dorset empty handed,” she continued, “then, after all the Flat horses had been through, he appeared. We knew a bit about him as he was a local horse to my sister, and so we bought him. Look what he’s turned out to be!”
Described by his rider Jamie Hepburn as the “perfect weekend rider’s horse”, Robin De Boss has relished the conditions that this season’s unusual weather has created.
Starting with the Dodson & Horrell Novice Riders’ Series Qualifier atChipley Park, horse and rider have become one of the season’s most successful partnerships, winning four races on the bounce.
Robin De Boss is equally well suited to his trainer
“We are truly amateurs at Point to Pointing,” said Jo. “We’re like something from the archives when there were lots of people on the farms who had just one horse, and trained it on their own. These days there are fewer people who do that, and to think we’ve got a horse who’s done what he’s done… He’s very straightforward at home, he’s a dream to train. He always works so hard even on his own, it’s almost like he trains himself and I go along for the ride!
I’m lucky as we have a lovely dry chalky farm, it’s up hill and down dale a bit so we can canter round and up through the woods and he’s getting fit without knowing it. We’ve also benefited from the weather this season, he’s loved the conditions it’s produced, but for those with horses who hate the wet conditions it must have been absolutely tormenting”
Despite a 400 mile round trip from Dorset it was also in many ways a return to home turf
“It was great to go back to Garthorpe, we’ve been going there since my father (former Amateur Champion Jockey, Billy Foulkes) was riding, it’s also the home track for my sister Helen, and my brother-in-law Nick Connors is Chairman of the Quorn Point to Point.
My parents Billy and Diana who still live locally have an interest in the horse, as, along with some friends from Dorset, they chipped in to help buy him. They haven’t been able to be there for his other races, so it was such a thrill for them to see him win on his home patch. Being back amongst so many old friends everyone being there to support and share in the success made the whole thing extra special – a perfect day
The Final is such a lovely thing to aim for, but we never imagined we’d win it. It’s been an amazing season for us.”
“What an exciting race” commented Julie Priestley, Equine Brand Manager at Dodson & Horrell, “Jamie, Robin De Boss and his connections were truly worthy winners. Dodson & Horrell is always keen to celebrate the true amateur nature of the sport and champion the smaller family run yards that provide the backbone of point-to-point racing and this is exactly who won out on the day, well done!”