Flete Park bathed in sunshine for Modbury Harriers Point-to-Point

The opening race at Stafford Cross point to point. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 1542-18-13TI To order

The opening race at Stafford Cross point to point. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 1542-18-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

A huge picnicking crowd at Flete Park enjoyed two competitive races at the Modbury Harriers point to point, cheering on the 138 riders in a close finish that saw three of the ponies battling it out near the finish, writes Lee Glanville.

Diptford Moonwalker (William Cox) got the verdict, winning by a length and a half from Bronze Lawrance (Tamby Welch) with Veno Star (Fergus Gillard) just a length further back in third.

The boys had been in contention from the start, Cox and Gillard having not ridden at the course before, but Welch having won at the previous meeting at Flete.

James Armstrong on My Golden Dream had only had his first race ride at the Dartmoor meeting a fortnight before, but is improving in leaps and bounds, having earned the best ride award at the intervening Axe Vale meeting.

He was fifth behind Tyler Heard (Bejowans Bouquet) who was crowned Wessex Open Champion on Richard Prince’s Angelic the following day.

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Several racegoers had turned out to cheer on locals Imogen Northmore, in the 138 race, and Megan Musgrave, in the 148s, from the Dartmoor Pony Club who were having their first race ride and both girls enjoyed their day.

The 148 race was action packed from the start. Tarka unshipped her pilot Tina Smith at the start, before the duo were reunited, Millie Wonnacott was knocked in the face by her pony and had a nosebleed which, by the finish, had covered her silks and breeches in blood, and Michael Treneer was unshipped, but unharmed, when his pony dodged a marker on the final bend.

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The race was won in style by a hardworking Smith on Tarka, getting home ahead of Vadlawalkover ridden for the first time by Thomasina Eyston.

Eyston, who had qualified the pony by hunting with the Dartmoor during the winter, was standing in for regular rider Hannah Welch who was unable to get a day off school.

It was great to see her back in action as she has spent the season on the sidelines as her own pony Springs was injured early on.

Hawkesfield Flyer (Theo Gillard) was third with Mick the Miller ( Millie Wonnacott) fourth and Prince Hari (Megan Musgrave) fifth.

Results, Modbury May 4; 138: 1, Diptford Moonwalker, William Cox; 2, Bronze Lawrance, Tamby Welch; 3, Veno Star, Fergus Gillard. Six ran, 1 1/2l, 1l, 1.22. .

148: 1, Tarka,Tina Smith; 2, Vadlawalkover, Thomasina Eyston; 3, Hawkesfield Flyer, Theo Gillard. Six ran, 5l, 6l, 1.51

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