Ottery’s Gundry notches eighth national title
Polly Gundry’s record breaking season
RICHARD Woollacott claimed his first ever national point-to-point championship at Umberleigh on Saturday having clocked up 40 winners.
In a sea of champagne, and with cheers and applause echoing around the hills, Woollacott, 33, was crowned the new champion alongside Ottery-based Polly Gundry who took the female equivalent for the eighth time.
“I’m absolutely delighted. There are so many people I need to thank for getting me here, not least my staff back at home and my parents Dennis and Carole,” said Woollacott who added that being the country’s winning-most trainer and training Come What Augustus to win the area leading horse title with eight wins was also something of which he was very proud.
Both Polly and Richard reside in the Devon and Cornwall area and area secretary Gordon Chambers added his congratulations.
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“We are very lucky in the area in that we have some exceptionally talented jockeys and some very good horses and trainers.
“We started the season off in November and ended it on Saturday and, on the way, two Devon-based riders have been crowned national champions, Fully Loaded, who won many of his races in the area, is the country’s leading horse and we have some very promising novice riders coming through.”
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Polly also became the winning-most female point to point rider ever this season.
The previous career best being 287 set by Alison Dare in 2002.
Gundry, who rode her first winner in 1992, equalled the record and beat it on horses she trains on East Hill with her partner Ed Walker, Mulligans Pet and Ned The Post, at the Western point to point at Wadebridge in Cornwall .
Polly said: “I am honoured to beat Alison’s title. It wasn’t something I was hell bent on doing but I am very glad I have done it now. Alison is such a legend and it’s a great achievement. It has all been brilliant fun but, I am not done with yet. I would like to ride a winner at the Cheltenham Festival (Rockwithacaveman was pulled out this year due to fast ground), and I would like to beat the 300 mark.” Only a handful of riders have reached that landmark.
Richard gained his 40th win of the season in the members’ race at the Torrington Farmers’ point to point on Ben Robarts’ Prince De Bersy and Ben’s two wins and two places in the area on the gelding earned him the Silver Ransome Perpetual Challenge Cup for the owner/rider resident in the area gaining the most points on one horse.
Joe Tickle, who works for South Molton-based trainer Nick Williams, took the Devon and Cornwall area’s novice title and finished just one win behind Tom Cannon in the national competition. Lucy Pugsley took the area’s female equivalent.
Paddy The Piper’s win in the men’s open at Umberleigh drew him level with Beau Supreme for points gained in the area and the two share the leading veteran award. Paddy The Piper was ridden to success by 17-year-old Michael Heard, who will join Woollacott at his South Molton yard in September.
Jane Brake’s Glacial Call started the season a maiden and ended with four wins and three seconds, ensuring she took both the areas leading mare and novice award. Neil Harris took the veteran rider award.
A spokesman from the area said: “It’s been a long season and, at times, particularly trying with the weather against us a lot of the time but, in the end, we got the right result and the area can quite justifiably say that it is the best in the country.”
l The Devon and Cornwall Area’s annual presentation and dinner dance takes place on Friday, July 9, at the Holiday Inn, Plymouth. Tickets are �38 each and can be obtained by contacting Lucy Johnson (07866 497976).
The Roll of Honour 2010
The JG Kellock Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy awarded to the leading lady rider resident in the area: Female: P Gundry 81; J Buck 52; C Roddick 22; A Pearn 20
The Peter Pearn Memorial Perpetual Challenge Cup awarded to the leading gentleman rider resident in the area: Male: R Woollacott 148; J Guerriero 85; J Tickle 67; R Hawkins 62; M Griffiths 53; D Edwards 49; N Harris 46 (Leading veteran)
The Devon and Cornwall Point to Point Area Perpetual Challenge Cups awarded to the leading novice lady and gentleman riders resident in the area who at the commencement of the current season have not ridden more than three winners: Male: J Tickle 67; R Hawkins 62; J Thomas 29
Female: Lucy Pugsley 20; Emma Pugsley 12; Vicky Wade 11
The GK Probert Perpetual Challenge Cup awarded to the leading owner resident in the area: Mr W Westacott (Come What Augustus)
The Silver Ransome Perpetual Challenge Cup awarded to the owner rider (or spouse) resident in the area gaining the most points on one horse: Ben Robarts (Prince de Bersy)
The Orchard Perpetual Challenge Cup awarded to the leading lady or gentleman rider resident in the area who, at the commencement of the current season, are aged 40 years or over: Neil Harris
The Axminster Carpets Perpetual Challenge Cup to the owner resident in the area of the leading horse: Mr W Westacott (Come What Augustus)
The Little Vanity Perpetual Challenge Cup to the owner of the leading novice horse which has not won a race under the Rules of any recognised Turf Authority at the start of the season: Jane Brake (Glacial Call)
The Cornish Princess Perpetual Challenge Cup to the owner resident in the area of the leading mare: Jane Brake (Glacial Call)
The Anjubi Perpetual Challenge Trophy to the owner resident in the area of the leading veteran horse aged 12 years or over: Beau Supreme (10 points) Paddy The Piper (10 points)
The Seal Marine Perpetual Challenge Trophy to the owner/breeder resident in the area of the leading horse bred by the owner: Carol Lawrence (Meilyr) and Mr Reip (Jay Jay Valentine)
The HJ Widdicombe Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy to the leading owner/trainer/rider resident in the area: Lee Rowe Tatsu 7 points
The Prideaux Horse Perpetual Challenge Trophy to the rider resident in the area gaining the most points at a single meeting: Josh Guerriero 18 points Stevenstone May 3
The Devon and Cornwall Bookmakers Perpetual Challenge Trophy awarded to the winning rider of the longest official starting price dead heat between Ben Robarts Mioche D’estruval (Dulverton, May 15) and James Best Think On This (Mid Devon, Feb 13) both 25-1.