Harriet and Charlotte Brown
The 2017-18 point-to-point season is due to start on Sunday 19th November and will run for nearly 7 months to 16th June 2018. During that time there are point-to –points throughout the area with the Wessex season due to start at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain on 3rd December. Always a good day out for all of the family with the chance to have picnics to enjoy in the spring and early summer and in the winter months provided suitable clothing is worn it is a great atmosphere and the chance to see some quality racing and perhaps the horse stars of the future.
The Wessex area extends from Larkhill in the East right over to Holnicote on Exmoor in the West with a total of 10 courses holding meetings throughout the season. Information about the meetings to be held can be found on the website – www.pointingwessex.co.uk
Within the area there are a number of trainers of point-to-point horses and prior to the start of the season the chance has been taken to talk to some of the rising stars about their hopes for the season and the horses they are expecting to race over the coming months.
This article covers two trainers who not only are twins but also train their horses within 5 minutes of each other. Harriet who like her sister Charlotte, 25, has grown up around horses and after a spell as a veterinary nurse assistant worked for a local National Hunt trainer before deciding to train horses herself initially with one horse Turtle Boys who provided her with her first winner. From there she has gradually expanded her numbers and for the coming season she has moved to a new yard at Mappowder Court near Dorchester which has some excellent facilities including an indoor walker, all year round turnout and extensive bridleways as well as access to an all-weather gallop just a 5 minute box ride away.
She is eagerly looking forward to the new season and will be starting with 5 horses to race.
Everyday Hero ran a race of great promise on his debut at Larkhill when finishing third in a Maiden race and although he pulled up on his only other outing that run should be ignored. He stands at least at 17.3 hands and Harriet feels that he is stronger than he was last year and has grown into his frame. He will need some give in the ground and his ideal course would be a big galloping course such as Larkhill or Badbury Rings. He should give his connections some great days racing during the season.
Gracious Prince is a newcomer to the stable having been bought by Harriet at Ascot in July. He has run 5 times in Ireland and was placed in two of those outings. He is a strong yet athletic looking horse by Beneficial and looks like he might be suited by better ground than he raced on in Ireland. Harriet hopes to get a run into him before Christmas and then make plans for the rest of the season
An un-named 5 year old mare by Arvico out of a mare called Ewar Finch who won a Maiden at Cothelstone in April 2009 when trained by Julie Pocock. Harriet broke in the mare in the summer and describes her as being a quick learner and has shown a willing attitude towards her work. She is still learning and a decision has yet to be made whether she runs in a point-to-point or a bumper first.
Theatre Evening owned by the Bishop family. Harriet trained this gelding last season and was placed four times including finishing second in his Hunt race at Charlton Horethorne which will be one of his targets for 2018. Not the easiest to find a winning opportunity for one reason or another Harriet hopes that a wind operation he has had in the summer might help him to record a victory or two for his rider Tom Bishop. Described by Harriet as a really bold jumper who loves his hunting and is a good work horse she feels that the best chance of a win will come if he is allowed to enjoy himself by front running in a race.
Country Legend also owned by the Bishop family completes her team and this 5 year Midnight Legend mare is another where hopes are high for a successful season. After a promising third on her debut at Cothelstone she ran in the point-to-point bumper at Exeter in April where she finished fifth being slightly outpaced at the finish. Her mother won a Hurdle at Hereford and there is every chance that her daughter will find herself in the winner’s enclosure in 2018.
Whilst Tom Bishop will continue to ride his family’s horses the remaining rides are likely to be taken by George Hiscock, partner of Harriet’s sister Charlotte and if he is not available then Rex Dingle’s services are likely to be sought.
Charlotte who will be working alongside her sister this season is planning on racing three horses that she trains with her partner George Hiscock at neighbouring Plush. Sadly they lost Tin Pot Man the winner of the South Dorset Members race for the last two seasons after a freak accident in the summer so will be seeking to win that race with a new horse.
The most likely contender for that race is Attimo who has recently arrived from Sam England’s stable in Yorkshire. A winner of three steeplechases he has rather lost his way under rules and Charlotte hopes that a spell of hunting will rekindle his enthusiasm. Described by her as ‘an absolute beast’ he will need some cut in the ground to show his best but both Charlotte and George are hopeful that they will win some races with him.
Doctor’s Differ ran just once for Charlotte and George last season when finishing second in a Maiden race at Holnicote in May. The winner of that race Horse Force One subsequently won two Bumper races in the summer and was placed in a Hurdle so hopes are high that Doctor’s Differ will at least win a Maiden in 2018
The stable is completed by another new acquisition Artson a 5 year old Milan gelding who had three runs in Ireland including finishing fourth once. Described by Charlotte as a baby who is still growing his progress under their care should be watched with interest.
George will ride their horses whilst Charlotte’s riding career on point-to-pointers has been put on hold for the time being although she continues to event and retrain her other horses who are no longer racing.