Highlights of the last three decades of the Dunston Harriers
by Mike Ashby

2010-2015

Date:     11th January 2015        Going:   GOOD to SOFT

Races:    8         Runners:    72         Winning Favourites        3 out of 8  

The ex-David Pipe, stabled horse, CONSIGLIERE, had his first run in points trained by Alan Hill. The 12 year-old gave an impressive performance in the Men’s Open, beating Moroman and he enthused jockey Joe Hill regarding future races for the rest of the season.

BERTIES DREAM followed up his victory in the Ladies’ Open, the previous year, with a comfortable margin victory over Vulcan Surprise. Gina Andrews, again, had the ride whilst her sister, Bridget, rode the runner-up. Gina also took the Club Members’ Conditions event on REY NACARADO.

Two young riders registered their first winning successes. Charles Buckle led two out on  MASTER REMOVER and the pairing just held on from Salutation, in Division One of the Open Maiden. Sixteen year-old, Alice Stevens landed the Novice Rider’s race on CITIZENS ARREST in what was her first ever ride in points and rode a race to belie her limited experience, to win by a length., from Hunters Lodge.

FEATURED HORSE:

BERTIES DREAM:   Bay gelding by Golden Tornado out of Orla’s Pride

An exciting recruit to the pointing arena and the East Anglia region in particular. This gelding holds a tremendous Cheltenham Festival record having won a Grade One Novice Hurdle, finished 6th in a World Hurdle beaten just over 8 lengths by Big Bucks and was 5th in a Pertemps Hurdle Final, all in successive years. In all, he has won six times under NH rules and has now gone on to equal this number of wins in his point-to-point career.

 

2000-2009

Date:     12th March 2000            Going:  GOOD

Races:    7        Runners:    53         Winning Favourites:     4 out of  7Both divisions of the Open Maiden went to horses from the Turner stable, who were competing on their own course. Andrew Sansome had the winning ride on both horses, SQUADDIE and PERSIAN BOY with the latter scoring a 4 length success over Just Chica. Squaddie had a comfortable 20 length margin of victory and as the gelding gets so wounded up pre-racing, he had to be ridden from the Turner’s nearby stables to the course, by Zoe Turner, before parading.

After theses two successes, Andrew Sansome’s afternoon went literally downhill when he was fined £100 for what the Stewards considered ‘reckless riding’ after an incident in the Men’s Open race. The occurrence took place at the second downhill fence which resulted in Matthew Abrey and Dockmaster going through the wing of the fence. The winner of the race was HATCHAM BOY, one of three winners on the day for Christian Ward-Thomas, the others being VILLAGE COPPER and MANNA BRAVE.

A memorable day for Caroline Fryer, in the concluding Novice Rider’s event with her first riding success on ANN’S AMBITION, who she jointly owned with her father and was trained by Mike Bloom.

FEATURED HORSE:

VILLAGE COPPER :   Bay gelding by Town and Country out of  Culm Valley

Always seen at his best when conditions were ‘good’ or firmer, this gelding put in some consistent performances during the 2000 season. Amassed four wins during this campaign with two each, both here at Ampton and Cottenham.

 

1990-1999

Date:   15th March 1997                Going:    GOOD TO FIRM, FIRM in places

Races:  8     Runners:     52         Winning Favourites:     4 out of8

OVER THE EDGE won the Men’s Open to record his fifth course win, in the hands of Simon Sporborg. The partnership had 8 lengths to spare over Exarch and Alan Coe. Alan had earlier been

in the winner’s enclosure on THURLES PICKPOCKET, in Division Two of the Open Maiden, after a narrow, neck victory over The Prior. A very tight finish overall to this race with only 4 lengths, covering the next four horses home. The first division went to Nigel Padfield’s FAHA MOSS, ridden by Simon Andrews, who were 10 lengths clear of their nearest rival.

Craig Jarvis , a local hotelier and restaurateur had wasted heavily to achieve a well earned victory in the Novice Rider’s race, on his own horse, NOBLE KNIGHT, trained by Neil King. In the following race, which concluded the afternoon’s racing, Neil, himself, donned the colours of George Prodrumo and partnered SAINT BENE’T to outclass their only rivals, Stoneymaster and Nigel Bloom, in the Hunt race.

FEATURED HORSE:

OVER THE EDGE:    Chestnut gelding by Over The River out ofBanish Misfortune

A tremendous performer for the Sporborg family who particularly excelled in the jumping sphere. Was rated the top Irish Pointer and Hunter ‘Chaser back in 1992 and his record during the two back-to-back seasons pf 1996 and 1997 saw the gelding victorious in no less than ten races.

 

1980-1989

Date:   21st February 1981             Going:     GOOD           

Races:   6     Runners :  51          Winning Favourites:      3 out of 6      

The Royal Norfolk Showground at Costessey was the venue for this fixture and the day will remain significant in the Bloom dynasty forever. Not only did father Mike Bloom partner the first two winners of the afternoon but his son Nigel then rode his first ever winner, in the Men’s Open, at the age of 17. Mike’s winners were PURPLE HAZE, in the opening Hunt race, quickly followed by RAILWAY CITY in the next event, the Adjacent Hunt’s race. Nigel’s memorable moment came when he steered FLING DING to a 3 length victory, after the pair had survived a monumental blunder during the race. The runner-up was Hill Point, which was David Turner’s first mount back, having overcome a broken leg.

A heart stopping moment for all in attendance during the Ladies’ Open when Nicola Barber, aboard her grandfather’s horse, David Tudor, had to swerve to avoid a car that was erroneously on the course, during the race. The pair took a glancing blow, from the impact, and were unable to negotiate the next fence and were forced out of the contest, fortunately with no ill-effects from the incident. The race was won by GO FLY, ridden by Mrs. Joey Newton.

FEATURED HORSE:

PURPLE HAZE:   Bay gelding by Meadow Mint out of Sageway

Staying was this gelding’s forte and if he had firm ground conditions, underfoot, then he certainly showed his best form. Won the Hunt race here in 1981 and followed up with another success, in the same race, the following year. Also won a division of the Men’s Open at the Cambridgeshire meeting at Horseheath, during 1981, with Nibby Bloom in the saddle.