Highlights of the last three decades at High Easter
by Mike Ashby

       THE FIRST ESSEX HUNT MEETING AT HIGH EASTER

 Date:    28th March 1992                Going:    GOOD

 Races:      7                                      Runners:     75

 Winning Favourites:     1 out of7

 HUNT RACE( 9 ran)

 The first ever meeting at High Easter and as ifit had been  written in the script, the Marriage family took the opening Hunt race, on their own course.  SPRING SALE and Karen Parris won at the lucrative odds of 20/1, running on strongly from an untidy jump at the last, to beat the favourite Foxy Games by eight lengths. The owners had to endure a steward’s enquiry into possible interference between their horse and the second but any possible involvement was considered accidental and the whole Marriage family were able to commence their celebrations.

CONFINED RACE( 9 ran)

The first and second in this race were miles ahead of their rivals at the finish with FABULOUS QUEEN just holding on from the fast finishing Quick Reaction. Richard Downing had successfully poached a commanding lead by three out on the winner which may have caught the runner-up by surprise but the mare, who had exceptional flat race form in France in her younger days, was still in front where it mattered and held on by two lengths.

LADIES’ OPEN RACE( 5 ran)

The prestigious Warwick Vase, always contested at this meeting, went to the Pat Rowe, owner of SHEDID and ridden by her daughter Lisa, who made full use of the mare’s five pound allowance

and made all the running. None of the other runners could make an impression, as they were driven along to keep up with the pace, including the favourite As You Were. In the end the winner had

two lengths to spare over Martineau and Paula Claydon, with the favourite back in fourth place.

MEN’S OPEN RACE   ( 7 ran)

With an official winning margin of fifteen lengths, RUBIE’S CHOICE victory in this race was the most decisive of the day. Paul Taiano had the prolific grey gelding running his normal race by making all the running and jumping immaculately. The second place was decided by a neck with Roars of Applause snatching the verdict over the third home, Spartan Sprite.

RESTRICTED RACE   ( 15 ran)

William Sporborg employed what has become classic race tactics around the High Easter course. He had NO REBASSE in a handy position during the first circuit and then made his move two fences out where the pairing went clear by a couple of lengths and stayed on strongly over the remainder of the race. The frenetic pace of the race, which was run in the fastest time of the day, clearly was the undoing of the favourite, Phoebe’s Hot who blundered his chance away several times during the race with jumping mistakes.

CONFINED MAIDEN RACE ( Division One )   ( 15 ran)

Runners were plentiful in all races with the Confined Maiden having to be split, resulting in 15 runners in each division. GLANMOORE and Simon Stearn were far from foot perfect in the opening division but pluckily took the lead at the last, again blundering in the process and quickened clear to beat Double Light and the favourite Radiant Monarch in a blanket finish. The winner was making his pointing debut for Malcolm Kemp having previously been hurdling, under national Hunt rules, for northern trainer, Tom Tate.

CONFINED MAIDEN RACE ( Division Two )    ( 15 ran )

Division Two went to Helen Pewter on SANTANO, who won  convincingly enough on the day from the favourite, none other than Melton Park and Nigel Bloom.  Helen took over the ride from her brother, Guy, who had ridden the grey gelding in his previous races, and recorded this notable victory here. Notable for the fact that this was Helen’s first point-to-point winner and also that they beat the soon-to-become, winning machine, Melton Park, by three lengths after running on strongly from the second last.  The nine year old, Melton Park, finished the season as a maiden but went on to secure numerous victories for owner Jim Papworth, in the seasons to follow.