The highs and lows of riding in steeplechases were demonstrated in the most vivid fashion by Emma Bell at the Essex Point-To-Point at High Easter on Saturday.
Bell coaxed a determined display of front-running from the enigmatic Ski Dazzle to spring a 12-1 surprise in the Restricted Race.
Then, just an hour later, the 21-year-old from Biggleswade suffered a crashing fall from Frosty Run in the Ladies’ Open and initial signs were that she had been seriously injured. The air ambulance was called but, a broken collar bone and concussion apart, it transpired that Bell had not been badly hurt, though she was taken to hospital by road for a thorough check-up.
Ski Dazzle was transformed by the application of blinkers after pulling up on both his previous outings. Bell pinched a clear lead in the early stages and, despite being pegged back on the final circuit, her mount showed sufficient resolution to hold off Captain Marshall by two lengths.
High Easter, near Chelmsford, may be approaching 100 miles from the Sharrington home of Nick and Claire Rivett and their son Ben. But it will always have a place in the affections of the North Norfolk farming family after Rivett junior won at this picturesque course for the second year running.
Those are the only two successes that the 22-year-old has managed in his nascent career and Rivett also showed his affinity for this venue when getting a good tune out of Captain Marshall.
The triumph of Sodantay in the Open Maiden was even sweeter than the one he achieved aboard Thatmakestwoofus 364 days earlier as Sodantay was a first winner for his parents, who share both the training and owning responsibilities with the seven-year-old gelding.Sodantay had failed to fire in two previous starts since joining the Rivetts and Ben put his improved performance down to this softer ground. His mother was overjoyed to collect the trophy and joked: “At least I will go home with a happy husband instead of a miserable one, for once.”
Mid Div And Creep and Where’s My Baby, two of East Anglia’s most consistent horses, continued their fine seasons with victories in the Ladies Open and the Intermediate Race respectively.
Now a four-time winner in 2009, Mid Div And Creep jumped superbly under jockey Kelly Smith, from Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, and overcame the challenge of Assassino by five lengths.
Where’s My Baby, who is trained at Kilverstone, near Thetford, by David Kemp, and was ridden by Andrew Braithwaite, from Horseheath, near Haverhill, maintained his record of finishing either first or second in all eight Pointing starts when defying Lord Of The Knar by two lengths.
Monashee Grey, trained at Monks Eleigh by Ruth Pennock and ridden by her husband, Andrew, got the better of a good battle with Reymysterio by a length in the Club Members Race
And the Northants raider, Teeton Bollinger, demonstrated limitless reserves of stamina to keep The Piper’s Son at bay in the three and three-quarter mile Countryside Alliance Race.
During the afternoon, Matt Smith received the East Anglian Jockey Of The Month Trophy for March from Evo King.
Pony Race 1 was won by Maisies Music and Georgina Friswell. Pony Race 2 was won by Tricky Vicky and Tom Bellamy.