Traditionally the last meeting of the Welsh trotting harness racing season has been a charity meeting, and this year this prestigious occasion was held at the Ivington track near Leominster, UK on Saturday, September 17.
It is a time to reflect on the season and celebrate the triumphs of the leading competitors both equine and human as well as look back on the weekly fun. It was a lovely sunny afternoon with a real party atmosphere.
The first race of the day was the Grade B. Ayr Major led from the gate but with a couple of furlongs to go Beg For Mercy took up the running, however Ayr Major wasn’t finished with, and he and his owner driver Shane Eggerton from Norton Canon put in a late challenge so that the camera was needed to confirm the verdict.
It was last week’s winner Ayr Major just coming home in front of Beg For Mercy (Tromans, Newcastle Emlyn) while the appropriately named No Stoppin (Greenway, Michaelchurch Eskley) ran on to be third.
The first Baby Novice saw the talented Ellavalad owned and driven by Bill Hughes from Cwmbach lead from early on, while the somewhat erratic Ithon Prince, despite a few mistakes made up ground to claim second for David Duggan from Howey, and the charismatic Fold take Flight with owner Myfannwy Miles on board was third.
In the second Baby Novice three horses raced over the finish together, with the camera again called for to split them. It was the back marker Carrie on Fred driven by Lynne Boxhall for Liam Middleton of Llandrindod, who gained the verdict, from Ithon Papa (Rowlands, Rhayader) while long-time leader Woodstone Miranda (Hughes, NewRadnor) had to be content with third.
The break followed when the season’s awards were presented, the champion driver was Mathew Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn while the Champion lady driver was Lynne Boxhall from Brecon.
After the break the fun races began, the first was the saddle race when Laura Bevan one of the stalwarts helping with racing each week, put aside the scanner and proved her ability in the saddle on the family pony Easy Company, beating the popular saddle horse No Stoppin (Greenway, Michaelchurch Eskley).
The next race was the non-whip race, this was won by Fold Showman and Oliver (OJ) Jones for the Perks family from Presteigne, with another genuine runner Victoria Penlan (Thomas, Pontypridd) in second, while Carrie on Fred (Middleton, Llandrindod) was third.
The non-drivers took up the reins in the next race with new supporter Daniel Millard partnering Easy Connection (Chettwr, Cannock) to an easy victory in front of Ithon Papa (Rowlands, Rhayader) driven by Kate Lewis with Olympics driven by owner Gareth Mills, Llanddewi in third.
The last race of the day was the mile and a half in which the consistent stayer Whiskyandwater driven by Richard Staples for the Morgan family from Knighton came home in front of Ayr Major and Shane Eggerton from Norton Canon.
1 Ayr Major (Shane Eggerton) owned & trained Eggerton Norton Canon 2 Beg For Mercy 3 No Stoppin Time: 2:11.91
1 Lakeside Pan (Mathew Tromans) owned Elder New Quay trained Bevan Llanddewi 2 Dernol Yankee 3 Whiskyandwater Time: 2:09.38
1 Zulu Warrior (Mathew Tromans) owned & trained Tromans, Newcastle Emlyn 2 Olympics 3 Victoria Penlan Time: 2:11.13
Baby Novice – race 1
1 Ellavalad (Bill Hughes) owned & trained Hughes, Cwmbach 2 Ithon Prince 3 Fold Take Flight Time: 2:17.78
Baby Novice – race 2
1 Carrie on Fred (Lynne Boxhall) owned Middleton Llandrindod trained Hardwick Brecon 2 Ithon Papa 3 Woodstone Miranda Time: 2:21.78
1 Easy Company (Laura Bevan) owned & trained Bevan Llanddewi 2 No Stoppin Time: 2:11.53
Non Whip Race
1 Fold Showman (Oliver OJ Jones) owned & trained Perks, Presteigne 2 Victoria Penlan 3 Carrie on Fred Time: 2:14.03
Non Drivers Race
1 Easy Connection (Daniel Millard) owned & trained Chettwr, Cannock 2 Ithon Papa 3 Olympics Time: 2:16.22
Mile and a half race
1 Whiskyandwater (Richard Staples) owned Morgan Knighton trained Hardwick, Brecon 2 Ayr Major Time: 3:22.65