Foxgrant Ferrari, ridden by William Grant, leads the IW Grand National from Shalcombe Skyline, ridden by Sophie Sheldon. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
VIDEO & PICTURE GALLERY
EQUESTRIANBRILLIANT sunshine and a bumper crowd greeted the runners and riders in this year’s Creasey Biles and King IW Grand National and Ashey Scurry, which took place on Sunday.
The fine weather brought out horse enthusiasts, tourists, families and a lot of dogs for the racing at West Ashey Farm.
The original event was postponed owing to waterlogged fields but the going could not have been more perfect for the races and for the many picnics being held.
Across the five events there was only one faller, Liphook youngster Grace Turnbull taking a tumble aboard Foxy Cleopatra in the junior division Ashey Scurry race.
She was given rapturous applause as she got back in the saddle and entered the paddock with all the other finishers.
The main race, the IW Grand National, was won by a mainland horse and rider this year, leaving the champion of the past two years, Sophie Sheldon and Shalcombe Skyline, in second.
Taking home the Blackgang Chine Cup was Salisbury-based William Grant, 49, aboard Foxgrant Ferrari.
He said: "This usually clashes with the team chase finals but when it was postponed I thought I would come down and have a go. It was brilliant fun, just fantastic."
Grant paid tribute to his horse, who has placed highly all year, and said: "I couldn’t afford a real Ferrari but he will do. He’s big, red and fast!"
CBK Grand National and Ashey Scuury
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Another mainland rider took the spoils in the senior section of the Ashey Scurry, Caroline Taylor, from Winchester, winning aboard Millennium Way. Medina High School student Alex Hall, 16, Of Yarmouth, took the junior section with Harlie, leading throughout the race.
In the first two races of the day, the best turned out horse or pony took the race win.
In the Puffing Billy Stakes, for riders under 15 and for ponies 14hh or under, the grey Khaya Angelica, ridden by Madeleine Hughes, was a comfortable winner.
The Lake Middle School student, 13, of Newchurch, was one of several riders to wear a special harness with a camera attached, in order to film action during the race.
She said: "It didn’t hamper me at all, its actually quite comfortable."
In the Puffed Out Billy Stakes, late entry Lucinda Wilkins, and her horse Penstrumbly Push Pop, was another clear winner, beating off challenges from Wootton Moonbeam, ridden by Jodie Newey, and Maverick, ridden by Nicola Hayden.
Lucinda, a nurse at St Mary’s Hospital, broke the horse in last year and said she was confident of victory as she has completed a full season of hunting.
In addition to the competitive racing, there was also a parade by the IW Hunt, which included an opportunity for children to meet and greet the very friendly dogs.
For the betting types, there was a sweepstake stand for four of the races during the day, and in between races, racegoers were able to enjoy real ale, ice creams and a barbecue.
• Results in the Friday, April 23, County Press.
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.
Click on the image for a larger version.