TVF heavyweights race on bank holiday

PUBLISHED: 23:25 21 March 2010 | UPDATED: 13:59 09 August 2010

HEAVY weight horsemen with a desire to ride at speed over fences will be given the opportunity to do just that when the Taunton Vale Foxhounds stages a special race for those carrying an extra few pounds at its point to point on Easter Monday, writes Lucy Johnson.

HEAVY weight horsemen with a desire to ride at speed over fences will be given the opportunity to do just that when the Taunton Vale Foxhounds stages a special race for those carrying an extra few pounds at its point to point on Easter Monday.

The meeting is a highlight of the racing calendar in Somerset and with other attractions including a 12 furlong charity race, a parade of hounds, entertainment for children including a bouncy castle, a hog roast, an array of trade stands, a licensed bar and the chance to bet, all roads will lead to Kingston St Mary.

Those riding in the heavy weight race include Richard Mitford-Slade, master of the Taunton Vale and owner of Pontispool Equine Sports Centre; Marcus Chambers who won the 2009 running of the charity race, Devon farmer Tom Brown who has been riding his own horse Kitley Hassle in point-to-points carrying several pounds overweight and local builder Greg Day.

Dominic Alers-Hankey, who has helped organise the race, said: "Taunton Vale subscribers love jumping hedges. First of all we introduced the charity race, which involves no jumping, to enable them to take part as they may be too old, too heavy or not good enough to ride in a proper point-to-point.

"But now they would like to ride in a full and proper race over three miles so we introduced a heavyweight division within the members' race.

"All the "heavies" will have a schooling session before they take part in the race and everyone must ride a thoroughbred and they will be wearing a white sash so we know they weigh at least 14st!"

Another draw for the popular point-to-point is the annual charity flat race for owners who have hunted a least six times during the season. In 2008, the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance was the nominated charity and last year it was Help For Heroes. This year the Mark Davies Injured Riders Charity will benefit from the race which takes place after the main card.

"We've donated over £5,000 to the charities over the past two years and its incredibly popular with all our supporters," said Alers-Hankey.

To enjoy the fun head to Kingston St Mary (postcode TA2 8AS) on Monday, April 5 when the first race will be underway at 1pm.


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