West of Yore is to the fore at Askham

Katie Sharman, West of Yore Hunt committee member, Liz Philip, and student Amy Clarke riding five-year-old Falco.
Katie Sharman, West of Yore Hunt committee member, Liz Philip, and student Amy Clarke riding five-year-old Falco.
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A POPULAR Yorkshire Point to Point which stalled after losing its course has now got back off to a racing start with the announcement that it has a new venue at Askham Bryan College near York.

For the last 13 months, the West of Yore Hunt has been without a base for its annual point to point after the land it has used for many years was earmarked for housing.

Richard Wells, Point to Point committee chairman explained: “The West of Yore operates north and west of Ripon and the loss of our site there meant we weren’t able to hold the Point to Point this year.

“We knew that Badsworth and Bramham Moor had moved their Point to Point to Askham Bryan so I came along to that in March and was impressed, both with the course and with the College who had put it together so quickly.

“We decided that we wanted to come here, we met with the college team and have fixed a date of Sunday, February 28 for the event.

“We’re now working with the college team on the preparations and I know there will be a good day’s racing.”

Each circuit is approximately a mile long with seven fences and each race will consist of three circuits of the course.

There will be races for novice horses, novice riders and a “mixed open” for the best Yorkshire point-to-pointers. Prize money of £450 is on offer.

Liz Philip, the College’s executive principal, said: “I’m thrilled that we are able to support the West of Yore in bringing their Point to Point back on to the calendar.

“This builds on our success with the Badsworth and Bramham Moor event, and underlines our commitment to the Yorkshire racing fraternity.

“In addition it gives our students another opportunity to get hands-on experience of helping to organise a live event.”

The college has a strong equestrian pedigree, not only with equine courses from diploma level through to degrees, but it also runs the Askham Bryan College Academy with Olympic trainer Christopher Bartle and four days of BE horse trials.

British Eventing say that Olympian and former world number one William Fox-Pitt has “made progress” following his cross-country fall at the World Young Horse Championships on October 17.

But British Eventing also added that he remains “very ill” at Angers Hospital in north-west France.

The competition was delayed for more than an hour while Fox-Pitt received treatment before being taken to hospital.

His horse Reinstated was uninjured in the incident, which happened at an owl hole fence.

In a statement released this week, British Eventing said: “William has made progress over the weekend, and he is conscious, breathing on his own and communicating with his family and doctors.

“However, he is still very ill.

“He and his family are very grateful for all the support and messages. It is hugely appreciated. Further progress is going to take time, so please continue to respect the family’s privacy.”

Fox-Pitt had been sedated throughout last week. An initial statement posted on his official website nine days ago said he had suffered a “head trauma” after falling during the seven-year-old class at Le Lion-d’Angers.

The 46-year-old, who is based at Sturminster Newton in Dorset, won Britain’s top event – the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials – earlier this year.

During a stellar career, he has collected 20 major championship medals, including three Olympic team podium finishes and six European team gold medals as a lynchpin of Great Britain’s eventing team.

Fox-Pitt is currently ranked third in the world behind German pair Michael Jung and Ingrid Klimke.