'Whacky Races' time for Kentucky

THE intrepid Oliver Townend should now be in Lexington, Kentucky following his epic journey which the Yorkshire Post reported on yesterday. He is hoping to complete the Rolex Grand Slam which has a prize of over £230,000.

Stephen Hazeldine, the owner of ODT Master Rose, one of the horses he will be riding, should have been flying to Kentucky on Monday with his wife and daughter to support Townend.

"Now we are doing our own 'Whacky Races' in an attempt to get there," said Stephen, who lives at Whixley, near York and is joint master of the York and Ainsty Hunt.

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"We spent all Sunday on the phone and the internet trying to help Oliver get from Paris to Madrid but then he managed to find a taxi. He'll be okay, he seems to be taking it as a bit of an adventure."

Stephen and his daughter Victoria will be travelling by ferry from Hull to Rotterdam tonight, then by taxi to Schipol where they will fly to Detroit and on to Lexington. All being well, they will fly home on Sunday. The competition begins tomorrow.

"We have to get on that plane. Fingers crossed we can get there," said Stephen.

York and Ainsty hold their point-to-point at Easingwold on Sunday. There are 188 entries for the eight-race card.

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The first race, at 2pm, is the Hunt Members' race where Oojar could be in the running after winning his maiden race at Brocklesby Park in March.

The Men's race has some high quality entries, including Amicelli, Bow School and Quechua Des Obeaux but the course and ground suit Brown's Beck, who will be making his seasonal appearance.

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