Bad weather fails to stop beginning of point-to-point season

Summoned, owned by Mr G.F.White, races to victory. Ridden by Richard Smith. Picture by Michael Pearson
Summoned, owned by Mr G.F.White, races to victory. Ridden by Richard Smith. Picture by Michael Pearson
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The point-to-point racing season returned to north Northumberland this afternoon, with Ratcheugh Racing Club, near Alnwick, hosting its first fixture of the new calendar.

Despite heavy rain over the weekend, the course inspection reported that the going had heavy patches but that the three-mile course was ready to go.

Nic Orpwood after winning the mens open race. Picture by Michael Pearson

Nic Orpwood after winning the mens open race. Picture by Michael Pearson

Having attracted a healthy 92 entries across the six races, the afternoon was an exciting day for both spectators and competitors, with eight of last year’s triumphant horses returning to the Ratcheugh track.

Trainer Jessica McKie, of Lanton, had a great return with Crazy Diamond who did not disappoint in the capable hands of Nic Orpwood, winning the fiercely-contested men's open race.

And with lots of thrills came some spills, notably in the second race when only three horses managed to cross the finish line.

A full report and picture spread will be in this week's Northumberland Gazette