SEABOROUGH’S Richard Barber has relinquished his Wessex Point-to-Point Championships top trainer title this year – but the trophy will be staying in the family after Barber’s grandson Jack won it in his first season as a handler.
The younger Barber took the title – for yards with 10 or more horses – on the back of 100 winners compared to his grandad’s 83 and Ed Walker’s 79.
There was some consolation for the older of the two Barbers in that he sent out the area’s leading young horse, the Axe Valley Racing Club-owned Bellsinni Ron.
The Wessex point-to-point area’s six main awards, sponsored by Spillers Horsefeeds, will be presented at the end-of-season party on July 4.
Cornishman Will Biddick will pick up the Leading Gentleman Rider award.
Biddick, who rode 36 winners this season, was also crowned national champion for the third time at the Torrington Farmers meeting at Umberleigh in Devon.
Henstridge trainer Stuart Penny, a supplier of several winners for national champion Bridget Andrews, takes the Wessex area top trainer title for yards housing nine or fewer horses for the first time.
Sixteen-year-old Megan Nich-olls wins both the Leading Lady Rider and Leading Novice Rider awards thanks to her prolific partnership with Gwanako, whose five Wessex area victories earned the Leading Owner award for the Stewart family.
Nicholls also took the National Lady Novice Riders’ crown with 17 winners, all provided by Gwanako, Join Together and Current Event.
Their successes secured the Connolly’s Red Mills National Trainers Championship (for yards housing eight or fewer horses) for their Bruton handler Rose Loxton.
Michael Legg came out on top in the first of two Badbury Rings/Milborne St Andrew awards, the Dick & Sue Wood-house Memorial Challenge Cup for leading rider.
Ciaran Gethings, who is attached to Philip Hobbs’ Bilbrook yard, took the Eric Dymott Novice Riders Trophy.
Other memorial awards include the John Dufosee Trophy for the most successful owner-rider in Wessex, won by Jack Barber (Subtle Sovereign), and the Angie Burrough Trophy for the best rider at her three favourite meetings, claimed this year by Biddick.
The Greenslade Taylor Hunt Wessex Trophy, an award for the most successful horse on courses in the west of the area, went to the Stewart family’s Gwanako.
In the Larkhill Racecourse Specialist Awards lists, Lord Ashton of Hyde’s Cup winner Rumbavu gained further glory as Larkhill’s leading horse, and made the major contribution to Robert Waley-Cohen’s Leading Owner-Trainer Award.
Penny regained his place as leading trainer after being beaten by Richard Barber in 2013.
Only one point separated the top three for the title of top jockey, which ended up being shared by Emily MacMahon and Mark Wall, followed by Katy Lyons.
In contrast, Jack Barber took the Leading Owner-Rider Award by a wide margin aboard Subtle Sovereign.
Full details of the summer party can be found at pointingwessex.co.uk
Spillers 2014 Wessex Area Point-to-Point Championships
Trainer (for yards with more than 10 horses): 1 Jack Barber, 100; 2 Richard Barber, 83; 3 Ed Walker, 79
Trainer (for yards with nine or fewer horses): 1 Stuart Penny, 51; 2 Rose Loxton, 45; 3 Charlotte Davis, 34
Lady Rider: 1 Megan Nicholls, 36; =2 Rilly Goschen, 21; =2 Emily MacMahon, 21
Gentlemen Rider: 1 Will Biddick, 111; 2 Jack Barber, 57; 3 Robbie Henderson, 54
Novice Rider: 1 Megan Nicholls, 36; 2 Ciaran Gethings, 28; 3 Natalie Parker, 17
Owner: 1 The Stewart family, 50 (Gwanako); 2 Axe Valley Racing Club, 42 (Bellsinni Ron), 3 Jack Barber, R Hall, H James & C Slocombe, 39 (Posh Totty)