There was some local success at the Morpeth Point-to-Point horse races on Sunday.
Whiteabbey won the Agrii Restricted race at the Tranwell course under a confident ride from Morpeth jockey Amie Waugh.
This horse had previously been unenthusiastic in racing and an awkward jumper until her dedicated owner, Rebecca Hewitt, asked Amie to take over the ride.
Rebecca, who also trains the horse, recently had a baby but she continued riding Whiteabbey until a week before her baby was born, then took just one week off and carried on riding and training.
And the hard work paid off as a third was followed by a second and a first place at Kelso before the victory at Tranwell.
The win at Kelso qualified the horse for a Hunter Chase race at Cheltenham later this month.
Rebecca said: “You may only get one chance to take a horse to Cheltenham so, after today, we are definitely going.”
This will be a first for the Hewitt family, Amie and the horse, but they are ready to take on the big southern trainers.
Experienced jockey Val Jackson was also celebrating after winning the Temple Equine Livery and Training Members race on Wave Power.
There was a terrific battle between Ballyvesey and Victor Thompson’s Indian Print in the Metnor Group Men’s Open race. Toby Speke drove the ultra-reliable Indian Print over the line but was judged to have been dead-heated with Ballyvesey.
Victor, from Alnwick, was gracious in his verdict, saying: “The horse has won about 16 or 17 times for me over the years and I fully respect the judges’ verdict as they are best placed and have no camera.
“I’m delighted with the horse.”
The race sponsors enjoyed excellent hospitality and the Morpeth Hunt Supporters’ Club were run off their feet all day serving drink and home-made food to the many people who, buoyed by the better weather, enjoyed a superb day of racing.
The Point-to-Point committee would like to thank all the helpers, volunteers and sponsors who – together with the horses and their connections – put together an excellent event.
Results – North East Grains 4,5,6 & 7 yr old Maiden: 1 Oscar Stanley, 2 Whisperdale, 3 Have One For Me; Temple Equine Livery and Training Members’ Race: 1 Wave Power, 2 My Humbel Bee; The V&S Developments Open Maiden: 1 Parlour of Dreams, 2 Dun Faw Good, 3 Kilmacallogue; The Westerhope Tiling Centre Ladies Open: 1 Scarlet Fire, 2 Tipsy Dara, 3 Amour Daria; The Metnor Group PLC Men’s Open: 1 dead heat between Indian Print and Ballyvesey, 3 The Rustlin Rhino; The Grainco Ltd PPORA Members’ Race: 1 Banogue, 2 Noir et Vert, 3 Sammy Spiderman; The Agrii Restricted Race: 1 Whiteabbey, 2 True Thomas, 3 Red Myst.