POINT-TO-POINT: Biddick and Nicholls are the top Wessex Area riders

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Local Point-to-Point Local Point-to-Point

THE Wessex Point-to-Point Area’s six main awards, sponsored by Spillers Horsefeeds, will be presented at the end-of-season party on Friday (July 4).

Leading gentleman rider is Cornishman Will Biddick, who was also crowned National Champion for the third time.

Biddick rode 36 winners this season, many provided by Seaborough (Dorset) handler Richard Barber, who sent out the Area’s Leading Young Horse Bellsinni Ron, but relinquished his Wessex Area Trainer (for yards housing 10+ horses) title to his grandson, first-season handler Jack Barber.

Henstridge trainer Stuart Penny, who supplied several vital winners for national champion Bridget Andrews, takes the Wessex Area Trainer title (for yards housing nine or fewer horses) for the first time.

Sixteen-year-old Megan Nicholls won both the Leading Lady Rider and Leading Novice Rider awards, thanks to her prolific partnership with Gwanako, whose five Wessex wins gained the Leading Owner Award for The Stewart Family. Megan also took the National Lady Novice Riders' title with 17 winners, all provided by Gwanako, Join Together and Current Event. Their successes also secured the Connolly’s Red Mills National Trainers' Championship (for yards housing eight or fewer horses) for their Bruton handler Rose Loxton.

Michael Legg triumphed in the first of two Badbury Rings/Milborne St Andrew awards, the Dick & Sue Woodhouse 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, won by Will 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.

Stuart Penny regained his place as Leading Trainer after being beaten by Richard Barber in 2013.

Only one point separated the top three for the Leading Rider title, which was shared by Emily MacMahon and Mark Wall from Coln Rogers, followed by Katy Lyons.

In contrast, Jack Barber took the Leading Owner-Rider award by a wide margin aboard Subtle Sovereign.

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