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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Plenty of action in opening day of the HTA championship

THE opening day of the HTA championship provided followers with trails at both ends of the county.

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Emily Irving: with Overwater Harry

There was plenty of support on Sunday for the first Kirkbride meeting. Matador (John Grisedale and Heidi Messenger) was the very easy winner of the senior trail, with Reg Smith’s Artisan in second place some 20 yards ahead of Malcolm and Ann Holmes’ Sunshine, and these were a long way ahead of the rest.

Get Up, owned by Peter and Chris Henderson and Jake Bennett, with wins already over the course in pre-season trials, finished well to beat the Crosby and Thompson partners’ Acacia and Carole Harrison’s Chicharito narrowly in a well-run puppy trail.

Overwater Harry came on his own in the open non-winners to give Emily Irving her first-ever winner. Hazel Gray had second and fourth with Hutton Dandini and Hutton Ivy, while Hurry On, kennel-mate of the senior winner, was in third place.

It was close in the All-In trail, with Reg Bell’s Enoch beating Margaret Hugo’s High Challenge, and the Lynch and McMaster’s Endurance in third.

The other venue was Askam-in-Furness, the first of a series of trails being held there early in the season.

The senior trail was won well by Jacob McClink who set the pace from the slip but, although always prominent, had conceded the lead to Dizzee Rascal as they raced onto the finish.

But it was John and Val Loan’s dog who responded best to the whistles and came on to beat his rival by five or six yards with Evermore some way back in third.

March trial notable Capetown was fancied to get off the mark in the championship but although prominent early made a mistake and eventually had to settle for fifth place.

Denis Peare and Jackie Gill’s Rumours was impressive and the daughter of Fleetwood Mac and Sensation pulled well away from her rivals on the finish, going on to win by 20 yards. Valiant, who had been among the leading group early on, hung in for second with Misty Bay in third.

Barbara and Geoff Jones sent-out the winner of the open maidens as their Sunlight produced a telling turn of speed in the closing stages to get up and pip Wattmore by a short head. Pip’s Lad was close up in third.

Former puppy champion Dairy Diamond had a run in the All-in and showed-up promisingly, a close second behind Jayne and Mark Petersen and company’s Cavendish who had been in charge from a long way out. Kennel-mate Cancelllara was back in third.

On Monday it was over to Bower House and a good turn-out of hounds, which included 31 for the puppy trail.

First-up though were the seniors and it was kennel-mates Cinnabar and Valhalla who dominated for Denis Peare and Jackie Gill. They both came onto the finish well clear and although Valhalla appeared to be the kennel fancy it was Cinnabar who got in front two yards off the line and won by a length. Quiet Swallow was some way back in third.

In a typical first puppy trail at Bower House the youngsters made several mistakes. There seemed to be a lot in contention coming down the fell, but they were a long time out of sight. When they emerged a group went straight on and hunted around, eventually ending in a frantic dash to the line involving about seven dogs.

It was down to the camera and the catchers in the end after a very tight finish, with Jenny’s Rascal called the winner ahead of Mayhem and Huntsman’s Hope.

The open restricted trail was contested by 28 runners but there was a comfortable winner in Tiagress who had about nine or ten yards on Newtown Clover at the line with Malinda in third.

The final March trial trail was at Plumpton last Thursday when litter mates Fram and Eden Rosa led in their 13 rivals. The pair are by Huntsman’s Dazzler out of Halloween. Shambles ((Rhinestone Cowboy x Spot On) was third.

Kerrymore won the seniors, finishing in front of Black Eyed Pea and Sundown in a field of 17 runners.

A total of 32 teams have entered the ever-popular Team Competition, and Katy’s Krackers went into an immediate lead in both divisions after a productive day at Askam.

Just 18 have taken a chance to be Top Tipster. Most picked senior is Tagget (13), while Capetown and Get Up, with 10, are the most popular puppy choices.

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