Page 87

racing-fit. The season came to an end with the last days hunting on Monday 6th March 2017, with Lt Col Ratty Thurston coming out with the Quorn for his first day’s hunting. It’s important to note how grateful the Winter Training Troop is to the Household Division Saddle Club, the Defence Animal Centre, the Mastership of the Quorn, Cottesmore and Belvoir Hounds, as well as all farmers and landowners who have let us train on their land. None of this would be possible without your help and support. The Hunting Officer showing off

The Household Cavalry Race Report

T

he Household Cavalry Race was resurrected this year, and run for the first time alongside the Melton Hunt Club Ride. Ten horses from the Winter Training Troop were built-up to racing fitness and ridden by serving soldiers and officers around 2.5 miles of the 3.5 mile Melton course. The day began with our heroes emerging from unfamiliar country piles throughout the Leicestershire. Most had been at the Quorn Hunt Ball the night before - so it was a gathering of weary heads that assembled at the DAC on the morning of the Race. In stark comparison, Capt Boyt (LG) and SCM Sampson (RHG/D) skipped into the tack-room, having taken a bye on the Ball in a desperate attempt to get one-over on the competition. Capt Sudlow (RHG/D) and LCpl Berry (RHG/D) had become the favourites after they drew Llamerai and Lingen (both RHG/D) out of the hat. However, having spent the past three days walking the course, it was clear that LCpl Berry was likely to have the edge over the veteran Hunting Officer. We mounted, and joined up with the Melton competitors to trot down to the

Warming up and blowing away the cob-webs

Away together over the first fence

start. By now the adrenaline was pumping, and everyone was wide awake. It was as close to the start of the Grand National that most of us would ever get. Indeed, there were many jockeys in the Melton race who will be riding around Aintree in a matter of months.

Prize-giving was officiated by Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles (RHG/D) and watched-on by Lord Patrick Beresford (RHG/D), Thomas Dunne (RHG/D), Charles Fraser (LG) and Milo Manton (LG) amongst a hundred other supporters and well-wishers.

We circled - a coiled spring of fifty horses foaming, tensing, ready to go. At the drop of the Starter’s Flag we were off.

We are indebted to Mr Nico Morgan for all the photographs above. It is most generous of this talented professional photographer to make his photographs available to us at no charge.

Two and a half miles of lush Leicestershire grassland, and a host of stiff timber rails, gates and hedges later, Llamerai, ridden by Capt Sudlow, crossed the line first, followed by Lingen three lengths behind ridden by LCpl Berry. Capt Boyt took third place, and first Life Guard home. Capt Faire (RHG/D) and LCpl Smith (LG) were the only fallers, with a threehorse pile-up at the final fence. Thankfully, all walked away from it, with nothing but bruised pride - especially for the future Hunting Officer.

Captain Soames, Brigadier Parker Bowles and the Winner Captain Sudlow

Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 85

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Advertisement