All to play for at Bank Holiday Cricket Extravaganza

The May Bank Holiday looms, and the thoughts of all decent men turn to cricket. Forget the West Indies, and our upcoming battles with New Zealand, this is about saving the Horsington Cricket Pitch.

After a year’s absence, our friends the Tabard Pilgrims CC from Chiswick, West London, are returning to Horsington to play our village team. The match is very important as staging a game on the village pitch continues the legal right to use the field as a cricket pitch in future years.

But we need a team. The nucleus is there, but we could do with some more players. If you are handy with a bat or a ball and own, or can borrow, some white trousers, we need you! Contact Philippa Tarling at the Half Moon. – Tel 370140

The match will be played on Sunday 24 May – first ball at 2.30.

There will be a barbeque afterwards at the Half Moon, followed by the traditional Bank Holiday Pub Quiz.

Winterbourne’s Cheltenham results

JollyAllan – Lost
Mendip Express -Lost
Bit of a Puzzle – 3rd at 16-1
Annie Power – Fell at the last, convincingly in front, dashing the hopes of thousands of Irishmen with Willie Mullins accumulators, and saving the bookmaking industry from ruin.

Activial – 3rd at 17-2
At least Winterbourne got one thing right!  In the Cross country event Toutancarmont , the French horse, made an unscheduled  and unseemly left turn and careered into the rails when nicely poised for victory.

Hernryville  – 4th at 50-1, a nice each way coup
Edeymi -lost

Black Friday
Thomas Brown -lost
Fletchers Flyer  -lost
Jollys Cracked it- lost
Karinga Dancer – non runner

Winterboune Longjohns adds this comment:
“Will you make it clear to my readers, if any still exist , that I have absolutely no connection with Winterboune View, the eponymous private care home for those with special needs  in Bristol, that was  recently closed after revelations of physical abuse!

I am am sure  it would not have occurred to anyone – until you mentioned it! -Ed

Your editor was £250 up on the week, mainly by ignoring the Blog’s recommendations and subscribing to a professional tipping service.


Winterbourne Longjohns gets Cheltenham Fever

WealthWinterbourne Longjohns, our resident racing correspondent reports from Cheltenham:

With the curiously early cancellation due to “bad weather” of last week’s ‘free’ meeting at Wincanton four days in advance of its scheduled date, ‘Cannotwin’*  would seem to be intent on living up to its not entirely enviable soubriquet. The Jockey Club , which is responsible for the course, remains oddly silent as to the real reasons for this.

Perhaps an absence of entries may have a bearing here.  Two weeks ago at Taunton a six race card, also on a Thursday, could only attract a grand total of thirty-three runners. Robin Oakley in this week’s Spectator suggests an interesting explanation.

The real problem, he suggests, is not our National Hunt jockeys refusing to wear sun visors and so making a complete farce of many late afternoons hurdle races, but instead it is the fact that although  there are now 650 more race meetings than there were seven years ago in 2008 , there are now 1,600 fewer racehorses in training than there were in 2008. The much increased number of summer jump meetings may also contribute towards this as does the appeal to owners and trainers of much enhanced prize money for races scheduled to be run on a Saturday, while the overall dominance of events such as the Cheltenham Festival may also contribute to this.  In any event small mid week fields do nothing to persuade people to attend race meetings.

And so to Cheltenham, where hope continues to annually triumph over experience. But of course we go on. This year Harry Fry is taking his strongest team to date to Prestbury Park. The disappointing news , especially so for this correspondent, having backed ROCK ON RUBY at 20/1 in January to win Thursday’s Ladbroke World Hurdle, with the horse having been withdrawn on Saturday after having been scoped badly following a disappointing mornings work,  was especially galling with ROR’s price at the time of the withdrawal having tumbled to 8/1.

JOLLYALLEN, also backed earlier in the year by Winterbourne at 20/1, will be very much the centre of his attention  on Tuesday’s opener, the Supreme Novice Hurdle. He represents the first ride of the week for A P McCoy at his final festival before retirement. We are told that A.P. has always liked JOLLYALLEN and believes that he will be well suited by the better ground he is likely to encounter here. MENDIP EXPRESS,  who is said to be in great order will be ridden by top amateur Will Biddick in the UBS H,Cap Chase, while BIT OF A PUZZLE  will be the Fry stable’s third entry of the day in the OLBG Mares Hurdle in which the Irish trained ANNIE POWER  is expected to be a hot favourite.

On Wednesday I am very much hoping to see ACTIVIALfinally achieve  an outstanding success in the Coral Hurdle.  Profitable places in big races at Ascot and Newbury mean that this gallant little grey owes us nothing,  but a success here is most certainly something to be wished for.  HENRYVILLE  has been pencilled in for the Pertemps on Thursday, where Tony Martin’s EDEYMI might well go close as a real Irish gamble

Friday the Seaborough stable’s hopes mainly rest on THOMAS BROWN in the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle. Harry Fry reports that he is in the form of his life and that the three mile trip  looks ideal for him.  It is possible that the Wincanton and Punchestown winner FLETCHERS FLYER may join him in the line up  for this race. Experienced conditional jockey Michael Nolan has been booked for JOLLYS CRACKED IT later in the day and KARINGA DANCER under the excellent Noel Fehily may run in the Grand Annual Chase which will feature A P McCoy’s last ride at the Festival. Finally Swinley Bottom’s French friends are very keen on the chance of their compatriots Toutancarmont in Wednesdays Cross Country event provided that the French pilot can successfully find his way around this impossibly confusing course.They do after all drive on a different side of the road!

*A cunning,  cryptic and cynical anagram for Wincanton –ED

Check out the results

Winterbourne’s tips of the day

Winterbourne Longjohns, our resident racing correspondent writes:

Very enjoyable day in miserable weather at Sandown yesterday, where I learnt that CROCO BAY was strongly fancied to win the 3.05  at Wincanton  this afternoon . I am assured that the owner and all the connections are all supporting  his chance .Other fancies for the day include P’TIT ZIG in the 3.50 at Ascot and Harry Fry’s  FLETCHERS FLYER in the 4.00 at Haydock, where doubtless the going will be hock deep.

Please assure Mrs Badger that indeed a visit to Wincanton is being thought about for either February 25th or March 5th  DV, and that it is indeed a good thing that I have in my possession an original vinyl recording of Guy Hands ‘Loving You Has Made me Bananas” since the link on the Horsington Blog is unfortunately merely a black hole !

If you receive the blog via email, the link may not function. Click on the heading and you will be taken to the blog itself, where everything works. – Ed

Late Update: Croco Bay, came 3rd, P’tit Zig fell, and Fletcher’s Flyer  came 2nd. -Ed

Racing prospects at Wincanton and elsewhere

There is a good card at Wincanton on Thursday 29 January. Winterbourne Longjohns, the Blog’s resident racing correspondent, has sent us this dispatch:

Having drawn a bank, – in point of fact made a loss, – with an over ambitious each way double at Cheltenham on Saturday Winterbourne is hopeful that Harry Fry’s  BLUE BUTTONS will compensate for this unlocked for reverse by running his usual genuine race in the 3. 40 at Wincanton on Thursday.

Meanwhile and more immediately, AROSEFOROSCAR* is expected to confirm the favourable impression he made at Exeter last week by defeating DANCING SOLO in the first at Taunton This afternoon.

Should weather conditions allow and for the moment this looks no more than even money, then ACTiVIAL, who ran so well for us at Ascot last time out, looks like the proverbial**  good thing at 8/1 in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday week on February 7th.

*Aroseforoscar did indeed beat Dancing Solo, but still only came 3rd at 2/1 -Ed.
**I think the proverb is “Never look a gift horse in the mouth” -Ed.

Winterbourne Longjohns picks some likely Christmas winners

2 January: This Post has been updated with the latest results – a 34 -1 treble!!! -ED

W.J., our resident racing correspondent ,writes. .

B.B.S.S. and Forgive us our Christmases for those who Christmas against us. This might well be  Winterborne  Longjohns’ Festive message, for he is once again is forced to camp out while having his ceiling repainted for the third time in as many years, which, as he says , does concentrate the mind wonderfully.

To Ascot, in fact on Saturday, where he hopes to see Harry Fry’s (20 Winners from 74 Runners and a strike rate of just over 27 percent), ACTIVIAL win the Ladbroke Hurdle at the end of the afternoon having been backed down from 14/1 to his present market position of 5/1 favourite over the past forty eight hours.This yard seems to be attracting the attention of some serious heavy bettors at the moment. So if you follow the money its best to follow Harry !  Do remember that this horse was first tipped to the readers of this column in October. Maybe though a saver on SHELFORD, trained and ridden by Dan and Harry Skelton would not go amiss.

Those taking the air at Wincanton on Boxing Day should not miss out   on Hazard Chase Racing’s gallant little hurdler GENERAL GINGER, second here at Wincanton behind a Paul Nicholls hotpot in early November, who has been prepared with this race in mind for some time now. Don’t expect a big price  though ! VUKOVAR ,mind how you pronounce it , may provide that at Kempton that same afternoon. 40/1 is currently on offer and should be considered.

ROCK ON RUBY very much the stable hero at Seaborough should win again at Cheltenham on  New  Years Day which should start 2015 off on a prosperous note for all followers of the Harry Fry yard.

LATE NEWS – Monday 22 December: Actival came 3rd at Ascot on Saturday, Shelford came 4th.

EVEN LATER NEWS – Friday 2 January:Hope you and the Horsington  followers were on Winterbornes  new year Harry Fry treble. Thomas Browne  won the first at 5/1 followed Assam black at 11/4 and then another outstanding win by the stable favourite Rock On Ruby at 5/2. All in all a very satisfactory day !  WJ

Combined odds for a treble were 34 to 1! -ED

Thanks and Happy Christmas, Winterbourne, though we are still mystified  by B.B.S.S. What can it mean?

You can follow the discussion on BBSS and its meaning in comments on the Post “Has Winterbourne Longjohns lost it? -Ed.

Horsington Open Photo Gallery

Here is a line up of photographs from the Horsington Open. Click on an image to see full size.

Sign up to Pilates in Horsington or North Cheriton

Have you ever thought about giving Pilates a try?

Pilates is great for improving your core strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. Whether you’re rehabilitating from an injury and would like to get moving again, or are fit and healthy, Pilates has something to offer everyone, of any age and gender.

Kate Jeans, an IPTA qualified teacher who trained under Suzanne Scott at The Scott Studio, runs a matclass in North Cheriton Village Hall on Thursdays at 3.30pm. The class is open to Beginners and Improvers. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 12 so that individual attention can always be given, and modifications cued whenever necessary.

If you’re interested in giving the class a try please give Kate a call on 07884 105 336 or email Also have a look at Kate’s website to find out more about Kate’s background and Pilates.

In fairness, we ought to mention that Horsington has Pilates on Mondays at 6pm and 7pm  in the village hall, Contact Carol Pirie, 07885 798032


Kevin Wagland wins Horsington Open

Horsington Open Golf
Kevin Wagland (winner) and Phil Bennett from the Half Mooners

The Horsington Open was held for the second year running on Monday 27th October at Folke Golf Centre, Alweston.

This fact alone gives the organisers the right to call it Horsington’s “Annual” golf charity event. The event is billed as a fun day for all-comers.

18 Golfers took to the course to battle it out for the coveted Horsington Open Claret Jug over 9 holes, on a pleasant early autumn morning, which meant that fallen leaves were a minor factor.

Chris Dibben gets ready for the off
Chris Dibben gets ready for the off

Chris Dibben, from the Winky Seniors had the task of defending his title against some stiff and keen opposition. Some people had even trained for the event! The course was in beautiful condition, but was a more difficult challenge that last year’s venue, Henstridge.

The eventual winner was Kevin Wagland from the home team, the Half Mooners(Handicap 28), with a score of 21 points under the Stableford System. He narrowly pipped last year’s winner Chris Dibben (Handicap 23) by 1 point. Kevin has not played for several years, but we wonder what his handicap was before he took a break.

Third was Frank White (Handicap 9) from the Winky Seniors with 17 points. The Winky Seniors also took the team prize, with a total of 67 points.

Other prizes:
Longest drive AND nearest the pin – David West (handicap (14), who also came 4th
Putt of the Day – Neil Edwards (Handicap 28)
Best Newcomer John Macdonald (Handicap 28) with a score of 14
Best injured player Howard Bentley – Marchant (Handicap 28) – 11 points.
Wooden Spoon – Paul Mann (Handicap 28). This was despite having briefly been the holder of the nearest the pin prize AND beating event organiser Richard Gaunt by 2 points. Richard claimed the organiser’s right to award a prize to whomsoever he wanted to and to demonstrate there was absolutely no favouritism when it came to awarding prizes.

The Horsington Open made a small profit of £64.00, which has been donated to St Margaret’s Hospice.

Well done to all competitors, and thanks to Folke Golf Centre, who were excellent and generous hosts.

The Horsington Open 2014 – Order of merit
Kevin Wagland 21
Chris Dibben 20
Frank White 17
Mike Parfitt 15
Derek King 15
John Macdonald 14
David West 14
Colin Constable 14
Ray Phillips 13
Phil Bennett 13
Nick Maynard 13
George Wagland 13
Andrew Tarling 13
Neil Edwards 11
Howard Bentley-Marchant 11
Glyn Parry 6
Paul Mann 5
Richard Gaunt 3

John Macdonald and Richard Gaunt, the worst golfer in Horsington
John Macdonald and Richard Gaunt, the worst golfer in Horsington

Horsington Open Golf – 27th October

Horsington Open poster
Click on the image to download a full size poster

Attention all golfers (and aspirant golfers) at all levels. Put Monday 27th October in your diary. It’s the date of second charity HORSINGTON OPEN golf tournament, to be played at Folke Golf Centre, near Sherborne, a 20-minute drive away from Horsington. The tournament is a 9-hole 4-ball competition.

As the title implies, it is open to all, including ladies and non handicappers. The entry fee is £12.50 per player and the proceeds will be donated to local charities.

Tee off is from 10 am.  The prize giving will be at the Half Moon at 6.30 when the coveted Claret Jug trophy will be awarded to the winner. There will be plenty of other prizes.

There will also be a raffle in aid of the charities.

You will be welcomed with coffee and a bacon roll, and a light lunch will be available to those requiring it.

If you would like to sponsor a golf prize or donate a raffle prize please contact Richard Gaunt, who is organising the competition with George Wagland and Phil Bennett.

You can download a poster here to send to your friends who perhaps don’t read the blog

Book on line here But you must send a cheque for your entry(ies) to Richard Gaunt, Crossing Gate, Horsington BA8 0ER by October 23rd. (This is an automatic system, and you will not get an acknowledgment)

Download more info and an entry form here.  Hand your entry form in at the pub with cash/cheque. All welcome, the more the merrier.

Last year’s event was a great success, despite the weather, and the organisers look forward to welcoming old friends and new at the tournament.

Match report

Map for Folke here:

Link to last year’s successful event