Up the Downs

A view from the  stable yard by our man of the turf, Winterbourne Longjohns.

The Blog is fortunate to have secured the services of the first class racing tipster, Winterbourne Longjohns. His maiden column is timely, for today is a Wincanton race day. Our tipster has been a lifelong reader of the Horsington Blog, but he brings an altogether new style, a welcome relief from the stark, functional prose of your editor.

Over to you, Winterbourne. . .

On this auspicious date I thought that you should be the first to know that  owing to  my strained financial situation I have now reluctantly decided to come out from a long and hard earned retirement and once again take up the rigours and shackles of employment.

I have no doubt that this will come as some considerable shock to you but as from today’s date I will be working as the National Hunt correspondent of the Horsington Blog covering the jump racing scene under the pseudonym Winterbourne Longjohns ,while my alter ego Swinley Bottom will from time to time advise the Blog’s readers and subscribers on flat racing prospects.

It may interest you to learn that Swinley’s first 2014 selection Orienteering, an Andre Fabre trained Juddmont home bred three year old from whom all expect a great deal, will be running at St Cloud later today. Incidentally Swinley Bottom’s European counterpart Captain Krumpnick can be reached c/o The Hayloft . L’ Ecurie des Nags, Chantilly , France and we very much hope that he will be able to provide us with profitable overseas information from time to time.

The thought has occured to me that with such world class information at my finger tips  my syndicated services might be of interest to such other magazines as Prospect, The Fortean Times  and Horse and Hound and I will be pursuing this possibility in due course of time. Hoping that this statement of intent proves as exciting to you as it does to me.

My Wincanton selections are all Harry Fry horses, viz 2.45pm Presenting Arms. 4.15pm Henryville. 4,45 pm Oscars Lad . 5.15pm Jolly Allan.  (looks like he’s going for a Yankee –Ed). Then I am going very strongly on Actival in the 2.oopm at Aintree, and Rock on Ruby in the 3.o5pm the following day.

My Grand National  (which will be shown in the Half Moon during the Music and Craft Festival on Saturday) selections are Tea for Two (Surely Teaforthree? –Ed)  and Shakalakaboomboom.

Well, there you are. We wish everyone the best of luck. Can’t wait for your next dispatch, Winterbourne.

Winterbourne . . . Really!

Horsington Open is a great success

The first ever “Horsington Open” golf tournament to raise money for the church roof, was held on Monday November 11 at Henstridge Golf club. The 22 competitors braved a light drizzle to compete over 9 holes for the coveted Horsington Claret Jug trophy, kindly donated by Charles James of Ottery Antiques, and Richard Gaunt.

In fact “The S & D Open”, after the closed railway line, might have been a more appropriate title, as competitors came from Wincanton, to Stalbridge and all stations in between. One player was from Warminster, another from Lincolnshire (which also boasts a Horsington).

The Winner! Chris Dibben of Wincanton Seniors
The Winner! Chris Dibben of Wincanton Seniors

At the top of the leader board it was a tight competition between some very good low handicap golfers. Peter Gripper and David Blake  from Horsington narrowly failed to beat a challenge from George Wagland from Henstridge (playing for the Half Moon), and the eventual winner,  Chris Dibben from Wincanton, who won the competition overall with a stunning 26 points, which will no doubt be of interest to the handicap secretary at his home club!

Chris Bennett from Lincolnshire, David West from Yenston, Phil Bennett and Andrew Tarling from Horsington all put in creditable scores.

Frank White of Winky Seniors gets his mind in gear for the longest drive
Frank White of Winky Seniors gets his mind in gear for the longest drive

Best Team
The Winky Seniors, Wincanton
Best lady golfer  Ginty Malcolm, Templecombe
Nearest the pin on the  3rd hole Graham Soper, Stalbridge
Longest drive on the 7th  Frank White, Wincanton

The fun element of the tournament was the Cricket competition on the side. If you hit your ball over the green without touching the ground, score 6. If you hit your ball across the (surprisingly fast) green, and off the other side, score 4. The Old Bakers & Bowmakers (Phil Bennett, Paul Mann, Brian Tunnicliffe and Graham Soper) scored a staggering  98 runs, way ahead of anyone else.

The individual high score went to Chris Bennett (no relation), who scored 36, but also came 4th equal in the competition. Something wrong with his range finding equipment!

Phil Bennett, Andrew Tarling and George Wagland
Phil Benett, Andrew Tarling and George Wagland

At the bottom of the table (and we do mean bottom), Horsington’s three worst golfers, Ted Banks, Paul Mann and Richard Gaunt carried off the booby prizes, two chocolate golf balls and  one Suduko Toilet roll!

All in all this was a very enjoyable day, despite the weather. Henstridge Golf Club proved to be a very good venue, with excellent facilities and a very hospitable and welcoming team. £110 was raised for the Church roof fund.

Thanks also to, Andrew and Philippa Tarling of the Half Moon, Steve Love of the Arch, Sherborne Paul Mann, Ginty Malcolm, Libby Gaunt, Chris Bailward, Ted Banks and Henstridge Golf Club  for generously donating prizes.

The Horsington Open Order of Merit 2013

Name H/cap Team name Pts Pos
Chris  Dibben 25 Winky Seniors 26 1
Derek King 26 Winky Seniors 20 2
George Wagland 17 Half Mooners 20 3
Chris Bennett 24 Vet Veterans 19 4=
Mike Parfitt 21 Winky Seniors 19 4=
Peter Gripper 18 Vet Veterans 17 6=
Frank White 12 Winky Seniors 17 6=
David West 12 Imponderables 17 6=
David Blake 14 VetVeterans 16 9=
Graham Soper 26 Old Bakers & Bowmakers 16 9=
Phil Bennett 22 Old Bakers & Bowmakers 15 11
Andrew Tarling 28 Half Mooners 14 12=
Colin Constable 28 Imponderables 14 12=
Howard Bentley-Marchant 13 Imponderables 13 14
Ginty Malcolm 36 Legs & Co 7 15=
Gail Garbutt 36 Legs & Co 7 15=
Brian Tunnicliffe 24 Old Bakers & Bowmakers 6 17=
Liz Bentley-Marchant 36 Legs & Co 6 17=
Libby Gaunt 36 Legs & Co 4 19
Ted Banks 28 Half Mooners 3 20=
Paul Mann 26 Old Bakers & Bowmakers 3 21
Richard Gaunt 28 Imponderables 1 22

Only 5 days to go to the Horsington Open – November 11th

Horsington OpenEntries are coming in thick and fast. Make sure you confirm your verbal intentions by downloading and handing in an entry form – otherwise we cannot organise teams and tee-off times. Various participants have been sneaking off for a surreptitious practice. Should be a good day!

We now have 22 entries, but we can accommodate more, with tee off times after 1pm. Come on Horsington!

Sign up for the first “Horsington Open”

Horsington Open Golf TournamentAttention all golfers (and aspirant golfers) at all levels. Put Monday November 11th in your diary. It’s the date of the first ever HORSINGTON OPEN
golf tournament, to be played at Henstridge Golf Club.

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 per player and the surplus will be donated to the Church roof fund.

Tee off is from 11am.  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 church roof fund.

There will be full catering facilities at the club.

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

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

Download more info and an entry form here. All welcome, the more the merrier.

Finally, a reminder about golf etiquette. Our colleagues at Bloggovision have collected a few examples of the kind of behaviour we do NOT expect to see!
(You may have to wait a few seconds before you can get rid of the advert).
Thanks to Ted Banks for nominating this video

Monday Cricket Match – The Pilgrim’s revenge?

Last year’s match versus the Tabard Pilgrims from Chiswick, West London, was a cliff hanger, with Horsington pulling off a well deserved victory against gallant opponents. That makes it 1-all, as they lost the previous year.

So who will win the decider in the third year of this  exciting annual competition on Monday June 4th ?

Horsington has a full team who have been practicing for weeks (Oh yeah? –Ed), and the Tabard Pilgrims are on fine form, having won their last 2 matches – or so they say, but their website is strangely silent about their last fixture on 27 May.

April rain and May sunshine have helped Rob Hoddinott prepare a stunning pitch.

First ball 2.30 Monday. Should be great spectator sport.

Meet the teams in the in the Half Moon afterwards. Usual food menu available.

Charlton Horethorne Point to Point – Sunday 11 March

The first (of 6) races is at 12.30. Entry £25 per car, single occupants £15.

Our financial editor has sent us a postcard (again!) with some advice we happily share with our readers.

Jubilee weekend preview

The first weekend in June  is the Jubilee weekend when we celebrate 60 glorious years of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As befits the occasion, the village is staging  a massive weekend of events, so don’t go away. Invite your friends down to stay instead.

The provisional programme is:

Friday 1st June Beer festival at the Half Moon (until 5th, or when the beer runs out, whichever is soonest)
Sunday 3rd June  Village Street party, with a large ox roast
Monday 4th June Cricket Match against the Tabard Pilrgims, our regular visitors
from London
Tuesday 5th June A bank holiday on which to recover. Beer festival ends.

More details nearer the time.

Six Nations Rugby at the Half Moon

You can enjoy all the RBS Six Nations action down at the Half Moon on match weekends during February and March.

Dates and times are listed below:
Sat 11th Feb 16:00 Italy v England
Sat 11th Feb 20:00 France v Ireland
Sun 12th Feb 15:00 Wales v Scotland
Sat 25th Feb 13:30 Ireland v Italy
Sat 25th Feb 16:00 England v Wales
Sun 26th Feb 15:00 Scotland v France
Sat 10th Mar 14:30 Wales v Italy
Sat 10th Mar 17:00 Ireland v Scotland
Sun 11th Mar 15:00 France v England
Sat 17th Mar 12:30 Italy v Scotland
Sat 17th Mar 14:45 Wales v France
Sat 17th Mar 17:00 England v Ireland

Keep up with all the latest news, including live match reports and videos on this free application for your Smartphone (iPhone etc) – Click here

BloggoVision Extra!
If, like me, you have difficulty in understanding the rules of Rugger, you will find this video highly educational and useful. Now I know what a rollover is!

See video

Some bank Holiday Suggestions

Milborne Port’s first annual Beer & Cider Festival at the Tippling Philosopher on bank holiday Sunday and Monday from 2pm. There will be 10 West Country Real Ales and two award-winning British Isles ales, five ciders from the South West, a barbecue provided by Asian Thai Catering and music from local blues band Riverside Blues as well as entertainment from local DJs and buskers. All the festival beers and ciders are £2.50 a pint.

Buckhorn Weston Cricket Club are at home to an armed forces side on Bank Holiday Sunday. Play starts at 11 am. There is a bar, cream teas, a junior match and a rare performance by the legendary “Red Barrows” – Formation Barrow flying at 4.15 pm. The mind boggles. Admission is free, but various activities will aim to raise money for Help the Heroes.


The Half Moon, Horsington, is hosting its usual Bank Holiday charity quiz on Sunday 28 August at 8. 30 pm. Teams of 3 or more, £1 per head. You know the rest.

Gartell Light Railway will be in steam on Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday. This marvelous local attraction provides a great day out, with its array of working  half size steam and diesel locomotives which haul passenger trains up and down the old S+D Railway. Common Lane, off the A 357 between Templecombe and Henstridge . Catering, bookshop and picnic area.


Horsington wins a stunning victory against London invaders

Paul Mann & Ian Hervey
Paul Mann and Ian Hervey

The Sunday bank holiday cricket match against the Tabard Pilgrims from Chiswick, West London, resulted in a 4-run victory for Horsington, after a thrilling finish.

The home team opted for a 15-over,  two-innings format, with the batting order reversed in the second innings. This provided insurance against rain, and gave everyone a decent crack at batting. There were some thrilling catches and run-outs, numerous boundaries  and sixes and some “interesting” bowling. It was also enormous fun, and the good-natured game was enjoyed by both sides.

Ed and Dave White

The Pilgrims batted first and scored 116 for 9 wickets. Notable Horsington wicket takers were Nigel Cockerell and his son Jake, “Accurate” Dave and Ed White and Kevin Lane who, although he arrived late, took a wicket with the first ball he had bowled for two seasons

Horsington cricket match
"Snoopy" Bennett and Patrick Legge

Horsington responded with 107 for just 2 wickets,  Stuart Lane retiring with 50, his best score ever, with his father Kevin Lane backing him up well with 19.

Horsington elected to have their second innings straight after the(delicious) tea interval, and knocked up a 93 for 6.

The Pilgrims needed 85  to win, and 15 overs to get them. Their batsmen were pinned down by accurate bowling from Jake Cockerell and Paul Mann and were left needing 14, with two overs to go. Despite some desperate slogging, they failed to meet their target and handed Horsington a well-deserved victory.

Stuart & Kevin Lane
Big thanks to  everyone who helped – Rob Hoddinott for the

perfect pitch and imperial pavilion, Mardy Bennett, and Belinda Mann for the tea, Chris Bailward and Phil Bennett for umpiring,  (Chris also reared, cooked and carved the delicious hog roast after the game) and Andrew Tarling, who organised the whole thing.

Same time next year?

It was there a moment ago; Andrew Tarling prepares to walk