John Ferguson is a big winner at awards night

The East Anglian Point-to-point Racing community celebrated the 2011-12 season at a sell-out annual awards dinner and dance at Thurlow earlier this month.

It was a triumphant night for Cowlinge trainer John Ferguson.

Not only did he win the Richard Weller-Poley Champion Horse Trophy with The Rodeo Clown, but his stable jockey (and assistant), James Owen, won both men’s senior riding titles while his son, James, carried off the male novice riders’ award.

The Ferguson team was only denied a clean sweep of the senior jockey gongs by Bridget Andrews, from Lilley in Hertfordshire, who beat Carey Williamson, from Thetford, who works for Ferguson, into second and third places in the two top female categories.

The tightest finish among the riding title races came in the female novice section as Annie Bowles, who now lives in Ireland but is from Rushall, near Diss, defied the dual challenge of cousins Georgie and Rosie Thorogood by a single point gained on the final day of the season at Dingley.


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Ben Rivett, from Sharrington, near Norwich, finished second in two different jockey championships but had the consolation of being chosen to receive the Sarah Sheppard Memorial Award for the sport’s best young ambassador.

Melanie Ibbott, from Chediston in Suffolk, was crowned ‘Groom Of The Year’, Flo The Machine, trained in Hertfordshire by the season’s top owner-trainer-rider, Clare Hobson, won the Marriage Horsefeeds Mares Championship, and Paul Rackham, from Bridgham, near Thetford, won the Geoffrey Sale Shield for outstanding contribution.

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The fixtures for the 2012-13 season have been finalised and the first of 17 East Anglian meetings (and only pre-Christmas fixture) is the Cambridge University United Hunts Club at Cottenham, near Cambridge, on Sunday November 25, starting at noon.

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