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Houghton Hall 2014


1st, Liverpool, owned by Sue Mason and ridden by Joanne Mason

2nd, Purple Moon, owned b Luca Cumani and ridden by Chantal Wootten


While thunder, lightning and torrential rain raged outside, the penultimate SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse qualifier took place in the relative calm of the large indoor arena at Houghton Hall on Sunday 10th August, which afforded competitors the welcome shelter of an indoor warm up area too. The weather may have cooled but the competition was hot and there was a strong entry for the judges, Ann Green (conformation) and Tim Wiggett (ride).

This was a strong class and the good numbers forward meant that they were split for the initial judging, giving the judges plenty to think about. In the final places, first went to Liverpool, owned by Sue Mason and ridden by Joanne Mason, an amateur jockey from Malton. The 12 year old German bred dark bay gelding was trained under rules by renowned racehorse trainer, Mick Easterby, who is also Joanne’s granddad. Joanne is an amateur jockey and has ridden in point to points and amateur races under rules. Liverpool has won two point to points and had numerous places before retiring to the hunting field in with Ian Mason, Joanne’s father, in 2010. This is their second season showing and they have had a successful season so far with wins at Lincolnshire show in the RoR Challenge and RoR Hickstead qualifier, and won the RoR class at Malton, Yorkshire and Rydale shows. The pair plan to continue to do RoR show classes and more jumping. “He is so straight forward, he thrives on adrenalin and will love it at HOYS. I am really excited”, said Joanne.

Second place went to Chantal Wootten, 30, with Luca Cumani’s Purple Moon. This horse has impeccable breeding for flat racing, being by the renowned stallion, Galileo, out of an Alysheba mare, and he did not disappoint on the track. During a highly successful racing career in training with Luca Cumani, he won over £1m in prize money. He won the Ebor in 2007 and was beaten by a nose to 2nd in the Melbourne Cup and the Hong Kong Vase. After retiring from racing in 2010, Purple Moon was used as a trainer’s hack and lead horse for several of the young horses in the yard, before being given to Chantal to show in 2012. He has now been out of the yard for 2 years and is proving to be successful in his new career. Last year they won at Royal Windsor, Royal Norfolk, Suffolk, Vale View and were second at Hickstead, 3rd at Burghley and 8th at HOYS. “He was not 100% at HOYS, so I was really pleased with the way he went”, said Chantal, who does a full day’s work as Assistant Stud Groom at Fittocks Stud for Luca Cumani and rides and looks after Purple Moon in the evenings. This year Purple Moon was the Hickstead ROR finals winner on 29th June but they have had a quiet season and have missed several shows. They will parade at the Future Champions Day at Ascot on 18th October, and also plan to go to the Fenland County Fair to do some racehorses classes just for fun.