Gallops ride to celebrate 60th

L-R Kate Cox on Holly, Jackie Drakeford on Roger, Derek Anscombe on Stony, Aileen Morris on Coco

L-R Kate Cox on Holly, Jackie Drakeford on Roger, Derek Anscombe on Stony, Aileen Morris on Coco

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A 60th birthday was celebrated recently at Coombelands in Pulborough when four riders from Forest Farm Stables in Mannings Heath took their horses up the gallops.

Jackie Drakeford, whose birthday it was, wanted to mark the day with something special.

Jackie said: “I rode out for trainers Gerry Gracey and Zoe Davison in my youth, and also point-to-pointed my own horse.

“I thought it would be wonderful to take a thoroughbred horse up the gallops one more time, and with such a superb local facility, who could resist?”

Accompanied by yard managers Derek Anscombe and Kate Cox, and regular rider Aileen Morris, the four enjoyed an exhilarating spin on the all-weather track.

“Special thanks are due to Sue Orpen, Forest Farm’s owner, who made this possible” Jackie told us.

“The horse I rode retired from racing two years ago, and came to Sue, who suggested I should try him. We clicked at once, and I have ridden him ever since.

“He really enjoyed his trip up the gallops, as we all did. It was such fun that we may have to do it again soon.”