Tracy Priest has her prayers answered

Two of Hickstead's local leading ladies enjoyed wins today at the Hickstead Derby Meeting. 

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Surrey-based Tracy Priest won the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard today at Hickstead, on a day when leading ladies came to the fore.

Tracy has been having a superb run of form so far at the Hickstead Derby Meeting, having already notched up a win in Wednesday’s Senior Foxhunter first round riding her own Caruso Deres Z, before following up with another win today in the 1.20m Hickstead Novice Championship.

In the Bunn Leisure Derby Tankard, seven riders went into the jump-off, but none could better the time of Priest and her own nine-year-old grey gelding Caristo VDL.

“I’ve had him since he was a five-year-old and these last few weeks he’s been jumping unbelievably,” she said. “We kept just missing out, but I really believed I could win it.”

Hickstead Derby 2013 winner Phillip Miller finished second with Unbelievable Lady, another horse who has been on great form of late.

The first international class of the meeting went to Hickstead regular Louise Pavitt, who was victorious in the Stoner Jewellers Vase. Louise took the ride on Fiona VH Lemmenshoff, who is owned by her partner, David Simpson. They recorded the fastest of 12 clear jumping rounds to secure victory round the 1.45m track.

“We’ve owned her (Fiona) for the past three years, but she’s still fairly green at this height,” said Louise, who gave birth to her second baby last December.

‘Fiona’ can be tricky to ride, as Louise explains. “She’s always got her head in your face – we call her the reindeer at home! She’s easy to jump though, you never think that she’ll stop – whatever you ask of her, she’ll try her heart out.”

Tomorrow’s highlights at the Hickstead Derby Meeting include the Bunn Leisure Master’s Challenge – a timed course of fences followed by a series of upright gates of ascending heights – and the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial, in which the riders must qualify to be able to compete in the Derby on Sunday.

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