Dressing for Jumps

Now that the flat racing season is drawing to a close, all eyes are on the jumping game and we can look forward to some thrilling racing.  But during the Autumn and Winter months, fashion continues to play a big part in a day at the races.

While the summer months are associated with high fashion stakes and best dressed lady competitions, the theme is being continued with the changing seasons.

Fashion was on the agenda at the recent Yorkshire Jump Season Launch which took place at Wetherby Racecourse.  Millbry Hill, an independent family-run business with 5 Equestrian and Country Stores based in the North of England, were on hand to showcase some key looks.

Emma Jones, Business Coordinator said: “Winter dressing is about combating the elements.  We have put together some looks that are not only stylish and on trend but provide warmth as well.  We stock a range of brands so there is plenty of choice and accessories are a great way of changing or freshening up an outfit.”

Photo 1 – Fairfax & Favour handbag and shoes are great for accessorising any outfit, Sophie wears the newly launched grey colourway, which looks fabulous alongside the Holland Cooper pink tweed suit.

Photo 2 –Chris is wearing the exclusive Barbour Icon jacket, produced to celebrate Barbour’s 125 years of trading. Sophie wears the Schoffel Burley fleece which is great for keeping you warm at the races and has finished the outfit off with a Clare Haggas scarf.

Both outfits on display at the Yorkshire Jumps Launch are available at any Millbry Hill Store and at www.millbryhill.co.uk.

This was highlighted by the Clare Haggas Classic Magenta Scarf, which is exclusive to Millbry Hill

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Joules have released their classic Fieldcoat in the popular Mr Toad tweed which is lined with special edition navy and bright flowers.

“This is one of our top selling styles in women’s wear,” reported Emma.

Another brand celebrating their anniversary, although considerably older than Joules, is Barbour who have been on the go for 125 years.  To mark the occasion, they have launched the icons range and the reengineering of the classic Beaufort coat was on display at the Yorkshire Jumps Launch.

Performance wear is key to jockeys and riders of all abilities, particularly at this time of year when protection from the weather is required.  Yorkshire’s racing specialist saddler, White Rose Saddlery showcased new Italian brand Jobea which was modelled by jump jockey Sean Quinlan.

Highlighting the qualities of the garments, Wendy said: “The shirt fabric is fleece lined for warmth, breathable, showerproof and windproof, but the most important part is that it is lightweight.”

Sean’s weighing room colleague Henry Brooke sported a Jomiluti waterproof, all weather suit, designed for riding out and exercising horses.

“This suit will keep the rider completely dry while allowing the skin to breath and transport moisture away from the body.  The trouser and jacket have elastic insets at the sides which prevent the jacket riding up and causing a cold gap.  It is also almost silent, which is a great advantage when riding and working with young thoroughbred horses.” Said Wendy.

A real talking piece of the outfit was the earmuffs which velcro into the side of the rider’s helmet and are fleece lined.

“They are very popular with staff in the racing industry, who spend a lot of time riding on windy hills, but they are ideal for any rider or equestrian discipline,” commented Wendy.

The Yorkshire jump season starts tomorrow (Wednesday, October 15) at Wetherby Racecourse.  They will be hosting a ‘Best Peaky’ competition on Saturday, November 16 at the Peaky Blinder style raceday.

Doncaster’s opening jump meeting on Saturday, November 30, hosts a best dressed couple competition, while Catterick’s jumping finale fixture will include a best dressed competition on Wednesday, March 4.

Jumping Into Action At Yorkshire’s Racecourses


Duke DeBarry and Definitly Red                                    Whoshotthesherriff and Top Ville Ben

Sharp Response and Vintage Clouds

Yorkshire’s equine stars turned out in force ahead of the jump season’s return to the county this Wednesday, (October 16) at a special preview event held at Wetherby today.

Yorkshire’s Grand National hopes continue to ride on Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds who was an unfortunate first fence faller in this year’s renewal. He galloped with North Yorkshire Grand National winner, Sharp Response.

Jockey Danny Cook said of the grey: “He jumped the first fence at Aintree too well and came down steeply.  The plan is to run him in the Becher Chase in November to get some experience of the fences before another attempt at the Grand National.”

Danny Cook also rode Definitly Red in a racecourse gallop for trainer Brian Ellison.  The popular chaser is on course to secure back to back wins of Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase on Saturday 2nd November and Cook reported the horse to be in great form.

Definitly Red galloped with stablemate Duke Debarry who goes for the Durham National at Sedgefield on Sunday.

Popular mare Lady Buttons joined the parade and has targets similar to last year, running over both hurdles and fences according to her trainer Phil Kirby.

“She is a star and without her we wouldn’t be where we are today.  We look forward to returning to Wetherby with her at the beginning of November, for a race she won last year,” he said.

Another of Kirby’s horses, Top Ville Ben, who is also aiming for the Charlie Hall, looked in great form as he took part in a racecourse gallop with regular work rider Jenny Durrans. He worked with Whoshotthesherrif, a horse nominated by Phil Kirby as his one to follow for the season.

Malton based Ruth Jefferson paraded chasing star Waiting Patiently who doesn’t as yet have any specific plans but will run when the ground is right for him.  Last season he was brought to a standstill and unseated Brian Hughes, when Bristol De Mai fell in front of him in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Regular jockey Brian Hughes said: “Although we still had a mile and a half to go and I couldn’t be sure that he would stay, he was giving me a great feel.  We were going quite quickly over the first four fences but it felt like he was just doing a hack canter.”

He was accompanied by stablemate Mega Yeats and Ruth said that the five year old, who has been lightly campaigned, but won four of his six starts will stay hurdling.

With 38 fixtures across Yorkshire’s three jump courses, Catterick, Doncaster and Wetherby, there is plenty to look forward to.

John Sexton, Chairman of Go Racing In Yorkshire said:  “Jump racing is an exciting part of Yorkshire’s fixture list.  We are looking forward to a brilliant season, which will feature some top class racing.”

Wetherby’s closed season has been used to carry out some behind the scenes work and prepare for future projects.  A new e-ticketing system has been implemented which is phase one of a new admission system which will result in the redevelopment of the main turnstile entrance building and entrance road next summer.

In terms of ongoing maintenance, the canter track has been resurfaced, along with the horsebox park and the stables have been re-roofed.

There is a new Peaky Blinders theme for the meeting on Saturday November 16 and the Christmas meeting, Thursday 26 and Friday 27 December, will have a traditional circus sideshow vibe.  

Catterick Racecourse are looking forward to welcoming the national hunt crowd to their new weighing room and parade ring, which has been in use since June this year.  The £600,000 investment into facilities includes an extended Weighing Room complex, complete with a new warm-up area, state-of-the-art facilities and space to relax between races.

The enlarged Parade Ring gives racegoers an improved view of the runners and the Winner’s Enclosure has been incorporated into the Parade Ring, making it easier for racegoers to circulate.

A new theme for Catterick’s jumping finale fixture is a Countryside Ladies Day on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.  There will be a fashion showcase, as well as a best dressed competition.

Their most prestigious race takes place in January, with the Watt Fences sponsored North Yorkshire Grand National. This race has been won by the Sue Smith yard for the last four years and would be quite a feat if the yard could make it five in a row.

Jumping returns at Doncaster on Friday, November 29 and 30.  The two day meeting will have a 1920’s styled Beer Festival across the two days, with music from Cheaky Blinders live after racing on Saturday.

Looking ahead to December, Santa’s Great Giveaway will be back at the Festive Jumpers meeting on Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14.

After Christmas, a Festive Family Fun Raceday takes place on Sunday, December 29 with activities for all ages to enjoy including the Markham Main Colliery Brass Band.

Early next year a new winter jumps box package will be available.


LEADING jumps trainer Donald McCain will turn his attention to the Flat on Friday when he sends Navajo Pass to the RaceBets Handicap at York.

The Grand National-winning trainer, whose father Ginger was indelibly associated with the Aintree showpiece through the exploits of three-time victor Red Rum, has experienced plenty of success on the level previously.

Most famously, McCain saddled top dual-purpose performer Overturn to win the Northumberland Plate and Chester Cup in 2010 and 2011 respectively – and Navajo Pass sports the same blue and yellow silks of owner, Tim Leslie.

The son of Nathaniel has run four times to date, breaking his maiden in tenacious fashion at Carlisle in August.

And while McCain acknowledged the stiff competition awaiting his charge in what is the twenty second race of the York season to offer at least a six figure prize, he issued an upbeat bulletin on both his future and well-being.

“He’s grand,” McCain said. “He’s set to go hurdling soon enough, but we thought we’d take a punt here.

“It’s a very competitive race and I don’t really know where we stand with the form – the race from Carlisle has worked out okay, but this is a big step up in grade.

“He was bought for the other job, and he’s been schooling away over hurdles since he was two, but we know he stays and running in a race of this nature will teach him a bit more about life.”

Reflecting on his win at Carlisle, in which Navajo Pass repelled the sustained challenge of the Tom Dascombe-trained Celestial Force by a short-head, McCain added: “He was always going to want further and slower ground.

“The ground looks to be drying out a bit at York, but hopefully it will be just slow enough.”

However, the Cholmondeley-based handler will be handing responsibility for race tactics over to his Gold Cup at Royal Ascot -winning jockey Graham Lee, who was also in the plate when Ginger saddled his fourth Grand National winner – Amberleigh House in 2004.

Asked about his approach to the race from stall one, McCain said: “I’ll leave that to G Lee – he knows a lot more about Flat racing than I do!”

The £100,000 RaceBets Handicap has attracted an 18-strong field, including the William Haggas-trained Hamish.

Carrying the colours of his father Brian, the three-year-old won the Sky Bet Melrose Race to the Ebor Handicap at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival and will be bidding to enhance his career record to three wins from five starts. The yard is already eyeing the £1m Ebor of 2020.

Mark Johnston who is closing in on a record number of winners on the flat in a single year, landed the spoils last year with Elegiac and he is double-handed this time around, courtesy of Mondain and Mister Chiang. Current leading handler at York this season, John Gosden has also entered an interesting duo in El Misk and Koscluszko.

McCain will be able to keep an eye on future competition for Navajo Pass as the national hunt action from Downpatrick will join Newmarket in being shown in the Racing TV zone.

Friday’s seven-race card at York is scheduled to start at 2pm. The curtain comes down on another season on the Knavesmire after Saturday’s seven-race card, which gets underway at 2.05pm.