My Race Days

  • Jul
  • 13
  • 2011

Isabel Tompsett and the Welsh Horse Racing Community; Online Auction Lot List; Dinner, Awards and Benefit July 9th.


BOTH AUCTIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. if you were not successful but would like to donate please call
Guy Lewis - 07778 333779 Dai Jones - 07736 553011.
The Final Auction bids are listed at the bottom of the page.

Have a look at one of the Auction Lots which raised over a £1000 as many of the stable visits got to or close to. Thank you to all the trainers who donated; Paul Nicholls, Philip Hobbs; Tim Vaughan; Evan Williams, Nicky Henderson; Peter Bowen etc. Indeed; a huge thank you to all who donated and helped in organising and supporting. Altogether over £20 thousand has been raised so far and this will help enormously on Isabel's long road to recovery. Special thank yous to Dai Jones, Carole David, and Guy Lewis for organising! And to everyone who bid especially those who won; listed below. Thanks to Hannah and Zoe and Roxy and Adrian too for helping organise lots and sell raffle tickets etc! We took £1000 on the raffle on the night!

A huge thank you to everyone who supported this event by attending the dance; bidding on Auction Lots and spreading the word.
The next event planned for the Recovery fund is a Barn Dance in September 3rd in Rudry:

When I started writing this blog the first entry was a visit to Goodwood races with the Bernard Llewellyn yard. It had been at the invitation of John Llewellyn, his son; and the partner of champion lady amateur Jockey Isabel Tompsett. I decided to feature the yard regularly in my blog; and they were all wonderfully helpful; but little did I know at the time that just 8 months later Isabel would be fighting for her life on life support after a terrible fall.
My friend, ex Champion Jockey and fellow explorer Richard Dunwoody wrote a lovely piece about Isabel recently that gave an insight of how close the Welsh Racing community isand how Isabel's accident has had an impact on them
I have found this too; and the way people have rallied around her has been very special; and hopefully in the near future Isabel will come around and see what support she has had. Everyone has been praying for her; and at the recent point to point at Bonvilston it was foremost in everybody’s minds. The show must go on; and Isabel wouldn’t want it any other way. Normally Isabel is the star of Welsh point to point; and her exploits on Chestnut Annie have made the pair a legend locally. At the first of two meetings just a few weeks ago Isabel came back after a fall in which she broke ribs and a collarbone; and I reported in my last blog on her bravery at being back in the saddle after just a couple of weeks off. When one sees this kind of thing on a daily basis in National Hunt racing by sportsmen and women competing for passion not money one cannot help looking at the theatrical antics of ‘injured’ footballers on obscene wages with a little contempt. Isabel was riding a horse called Leopold at Fakenham just a week or so after that return to the saddle and she had a horrific fall in which she sustained serious head injuries.
As I write, the latest news is that she is slowly showing some hopeful signs – squeezing the hand of those close to her for example – but appears recovery will be slow. She has had a chest infection and this has not helped her progress. All we can do is hope and pray for a full and complete recovery in time; but Isabel is a highly educated veterinarian as well as a jockey and it will be difficult for her. On the plus side there is no spinal damage; but she remains unconscious. John her partner tells us that her eyes are open but she is not yet conscious.
The Injured Jockeys Fund have been a great help and particular thanks must be also said to Sheikh Mohammed who has provided a house via them for relatives to stay during their vigil as Isabel recovers. John, Isabel’s partner, is riding work for Newmarket trainer David Simcock each morning before hurrying back to Isabel’s bedside.
The link for the Injured Jockeys Fund is here:
And for Racing Welfare, who look after stable and stud staff, stalls handlers, etc who suffer similar injuries in working with horses.

If you can help these charities in any way please contact them. If for example you have a big win on the horses perhaps a small donation would be nice each time.
However there was a great will among the local Racing Community in South Wales to do something for Isabel and it was decided among them to dedicate this year’s Annual South Wales Point to Point Dinner Dance and Awards to her. I attended last year’s event and heard Isabel give a moving speech for people to show their generosity in supporting the event, auctions etc which over the years has done so much to support local injured riders. Andrew James who one sees racing everywhere in his electronic wheelchair and big smile is facilitated with that mobility because of funds raised annually at this event. Each year for the last 25 years my partner David and brother Adrian have donated a painting for auction which has raised tens of thousands over the years which has helped riders like Andrew directly. It is so sad to know when I think back on that passionate speech Isabel gave that it is now her that needs our help.

Isabel Tompsett speaking for the Welsh Pt to Pt Awards on behalf of Injured Riders

And so Guy Lewis one of the organisers and a former amateur then professional jockey himself, who along with Richard Dunwooody became the first two British professional jockeys to ride in the Velka Pardubicka for over 100 years in the ‘90s;  asked me to help publicise that the Point to Point Dinner and Awards is being held with all proceeds going to Isabel.
So PLEASE mark this in your Diary:
Facebook page.
There will also be an online auction on Facebook  in advance of the event so people who cannot attend can bid on some fabulous prizes; including a holiday at Grant Lewis’ villa; David and Adrian’s painting etc etc so please join the page even if you cannot attend and keep an eye on things if you can help this way.!/event.php?eid=228267240516640 

There is also a facebook page for those wishing to register their well wishes to Isabel. Already 1500+ have done this. When Isabel comes around she will be touched by everyone of these and the family are keeping a record of it.!/pages/Get-well-soon-isabel-tompsett/116988315051671 
Tickets are £40 available from Guy Lewis on 077783 33779 or facebook message me. Every year the event is quite a night! Black Tie and evening dress; every year it is an opportunity for the Welsh Racing Community to let their hair down; owners, trainers and jockeys. So come along and join us.

This is Isabel, myself and friend Beth partying together last year at the event.
Having fun at the Pt to Pt Awards with Isabel Tompsett 2010

My partner David and brother Adrian exhibit at the event every year too. In fact Isabel is also a keen artist and fan of their work and Isabel was hoping to attend an Art Group with David and Adrian soon.
As well as the Fund raising nature of the evening, there will also be an awards ceremony for the top achieving horses, trainers owners and jockeys in Wales during the season.
There is also a family fun day on June 26th with BBQ and rounders at Ty Wrth Y Coed, Merthyr Mawr!/event.php?eid=123453771069487

Well the Pt to Pt season of course has not quite ended yet but it’s been an exciting one with really good attendance for many events as followers of my blog will already know.
Bonvilston’s 2nd meeting was a great one - after a miserable rainy morning the sun came out and dramatic light and skies made for good photos; so enjoy my efforts! The whole day was staged by the Countryside Alliance and congratulations to them on an excellent day and a continuing strong campaign on defending Countryside issues and Hunting.

I missed shooting the first two races as I was looking after my partner’s clients at their exhibition while he was presenting trophies along with sponsors Nathaniel Cars and The Welsh Game Fair; but was able to go across the course for the remaining races.
The 3rd race was sponsored by Country Fresh Eggs of Newport (I can vouch for their eggs I had them for breakfast – delicious!)  and it was well contested and exciting finish with Spring Haze and Sheer Brilliance.

Christian Williams brother Nick continued to rack up the winners in the Mixed Open as did his mount Findlay’s Find who is just a 5 year old but has won 7 times this season!! The Open was sponsored by Tim Vaughan.

Nosler eventually pulled away to take the next race after a battle with Freddie Lane and Peterman in the WRE Collection Services Maiden.

My friends Angela and Dr Simon Clarke’s Diddl’em who I wrote about in my  last pt to pt blog entry was most impressive after leading for most of the James and Jenkins Intermediate race he fell back and fought back to win!

There were also 3 pony races in which the Bernard Llewellyn family was represented by John's sister Beth who trained 2 close seconds ridden by 12 year old brother of Rob Williams, Jordan. 'Watch your backs; these kids stop for nobody' said the commentator during the race; which gines an indication of how competitive it all is!!
Here we see Jordan unsaddling Molly; and you will also notice trainer Peter Bowen’s colours in the foreground carried by 10 year old James who finished 4th on Red Pepper . Peter Bowen is in red hot form at the moment and had four winners under rules at Ffos Las the other night!! The race was won by Pennway Tap Dance ridden by 11 year old Lorcan Williams and the 3rd was Oscar ridden by 15 year old Dan Muscutt.

The first pony race for 128cm and under ponies over 4 furlongs was won by Bugsy  ridden by 9 year old Jack Tudor who I caught up with after the race. He was a little shy I think but certainly a future name to watch for as he gave his pony a great ride!

Well that was it for another race day at Bonvilston and I reflected again that juts a few weeks ago I had reported on Isabel Tompsett’s first ride back after previous injury. It was really strange not to see her here with her beaming smile. We can just continue to hope and pray for a swift recovery. Now all of us in the Welsh Racing Community, and beyond, and hopefully you reading this blog, can help support the event we are staging in aid of Isabel on 9th July. My facebook page is here if you would like to add or to enquire about further details:!/eliza.voiceoftheraces


 Bids in writing by email or text to Carole David – / 07973 261384

Here are the final bids on Auction ONE for Isabel Tompsett  Thank you to all the winning bid makers and also to all who bid via Facebook etc!!

1. Nomination to either National Hunt Stallions - Dr Massini or Bach, - Kindly Donated By David & Dawn Brace, Dunraven Stud. –
£1100.00 (Tim Jones & John Rees)

2. Half ‘A New Season Welsh Lamb’ Cut and Packed as Required. – Kindly donated by Jonathon & Judith Tudor - £150.00 (Neville Thomas)

3. A Morning on the gallops and breakfast for 4 people with NH Trainer Peter Bowen, to include 4 tickets to Open Day & 4 Tickets to Ludlow Races – Kindly Donated by Peter Bowen & Bob Davies. –
£300.00 (Alexander Cavaghan)

4. A Log Cabin Weekend Break at Porthgain Holiday Cottages, Nr. St Davids, Pembrokeshire, for up-to 4 adults and 2 children. - Kindly Donated by Paul & Debbie Hamer - £400.00 (Jane Evans)

5.  1 Ton Horse Feed – Kindly Donated by Dai Jones of Connolly’s Red Mills Horse Feeds - £460.00 (Laura Hurley)

6.  Signed Welsh Rugby Shirt – Wales V Barbarians. 04.06.11 - (Kindly Donated by David & Dawn Brace) - £100.00 (Sarah Yeoman)

7.  4 Premier Tickets to Hereford Racecourse – Kindly Donated by Northern Racing Group - £151.00 (Jeremy Round)

8. Racing Bridle – kindly Donated by Pritchard’s Saddlery, Llantrisant –
£155.25 (Beth Roberts)

9. Champion De’ Lux Racing Hat – Kindly Donated by John Ayres / Christian Williams - £120.00 (Beth Roberts)

10. One Easy Fix Double Sided Hurdle – Kindly Donated by Tom Howley, Easy Fix Fences - £450.00 (Mary Brice)

11. A morning with the Welsh Rugby team in their training HQ at the Vale Of Glamorgan Hotel, for 4 people, during the week leading up to the English game, 13th August 2011, Followed by lunch with the players. – Kindly Donated by David & Dawn Brace, Dunraven Windows. –
£350.00 (Mel Worgan)

12.  Morning on the gallops, followed by breakfast and invitation to Trainers Open Day, for 4 persons, Kindly Donated by Evan Williams Racing, plus 4 Premier Tickets to Chepstow Racecourse (Kindly Donated by Northern Racing Group) - £1000.00 (C/O James Tudor)

13. 3 night weekend break or 4 night midweek break, self catering - in Caldey Lodge (sleeps 4) at Pembrokeshire’s 5* National Park Resort, Bluestone.  Package includes entry to the Spa/Adventure Centre for each member of the party.  Break can be taken at any time, excluding school holidays - website - £350.00 (Celia Leeson)

14. 4 Premier Tickets to Ffos Las Races – Kindly Donated by Tim Long –
£140.00 (Mary Pearse)

15. Leather Race Roller – Kindly Donated by Paul Davies, Bromyard –
£150.00 (Helen Thomas)
16. Nominations to NH Stallions Dreams End & Fight Club (Ger) – Kindly Donated by Geraint Price – Flight Club £250.00, Dreams End £250.00 (John Williams)

17. Morning on the gallops for 4 people followed by breakfast, and invitation to Trainers Open Day – Kindly Donated by Tim Vaughan Racing –
£500.00 (Kevin Foster)

18. 2 x 12-month subscription to the Racing Post Weekender weekly publication – Kindly Donated by Fleur Cushman –
£95 (Catriona Edwards)  and £100 (Tim Vaughan)

19. No’ 1 Print of a Water Colour of Isabel & John on the Gallops at Bargoed - Kindly Donated by David & Adrian Dent - £180.00 (Tom Faulkner)

20. Premier Tickets & Table for 2 at the Greens Restaurant, Bath Racecourse – Kindly Donated by Holly Glover, Northern Racing Group –
£200.00 (Rosemarie Heyes)


AUCTION ITEMS ENDING ON THE NIGHT OF THE 9th JULY at the DINNER: Thank you to all the winning bid makers and also to all who bid on Facebook and on the evening!

 1.     Dent’s Original Painting 
An original large water colour painting of Isabel and John on the gallops at      Fochriw, Bargoed. By David and Adrian Dent Final Bid £700 Tom Faulkner

2.        Paul Nicholls
 Morning on gallop for 4 breakfast in The Manor Inn and afternoon in Paul’s private hospitality box @ Wincanton Racecourse. Final bid £1000 Hayes

3.     Channel 4 Racing
A day behind the scenes with Channel 4 Racing – 2 people – date to be agreed with both parties, excludes Cheltenham Festival.
Includes live Morning Line seats, breakfast with the Channel 4 Racing team, tour of the production facilities and afternoon racing action.
Final Bid £750 Jan Johnson

4.       Cheltenham Racecourse. Two Club tickets to Cheltenham Racecourse on Paddy Power Gold Cup Day, Saturday 12th November 2011 BID: £130 Wynn Thomas

5.         Wincanton Racecourse 10 tickets to Wincanton Racecourse – meeting of your choice. Excludes Boxing Day.  Final Bid £500 Buffy Shirley-Beavan Summerhill Vets

6.        Newbury Racecourse & Nicky Henderson. A morning on the gallops and tour of stables with Nicky Henderson PLUS 4 Premier Enclosure badges to the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday, November 26th & A bottle of Hennessy Cognac XO  Final Bid £600 Charles Owen

7.      Aintree Racecourse   A pair of Premier badges for John Smiths Grand National Day 2012 £200 Laura Hurley

8.    Villa in Spain – Grant & May Lewis. One week accommodation for four people in a privately owned luxury apartment at Manilva Beach, near the Port of Duquesa on the Costa Del Sol. Please see for details. £600 Tim Vaughan
 9.      Ffos Las Racecourse & Kings Head Inn (Lara Stevens & Family) Two nights accommodation at the Kings Head, Llangennith, Gower, for two with two premier tickets each day to Ffos Las Racecourse on August 25th & 26th.  Final Bid £160 John Ayres

 10.     AP McCoy / Jonjo O’Neill / Cheltenham
Signed AP McCoy photo winning the 2010 National on Don’t Push It. Champagne Breakfast at Jackdaws Castle with Jonjo O’Neill. Watch the horses on the gallops and a tour of the facilities PLUS Premier Cheltenham Racecourse tickets for one of their 2011 Autumn Racedays £1000 Jason Parfitt

11. The Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd. A framed original painting by David Trundley, as featured on the cover of the Hunter Chasers and Point-to-Pointers 2007 Annual. £500 Rob Williams

12.     Tom Lacey, Cottage Field Stables.One week’s Free loose schooling for one horse, at Cottage Field Stables. – £250 Dr Simon Clarke

13.       Ralph & Mary Thomas   A bottle of vintage SAS Regiment (22) Scottish Whisky, 40% 12 years old –collectors item Port £150 John Ayres. Scotch £130 Mel Worthington

14. A pair of Breeches signed by the top National Hunt Jockeys Framed £300 John Ayres

15. A night at the luxury Welsh Celtic Manor Hotel to include Dinner and also one night dinner at the Crown at Whitebrook. Kindly donated by the Chef.  Final Bid £500 Rob Williams

16. Wales Rugby shirt from Grand Slam winning Team 2008 Signed by every player and Framed Final Bid £300 Andy Rowles

17. Four tickets for the Champions Day at Ascot sponsored by QIPCO to be entertained as guests in their box on the big day! Kindly donated by QIPCO Final Bid £1000 Buffy Summerhill Equine Vets

18. FREE Horse transport one way from the UK to Ireland or vice versa. Kindly donated by Alan Walter Horse Transport. £300 Tim Vaughan

19. Morning on the Gallops including breakfast for 4 people with Philip Hobbs in Bilbrook near Minehead plus race tickets for a meeting during next season. Final Bid £650 Tim Rooney

20. Photo Finish Pour Moi signed by jockey £300 Mark Duffy

21. Half a Pork Final Bid £130 Andrew Hardacre.

A huge thank you to all who donated the prizes;and the exceptional Raffle prizes especially to Dai and Ruth Burchell for the vintage wine collection!

Number one print of this limited edition for auction for Isabel Tompsett.It features Isabel and John Llewellyn and the gang at Fochriw

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About Eliza Cook

Hi! I'm Eliza. I am a Geographer by profession, and am currently studying for a PhD in Geography at Swansea University. I will be investigating ice core records from Greenland pretty soon. But you don't want to hear about those. 

On top of this, during a year out, I fell into working as an in-house model for Agent Provocateur. Strange but true! This experience heightened my appreciation of fashion - especially the eclectic and eccentric fashions of the races.

I've been a racing fan for two years. I love all racing, but a day at the jumps is where I really feel the most excitement. Having grown up in Gloucestershire, with two great racecourses on the doorstep - Cheltenham and Chepstow - it is a wonder that I didn't find racing sooner.

I've been privileged to be a part of some of the 'behind the scenes' elements of racing, from photographing frosty morning breeze-ups to attending the post Cheltenham Festival jockeys' celebration in the Weighing Room!

I am thrilled to be a 'Voice of the Races'. To me, the most striking feature of racing is the accessibility of participants - and the fact that everybody attending has a part to play. A day at the races has it all; wonderful horses, spectacle and fashion, in an adrenaline soaked atmosphere where people from all walks of life come together in mutual appreciation of the sport.

I can't wait to tell you all about my experiences at the races, the people I meet and the adventures I have, as well as the fashions I encounter and the stories I uncover.

I hope you enjoy it! 


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