County point-to-point rider Heather Kemp announced her retirement from the saddle at Dingley after a 21-year career.
Kemp, one of the sport’s best-known figures, signed off with a winner on Gidam Gidam in the 4m Mixed Open contest.
It was by no means an easy win – a mistake at the 14th could well have proved costly but for an excellent recovery by the experienced rider, and the pair fended off a challenge from the Mark Wall-ridden favourite Baddam, to score by four lengths.
Signalling her intention to retire by entering the winners’ enclosure with boots held aloft, Heather said: “I always said if I had a winner today, this would be the right time to stop”. Although retiring as a jockey, she will of course continue her work within the sport, with the possibility of training more pointers also on the horizon for next season.
Another local rider Johnny Bailey was second to Millarky in the confined maiden on Legendtino and fourth on the aptly named John’s Delight in the Watling JCB Ltd Open Maiden (behind winner Grape Expectations) which helped him secure the Midlands Area Leading Gentlemen’s Rider award.