release – Boconnoc
Cornish Race Ride has an International Flavour
The Boconnoc Estate in Cornwall, near Lostwithiel,
is a private and very unspoilt estate with no regular
public access but once a year, owners Anthony and
Elizabeth Fortescue, generously open the gates
to over 150 enthusiastic endurance riders.
This year the ride went international,
since the winner of the 50 mile (80 km) ER, was
Toit from South Africa on David Yeoman’s
Haszah at an average speed of 17.36 kph – a
new record for Boconnoc.
“It was an amazing achievement given the
heavy rain the night before, many of the tracks
were quite heavy going,” said Ride Organiser
Second was Sam Mowatt on Vavaar,
third Karen Jones on Macadamia, fourth Nicky
Sherry on her young
homebred Arab, Silver Zourra, fifth Jan Kane on
George 2nd, sixth Catherine Woodford on Denis 2nd
and seventh Vicky Wyatt on Tricia Godfrey’s
Personally, if I could compete at only one endurance
ride in a year, I would definitely choose Boconnoc.
Set in the idyllic parkland surrounding Boconnoc
House, with views down to the house and the lake
beyond, the venue must be the prettiest in the
Competitors ride any of five different routes,
depending which distance they are competing at.
The longer routes continue outside the estate,
taking in the delights of du Maurier country in
the woods above Herodsfoot and the West Looe river.
This year I joined 70 other pleasure
riders on my friend’s novice and rather
over-weight little Arab mare to ride the 10 mile
(16 km) route
around the estate.
The Green route, which I rode, was aptly named
since the woods were sparkling in the sunshine
with new leaves and the May blossom, azaleas and
rhododendrons were all in bloom. The well marked
route (the work of members of the Trail Riders
Fellowship) took us along winding trails through
the woods, beside the lake and up a grassy undulating
track that arrived, suddenly, at the Cricket Ground
and Checkpoint One.
From here, we did one and a half circuits around
the aptly named Paradise Field, which must be at
least 100 acres. The sheep, very sensibly, stayed
grazing in the centre of the field while the riders
cantered around the outside.
By this time my rather over-excited mare had settled
down into a sensible trot, which took us back into
the woods and around some heathland to Checkpoint
Two at Bodmin Lodge.
More woods, with winding tracks going steadily
downhill, took us quite quickly to the bridge over
the Lerryn river, and the driveway back to Bocconoc
House and the finish.
It was a wonderful day, and judging by the smiling
faces everywhere, all the other competitors enjoyed
themselves as much as I did. And the horses were
rewarded for their efforts by the lush green grass
back at the venue.
Thanks are due to the Fortescue family and the
50 plus helpers, who made the ride such a success.
A collection was taken for the Cornish Air Ambulance.