Page 75 - The Chapka 2016
P. 75

  Lt Kellard with Renard, trainer, Venetia Williams and members of the Royal Lancer syndicate
Grand Military 2017
After taking a crashing fall in last year’s Grand Military Gold Cup, Lieutenant Kellard went into the 2016/7 National Hunt season with a determination to restore some pride to Royal Lancer Racing. A syndicate made up of both serving and retired officers was formed to fund the training of a Point to Point horse named ‘Argentato’, which Lieutenant Kellard would gain expe- rience on, with a view to gaining top class rides at Sandown.
Their first outing ended in a moment that will remain long in the memories of all the supporters gathered at the foot of the last fence at Barbury Castle. The pair were leading with a few lengths in hand, however, a loose horse had other plans and dived out of the wings of the fence at the last second. Distracted, Argen- tato ran out, voiding the effort entirely. Despite the result, the hard yards of riding out lots with some of the best trainers in the south had paid dividends.
Lieutenant Kellard and ‘Archie’ went to their next race at Chad- desley Corbett with a point to prove. In a hard run race the pair managed fourth out of sixteen runners, setting Lieutenant Kel- lard up magnificently for a run in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. With the performance at Chaddesley Corbett behind them, top National Hunt trainer Venetia Williams mounted Lieutenant Kellard on her horse ‘Renard’. The pair finished in a credible third position.
Venetia Williams was suitably impressed with the performance in the Gunner Gold Cup and asked Lieutenant Kellard to ride
the same horse in the Grand Military Gold Cup in March. A cohort of serving and retired members of the Regiment travelled to Sandown and were richly rewarded with a brilliant race. Re- nard led for the entire first circuit with his ears pricked, enjoy- ing himself and attacking the fences. As he tired going into the final circuit, Lieutenant Kellard let him refill his lungs ready for a final push up the home straight. Renard responded with fantastic enthusiasm as Lieutenant Kellard cajoled him along and ran on into second position, beaten only by the inspirational Captain Guy Disney (Light Dragoons) who lost a leg in Afghani- stan and is the first amputee to win a horse race on a professional track in the UK.
A mention must go to Captain (Retired) Richard Wilkin MBE (late 17th/21st Lancers) who was a great driving force getting the Royal Lancer Racing Syndicate off the ground. His enthusiasm and support for military racing is inspirational and he was de- servedly rewarded with being part of the syndicate that owned the horse Rathlin Rose which won both the Royal Artillery Gold Cup and Grand Military Gold Cup for Captain Disney. Thank you to all those who contributed to this venture, it has been enormous fun and will hopefully provide a spring board for fu- ture success in this sport for The Royal Lancers. A spurs course in the Autumn and ride-outs with northern trainers will hope- fully help prepare the next generation.
  Lt Kellard and Renard on their way to 2nd place in The Grand Military Gold Cup
Lt Kellard and Argentato clearing a fence at Barbury Racecourse

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