Confirmation that Gina and Jack Andrews became Britain’s national senior riding champions in the 2019/20 season was underscored at Mollington races on Monday when they received their trophies.
Had Covid not descended the Andrews’ siblings (pictured above with husband/brother-in-law Tom Ellis) would have been given a grand reception at the National Dinner and Awards Ceremony, a black-tie affair held ahead of the new season, but the cancellation of all such events resulted in the decision to make the presentations at a race meeting. When the moment arrived so did hurricane-force winds and rain.
After collecting the Skinner’s Ladies’ Championship award from the Point-to-Point Authority’s chief executive, Peter Wright, Gina said: “Our sport benefits from sponsorship and I’m so grateful to Skinner’s for their continued support. I must declare an interest, because Skinner’s asked me to become one of their ambassadors, which is an honour, and my two lurchers love eating the company’s dog food.
“It was so disappointing that last season had to end early because of Covid and while we are grateful to everyone who has kept point-to-pointing going this season we are all looking forward to getting the sport back to normal.
“It’s my ambition at the start of every season to win the title, and it was no different this year. My goal is ten Skinner’s titles. It’s no good riding in a competitive sport like this unless you are committed, and I am as keen now as I was in my first season.”
2019/20 National champions Jack and Gina Andrews
Jack’s men’s championship was his first, although he is among front-runners for the 2020/21 title. He said: “The championship was something I’ve long wanted to win and to receive a trophy means I can place it in my house, look back with pride and say ‘I won it that year’.
“James King is in pole position for this season’s title, but I’ll certainly give it my best shot to retain the title, and I have just enjoyed the best spell of my career with winners on five consecutive days. That involved a first winner at Cheltenham on Friday, an unexpected winner at Flete Park, a double at Dingley and victory on a 15-year-old at Mollington, followed by a hunters’ chase win at Fakenham yesterday.”