Georgie Howell celebrates first winner as permit holder
Tenbury Wells permit holder Georgie Howell is well known around the Point-to-Point circuit with her select band of keenly-priced horses that have givena lift to the career of her daughter Tabitha Worsley. And she was back in the spotlight today as jumps fans watched an otherwise unremarkable card at Market Rasen alongside the grandeur of a sopping wet Ascot. Indeed, it was surely a day to be invested in soft ground specialists destined for the winter game rather than daisy cutters from the bluest of blue bloodlines given the ground conditions.
Back in April, Georgie and daughter Tabitha were the dream ticket to win the Grand National with Sub Lieutenant, a £50,000 purchase previoulsy trained by Gordon Elliott for the Gigginstown Stud enterprise. Although finishing tailed off, it was a rare and enterprising run at the highest level for a trainer more familiar with Chaddesley Corbett and Cold Harbour.
Today's winnning result in division one of the MansionBets Betsival Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap Hurdle may not have the same worldwide appeal of Tabitha's win in the 2019 Foxhunter, but it marks an important first winner milestone in a permit holder career with just a handful of modest horses, so expect some celebrations back in rural west Worcestershire, and hats off to Black Lightning, who took it up 2 out, and ran on strongly against renewed challenges to win by 1 1/2l. Never will the drive from Linclonshire back home appear so short again.
Georgie's anything but a full time trainer. She runs an engineering firm around the horses, but like any parent, encouraging your offspring in their career is high on the agenda, even in a career as perilous as race-riding. And for all the glamour of wins and rides at Aintree, Tabitha has also incurred some truly dreadul injuries, breaking her back before her win in the Foxhunters at Aintree in 2019. But she is among the leading amateurs in this country, with over 500 rides under Rules, and 59 winners to date in Rules and Pointing. Quite some team.
As if you needed reminding, it's another example of the dedication that trainers and riders large and small put toward their horses in pursuit of success, whatever the level.
Long may that continue.