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Catching up with ... The Hollinwell

Catching up with ... The Hollinwell

Catching up with .. is our new series featuring leading pointers, past and present. We catch up with some of the favourites over the years and find out more about those currently leading in the pointing field.

The 2014 Champion pointer The Hollinwell is in the spotlight for our new series on leading pointers, past and present.

The Hollinwell ran 19 times between the flags for Eugene O'Sullivan, clocking up a total of eight win to land the 2014 Champion Pointers title. He raced in England up until he has bought by Eugene for his son, Eoin, to get his riding career started. 

We caught up with Eugene's daughter Maxine, who rode The Hollinwell to four of his victories, to get the low down on the horse.

'He raced with Ferdy Murphy in England and we bought him at Doncaster. He was bought for Eoin to get started on and he rode four winners on him and then rode him at Cheltenham in the Foxhunters.'

'After Eoin rode him at Cheltenham, he was on a riding ban as he was studying for his leaving cert. So I got to ride him for the rest of the season, which was great.'

Maxine rode 13 winners that season, four of which came abroad The Hollinwell, to land the 2014 Ladies title. That summer The Hollinwell went to Doncaster but could not meet his reserve so returned to Co.Cork.

'We begged Dad not to sell him, he compromised and put a £20,000 reserve on him. He was not sold at £18,000 so we were delighted. He went out on his holidays when he came back home. We all thought he'd come back in and be great, better than the previous year maybe, but he showed nothing the following year"

"Susan Oakes bought him during that season, and rode him in a few point-to-points and competed in a side-saddle race with him."

From there we tracked down The Hollinwell, or Wellie as he is affectionately known, to the Cotswolds where he has found his 'forever home' with Natasha Seely, an equine vet who, along with her partner Scott Jones, has a number of pointers and young horses.

"Horses are very much a hobby. Whilst always interested in racing, I evented and showed growing up. We have always tried to have young horses that we could produce and sell on, our best to date was The Rainbow Hunter. I have been lucky enough to ride some lovely horses, have had 42 rides and 3 winners."

"I found Wellie through Twitter, he had come over for a side saddle charity race in which he was 2nd and then was advertised on Twitter via a Bloodstock Agent who had sold him previously. They wanted too much money in my mind, so I didn’t go any further with it, but a couple of months later he was advertised again. Assuming he was back in Ireland, I nearly didn’t enquire, but without a horse for the season I thought what’s the harm?! He wasn’t in Ireland and I paid quite a bit less than originally asked for him. "

"His best run for us was probably his first, a novice riders mixed open at Upton on Severn, he was denied after a half hour long debate by the stewards in a photo. I still have people telling me he got up that day. He ran well next time, but nearly fell three out having lost a shoe and finished third after which his season tailed off. He needs everything to go his way and I think is probably best fresh these days. He was due to run last season, was flying at home, but a persistent bruised foot meant he never got to run."

"He hunted a couple of days last season and was better than we could have hoped for. We thought he would be absolutely made for races like the Golden Button and that was the plan for this season. He has hunted a good few days and had an entry in the Button, but pulled a muscle the week before and didn’t run. We haven’t ruled out him pointing again this season, but he’s got to show a bit more at home. He’s doing pieces of work as we have an unraced 5yr old, so he’s being nanny! He was too good a horse to be seen pulling up in poor point to points. He might go for the mini Silver Spur and then be put away for next hunt season. Whatever we won’t abuse him! He is a gentleman and a pleasure to have on the yard. If there was an Olympic sport for rolling, he would be your man!!"

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