SCENE & HEARD – WHITFIELD: PHILLIPPA TAYLOR

by Jake Exelby

The Bicester with Whaddon Chase Members Race at Whitfield saw the successful return to the track of some well-known colours, that were last worn when the winning trainer was carrying the winning jockey!

The trainer in question, Phillippa Taylor, explains: “The black, gold and green were the colours of my father, Jack Bradbery, who used to play rugby for Northampton Saints – they’re the club colours. I used to wear them in races myself, but the last time was in April 1992, when I was pregnant with Phoebe!”

Phoebe Taylor is now 22 and a final-year student at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. She was making her debut in points on the 14-year-old Irish Guard, owned by Chairman of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Point-to-Point John O’Neill and formerly trained by him under rules.

Phoebe gave the horse a confident ride, making most of the running and seeing off the challenge of the reluctant Bigasabishop when headed at the last, coming home to the biggest cheer of the day from the local hunting fraternity. “He’s a really good hunter,” confirmed Phillippa, “although we may run him in more point-to-points now.”

Phillippa is best remembered to pointing aficionados as the rider of Straits “around 25 years” ago. “We won ten races,” she reminisces, “at places like Mollington, Kingston Blount and (the now defunct) Little Horwood.

So if the horse belongs to John O’Neill, why did he run in Philippa’s colours? “Let’s just say we discussed it,” smiled the winning trainer. “And I won!” Not just the debate on what to wear, but the race itself.