30 November 2011 Landmark: Joe Hill
by Carolyn Tanner
Joe Hill, who celebrated his 16th birthday just six weeks before the start of the season, opened his account in the Novice Riders' contest at Black Forest Lodge on Sunday, his first ride.
He is studying for his GCSEs at Cokethorpe School, Witney, although how much concentration went into his schoolwork last week could be open to question.
Joe, whose parents Alan and Lawney have transferred their considerable race-riding talents to very successful training operations, was due to have made his debut on Sarah's Gift, but after the chestnut met with a slight setback he switched to Ravethebrave, who won over hurdles and fences for Alan King and was purchased at the Doncaster May sales. The victory will have given the Hill family a lift at the end of a difficult weekend, Alan's mother Sheila having passed away two days earlier.
To put the icing on the cake, Alan also saddled his "milk bottle horse" Money Tree - see Feature, September 15 - to take the second division of the 3m Maiden in the hands of James Tudor.