My Yorkshire weekend - Anthea Morshead, York Racecourse
PUBLISHED: 00:00 24 August 2013
Anthea Morshead, assistant clerk of the course at York Racecourse, says all bets are off on her favourite pastime
When I was a child I loved visiting my grandpa and grandma in Ripley. My father grew up there and his affection and enthusiasm must have imprinted itself on to us as children.
I particularly remember the fields full of horses leading down to the beck at the top end of the River Nidd, and playing in the garden and the beautiful parkland in front of Ripley Castle.
I have to say though that my favourite part of the county is the Howardian Hills, partly because I grew up there on a farm and partly because, in all honesty, who’d not be breathless at the views across the Vale of York to the Minster in the distance and back towards the North York Moors.
When I’ve got time I like to ride to the top of Snargate Hill, look back across the Vale of York and think about my personal heroes. My dad, Gold Cup-winning racehorse trainer Peter Beaumont, is always first in the queue. We worked together for 20 years and hardly ever had a disagreement. He’s a real hero because of his hard work, dedication, horsemanship and all-round gentlemanly conduct.
If I was having a fantasy dinner party, I’d invited my dad and Michael Palin, another Yorkshireman whose great humour and stories I really admire. He’s probably on everyone’s list though, so I’d need to get it in his diary pretty quickly.
We’re a racing family through and through so nothing beats a day’s racing for us at the weekend. My son Henry has regularly taken part in the Charles Owen Pony Racing series and all of his rides at York on Family Sunday are special memories for him and us. This year he’s hoping to be in the final at York on September 8th.
I particularly like the new Melrose Club Lounge at York Racecourse. I get asked a lot about the best place to be on race days and this would be my first choice. It has a dual aspect view across the parade ring and overlooks the final furlong. It also serves Yorkshire tapas – so what’s not to like?
Racing is my passion and there’s nowhere better to be based than Yorkshire to follow it, with nine racecourses in one county.
The creation of impressive organisations to promote the county’s strengths, including Welcome to Yorkshire and Go Racing in Yorkshire, have ensured we’ve gained the respect nationally and internationally we deserve.
It’s good to sing our own praises sometimes. We should be proud of the diverse landscape of our county. It seems to transform so easily from moorland to coast, from hills to vales – it really has everything.
Anthea Morshead is on the board of the Pony Racing Authority, which is holding its pony racing series final at York for the first time on Sunday September 8th. There will also be seven thoroughbred races on the card. For further details, visit yorkracecourse.co.uk.