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Point-to-point one to follow ...part I

JO Luton is a event rider based in the Borders, who also has an interest in point-to-pointing and has two horses we will follow this winter.

Measly, a four-year-old mare by Generous, holds great sentiment to the yard. She is owned and bred by Jo's partner Crawford McNeill, his father John and sister Lesley Gillies. Lesley's son Campbell was one of Scotland's most up and coming jockeys, winning at the Cheltenham Festival on Brindisi Breeze in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle for Lucinda Russell in March 2012 before a tragic accident on holiday just three months later claimed his life.

Measley - named as such because she is little - is out of Reiver's Moon, by Midnight Legend, which herself was not tall at 15.3hh but won five races - three hurdles, a chase and a bumper race when trained by Willie Amos.

"Measly's little but she's so tough," says Jo. "She's been here since she was weaned and has proved quite opinionated.

"I love mares and I don't think everyone would get on with her - they need a sense of humour."

She was broken last year as a three-year-old but proved rather troublesome, as Jo explains: "When she got the bridle she ran round about biting the ground! Then, with the roller on she threw herself onto the ground groaning - she wore it for 24 hours after that!"

Despite this unusual behaviour Measly was easy to break.

"She did very little as a three-year-old and was turned away. She came back into work in June and in August went to her first hunter trial.

"Her mother was a very good jumper and hopefully she will be too," said Jo.

"I love her attitude, she's all heart. She's had a couple of quiet autumn hunting days with the Lauderdale and could do any job. I like to continue hunting the point-to-pointers - they don't realise they are getting fit. Some can be very instituitionalised."

Jo would like the mare to go point-to-pointing, meaning she can stay on her yard near Gattonside, in the Borders. If she shows ability then a career under Rules beckons and the mare would need to be placed into a trainer's yard.

"She's in work and will hopefully be fit to run in about eight weeks time," says Jo.

"Hopefully she'll run before Christmas. I'd like her to stay here but Crawford would like her to run under Rules. Although she's little she's strong. Hopefully she'll go on soft-ish ground; she just glided over the bogs out hunting.

"She's grown up running on the hills and that makes such a huge difference to their balance. Young horses can take time to get fit; it's a new games for them."

The other horse is Page One Two Nine, a 10-year-old Irish-bred gelding by Luso.

'Kevin' is jointly owned by Jo, Crawford and Debbie Dunbar-Naismith and came from Ireland only a few weeks ago after a chance remark from Phillipa Gillie about a horse for sale. He had previously run under Rules, most recently racing in August and will be aimed at the first point-to-point of the season at Alnwick on December 15.

"I'll keep him sweet with some hunt rides and will also take him to the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) demonstration at Parkend EC, with Yogi Breisner," added Jo.

Yogi, the performance manager for eventing, will take the demonstration at Parkend EC, near Hexham on November 11.

Jo will also take her former racehorse Presenting Edward to the demonstration, as the 14-year-old is a good example of a racehorse going on to another discipline. The pair were first at BE Drumclog and have qualified for the RoR final at Royal Windsor Show next year.

"It's good these horses have a job to do after their racing careers have finished," added Jo.