A new Bowen in town as James posts point-to-point record
Sean Bowen's little brother James, 16, looks set to follow in the family footsteps after setting a British record for point-to-point wins by a novice rider.
Bowen, from Pembrokeshire in West Wales, set the record with victory on the Bridget Lewis-trained Tinkers Hill Tommy at Chaddesley Corbett on Monday. It was his 26th win of the season.
That was one more than the totals managed by Nick Scholfield in 2007 and Rhys Flint in 2008. Scholfield and Flint both went on to become professional riders, which is set to be Bowen's calling too – following his win, he said the Pembrokeshire Hunt’s meeting near his home at Trecoed on Saturday (June 3) might be his last point-to-point meeting.
Bowen has had the support of his parents, Peter and Karen, and older brother Mickey, who rode in points but now focuses on training pointers. Sean won Britain's novice men's point-to-point title, sponsored by Fuller's Brewery in 2014 with ten wins and went on to take the conditional jockey's title in 2014-15.
James’s chances of setting a record total in his debut point-to-point season seemed slim to none because he could not take part in the sport until he turned 16 on March 12, several months into the season.
He promised to be a sharp recruit, however, after achieving success in pony races, and his first ride in a point, at Howick on his birthday, proved to be a winner. James rode in five races that day, recording a double and his first fall.
Both Scholfield and Flint rode in points and partnered winners (while retaining their novice status) the season before setting their big scores, and therefore had a full season in which to post record totals. Their 25th winners were brought up on the first weekend in June, meaning Bowen’s tally has been achieved ahead of their schedule.