A victory by Anxious Talker over 2 1/4 miles and 10 timber fences today gave rider Michele Rouse the clinching points for the Virginia point-to-point ladies championship.
"That's the way we like to win them," said Rouse, whose total of 23 points for the year give her an insurmountable lead over idle Kip Johnson with only one meeting, Rappahannock next Sunday, left.
Anxious Talker, a 7-year-old bay, had a few anxious moments at the start adjusting to the extremely soft course, but was on top at the first fence and was never again headed.
Patti Cassel, seven-time Virginia ladies champion, held Avid Speaker slightly off the pace and then moved up going into the eighth fence. But Rouse managed to maintain her lead and won by five lengths over Avid Speaker.
"He's a great jumper, he really likes the fences," said owner-trainer Randy Rouse of Anxious Talker. "We've run him a lot so far this year . . . maybe again in the Gold Cup . . . who knows?"
Another Virginia champion was crowned today at the Fairfax Hunt's meeting at Belmont Plantation, this one in a walkover. Nelson Gunnell's Make The Move won the First Colony owner-rider hurdles title, when his only other rival, Charlie Ross' Bipp Hahn, was scratched.
The beautiful day failed to dry up the course made soggy by this week's rains. However, six started in the Ricacho, the owner-rider timber race, won by Bruce Rosenbaum on his Oriental Express.