Three riders sweep the honours at Rebels’s awards evening

PUBLISHED: 15:34 07 November 2018

Somerset Rebels.

Somerset Rebels. 2018

Three riders took the honours at Somerset Rebels’ presentation evening held at the Oaktree Arena.

Three riders swept away the honours as the Cases Someret Rebels brought their hugely successful campaign to a close, with the club’s presentation evening.

A well-attended event at the Oaktree saw number one Jason Doyle collect the prestigious Rider of the Year trophy, together with the fastest time of the season (56.0 seconds recorded on August 15th against Belle Vue), while the gathering heard from Jack Holder, who took triple honours by swooping the categories of most improved rider, most entertaining rider and the track staff rider of the year.

Holder was presented with his trophies prior to returning to Australia for the winter, the young Aussie expressing his wish to return as a Rebel in 2019 if the rules agreed.

Mid-season signing Nico Covatti flew in from Italy especially for the event and was honoured with the SREF Rider of the Year trophy.

The Rebels reached the semi-finals of the play-offs for the first-time ever at top tier racing, only missing out on a place in the final after the heart-breaking 30th race against neighbours Poole, but bounced back to win the Knockout Cup against King’s Lynn.

It has not been uncommon for speedway riders to be presented with a new bike to honour their success, few though have been presented with their own piece of livestock, but that is precisely what the Mayor of Burnham & Highbridge, Bill Hancock did at the Somerset Speedway annual presentation evening.

Bill, who owns the Somerset Rebels, made a special gift to the club’s number one Jason Doyle as he handed over Nora the Dexter cow to Doyle and his wife Emily, complete with the JD#69 jacket.

While Emily appeared somewhat perturbed by the new addition to the Doyle household, Jason the 2018 Premiership Riders’ champion and winner of the 70th staging of the prestigious Czech Golden Helmet and led the Rebels to Knockout Cup glory,.

Doyle instantly took an affection to the animal but insisted in renaming it Deborah - much to the amusement of the Mayor’s daughter Debbie Hancock, who runs the speedway club and the hosting venue of the Oaktree Arena.

In accepting the gift Jason admitted: “It’s like winning a GM innit! I’d rather this over a motorbike any days. I didn’t expect anything like that, it’s the best day of my life,” and when prompted by MC for the night Spencer Bishop that maybe meeting his wife was probably the best day, Doyle immediately quipped “No, this is even better.”

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