The county’s showcase point-to-point race, the Shepherd Neame Kent Grand National, has been saved – and for the first time in nearly 30 years has a new home.
Ever since it was first run in April 1983, the race has been held at Detling but for 2012 the event will switch to Charing.
John Hickman rode the first winner of the BASF United Kingdom Kent Grand National and has been a prime mover in saving the race, which tops the bill in the first meeting of 2012 hosted by the West Street Tickham Hunt on Sunday, January 29.
Hickman, whose victory 28 years ago, came aboard a horse called No Justice, said that the "venue had changed due to new management."
He added: "There was a danger that the Kent Grand National would not happen this year but it is going ahead again and we are pleased."
The Kent national was inaugurated, in 1983, as part of a countrywide campaign to save the Aintree Grand National which was under threat at the time.
Ownership of the Liverpool course had switched from the Topham family to property developer Bill Davies and the fear was that racing did not figure in his future plans.
Mr Hickman added: "The late Paddy Warren who was, at the time, secretary of the Tickham Hunt point-to-point, was a great mover of the first Kent National. Apart from when the weather intervened, in 1987, it had been run at Detling ever since by the West Street Tickham Hunt."
Picture: John Hickman and No Justice clear a fence on their way to victory in the inaugural Kent Grand National at Detling in 1983