Join in

Send page to a friend

4692 views since 14th December 2011

Related links:

Food Legends | Pubs | Cultural Britain | History

Point-to-Point is both a throwback to how racing was two centuries ago, and a thriving modern sport for amateur enthusiasts. Races are generally run over steeplechase courses of 3 miles with at least two with ditches among the obstacles, though for some younger horses shorter distances are programmed, and a few of the bigger and long established events are contested over up to 4 miles. Prize money is limited, £300 being the norm, and owners and riders are in the game for pleasure not profit.
While horses (with a few exceptions for specific races) have to be thoroughbreds, many of them after their time in professional racing, they must also be certified as having hunted on at least four days in that season; all of the meetings are indeed organised by local Hunts, to raise money for that pastime, and to keep the riders and the ridden fit.
There are more than 100 Point-to-Point courses in Britain, most on farmland without the benefit of stands, though a few National Hunt courses like Fakenham and Hexham also stage Point-to-Points. But the soul of the sport is at places like Larkhill in Wiltshire , Whittington in Lancashire , Wadebridge in Cornwall and Bitterley in Shropshire . It’s a chilly weather season so more Barbour than Bill Blass, and plenty of call on the bar for stimulants. Point-to-Pointing is also a rather democratic, inclusive hobby, a world away from Royal Ascot – though some seen in green wellies and flat cap in a farmer’s field will be noted later in topper and tails in the Royal Enclosure.

More British Institutions

Brit Quote:
It takes little talent to see what lies under one's nose, a good deal to know in what direction to point that organ. - W H Auden
More Quotes

On this day:
Battle of Bannockburn - 1314, Battle of Sluys - 1340, First Recorded Tynwald Day - 1417, Punch Invents the Cartoon - 1843, Mersey Tunnel Opens - 1971, The Humber Bridge Opens to Traffic - 1981
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages