New fixtures, a new course, international competition, Irish runners at two meetings, an innovative Point-to-Point Flat race and a revived venue after a gap of 40 years are all exciting elements of the 2016/17 British Point-to-Point fixtures list.
“There is always a sense of excitement and anticipation about a new season,” said the Point-to-Point Authority’s chief executive Clare Hazell. “Much loved, traditional fixtures run throughout the year, supported by some exciting innovations, which demonstrate pointing’s willingness to blend fresh ideas with commitment to an open, fair and friendly sport for all.”
The fixture list shows the season opens on Sunday, November 27, with the now traditional meetings at Black Forest Lodge in Devon and Cottenham in Cambridgeshire, and runs through until June 17 and a finale at Umberleigh in North Devon.
Among new fixtures is one at Barbury Racecourse in Wiltshire on January 14, which will be run by the newly-formed Barbury International Racing Club. Pointers trained in Ireland will be able to compete at a British point-to-point for the first time, and since licensed trainers are able to run horses in Irish point-to-points, a like-for-like basis will be allowed for this one meeting. British licensed trainers can therefore run horses who have been granted a hunters’ certificate.
Young horses will be given ample opportunities to run, for the seven-race card will include three maiden races and a point-to-point Flat race – it will be the first time such a race has been held on a non-licensed course. Above-average prize money will be on offer and more details will be released shortly.
Two other new fixtures – the Heythrop Hunt Club (January 22) at Cocklebarrow in Gloucestershire and the High Easter Racing Club (March 18) at High Easter in Essex – are being staged to give those venues an additional fixture.
The revived course, Revesby Park in Lincolnshire, will hold racing after a break of 40 years, providing a parkland setting for the South Wold Hunt fixture (March 11) – in recent years the hunt has staged a meeting at Brocklesby Park.
Returning to the fixtures list after a halt of seven years is a meeting to be staged by the Carmarthenshire Hunt, which will put on racing at Trecoed in Pembrokeshire on May 11, while the annual Anglo/Irish challenge – a team competition involving riders from both sides of the Irish Sea, and for the first time horses with an Irish hunters’ Certificate – returns to Britain on May 26, this time heading to Kingston Blount in Oxfordshire.
The full fixture list can be downloaded here