What is point-to-point racing?
Point-to-point racing is essentially grassroots steeplechasing for amateur jockeys and trainers. Point-to-point race days are organised at a local level by a hunt, or a recognised club or association, and staged on a variety of racecourses, approved, but not licensed, by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). Jockeys riding in point-to-point racing must be members of, or subscribers to, a recognised hunt and horses qualify by virtue of being owned by members or subscribers and having a registered ‘hunter certificate’.
Traditionally, point-to-point meetings are staged February and May, which corresponded to the period outside the main fox hunting season, in the days before it became illegal to hunt foxes with packs of dogs in Britain. A meeting typically consists of six or seven steeplechases, the vast majority of which are run over a distance of three miles and a minimum of 18 brush fences, although shorter and longer distances are possible, depending upon the specific type of point-to-point race being contested. All point-to-point courses have basic facilities, including a bar and toilets, but there is no dress code and, overall, the atmosphere is friendly, relaxed and informal.