Point-to-Points: The Michael Graham Guide
At Michael Graham we love our dogs, but horses come a very close second, making spring and its promise of wall-to-wall point-to-pointing our favourite time of year. Described as amateur horse racing over fences, there are 110 point-to-point courses throughout the UK including 14 across the Michael Graham region, three of which we are proud to sponsor. For newcomers to this classic sporting and social fixture, here’s what you need to know.
The point-to-point season runs from the end of November to mid-June and dates from the 18th century when horses were raced from steeple to steeple, or point to point. Point-to-point races are normally run over a minimum of three miles, and most courses are cross country over farm land, so you’ll be watching from the hillsides rather than from traditional race grandstands. It can be bracing, so a Barbour or tweeds and wellies are a good call in the colder months. Most point-to-point meetings run at least six races with a minimum of 18 fences to be jumped, and some include flat races for ponies with riders between nine and 15 years old. A point-to-point meeting also provides entertainment away from the course for the whole family. Fairground rides and games, trade stands selling clothing and country life accessories, and of course the traditional beer tent, mean there really is something for everyone. When the weather warms up, elaborate picnics are de rigueur.
Point-to-points are part of the fabric of local communities and Michael Graham is delighted to be sponsoring two in South Northamptonshire for the eleventh consecutive year: the Oakley point-to-point at Brafield-on-the-Green on Sunday 18th March and the Grafton point-to-point (relocating from Whitfield to Edgcote near Banbury) on Sunday 20th May. The historic Kimble point-to-point in Buckinghamshire is also a firm date in our diaries again this year for Easter Saturday, March 31st.
Have we tempted you to a day out in the country at a point-to-point? Whether you want to talk bricks and mortar or runners and riders, we’d love to hear from you on any of our social media platforms.