Summary: Late season amateur steeplechases and pony racing: Children's dog show alongside makes it a family day out and enjoyable social occasionSeries: Midlands Point to Point1st June 2019, 2:00 pm-7:30 pmIndicative Stall Costs: £75 - £150: Catering Concessions 10%The Meynell and South Staffs Point to Point is an annual horse racing (steeplechase) meeting with the next event taking place on Saturday 1st June at Garthorpe, on the B576, East of Melton Mowbray (well signposted on race days). It is organised by one of the country’s most prestigious Midlands hunts and the event has a seven race card including pony races. The first race is at 2.30pm so a 2.00pm latest arrival is recommended if you wish to bet on the first race. The Meynell and South Staffs meeting at Garthorpe attracts an affluent large crowd of mostly country dwellers, many of which keep horses at home and actively participate in country pursuits of all kinds. But is also a great family day out for people who just want to spend a pleasant and entertaining day out in the countryside. A family dog show runs alongside the main event making this a great fun all-family occasion. A small shopping village sells countryside clothing, fashion, jewellery, pictures and interior design items and equestrian goods you will not normally find on the high street. Point to Points are amateur steeplechases (jumping races) which were traditionally organised by local hunts. But the ties to hunting have become somewhat more relaxed and now Point to Pointing has developed as a sport which has its own circuit of events and point to point races have become social as well as sporting occasions. Race meetings are well publicised in advance and a large attendance is guaranteed. Crowds are attracted to a colourful, informal event where they can rub shoulders with the participants and get up close to the action. Point to Points tend to be whole family days out (dogs on leads welcome). Despite the amateur nature of the sport, races are highly competitive and picking your favoured horses, placing a small bet — just £5 or £10 adds frisson and extra interest — and cheering your selection home is very much a feature of the afternoon. Whether you win or lose, a point to point is always a great day out and a fun occasion. Applications for tradestands and sponsorship are open for this event. Catering applications and specialist small bars still being accepted. Children’s rides and inflatables also welcome. Check Availability/Enquire about Trading About the Course at Garthorpe Garthorpe is the major point-to-point racecourse for Midlands Point to Point area and currently stages 5 meetings a year from February through until June. The course benefits from some permanent facilities which are supplemented with temporary structures on race days. There is good access to all car and lorry parks and multiple exits. The Main car park provides excellent viewing of the home straight and the rest of the course. Disabled parking is available with a viewing area and extra toilets are provided for disabled visitors. The course is right handed (clockwise) and rectangular in shape with big, well-maintained fences. The open ditch which is located just after the winning post is jumped twice in most races and provides a fine viewing point for spectators. It is easy to get close to the jumping action at Garthorpe and still manage to watch a finish. Garthorpe benefits from a well maintained watering system which largely addresses the problem of small fields in dry weather. Safe ground can be offered even after prolonged dry spells and a wet spring poses few problems as the width of the track means fresh ground can be provided at each event by moving fences and bends as necessary. About Point to Point Racing ‘Point to Point’ horse racing comprises a series of amateur steeplechase meetings which take place on countryside courses around the UK between November and June. Meetings take place both days over almost every weekend and on bank holidays. In the busiest parts of the season, broadly between January and May, several meetings will take place up and down the country on any one day over the weekend. Once organised by hunts to give an opportunity for members to race their best horses, Point to Points have grown to become major countryside social events attracting large crowds to each meeting. With the broadening of their appeal the quality of racing has improved. Most races are now graded by the horse’s previous racing form and riders are accomplished and horses schooled and trained to a high standard. Point to pointing attracts a horsey and countryside set which usually live locally to the meetings they attend. They are often knowledgeable and always enthusiastic. Equestrians intermingle with keen students of form and otherwise non-racing families who just want a pleasant, colourful and slightly unusual day out in the countryside. Much of the infrastructure of a professional racecourse is present at a point-to-point meeting but on a smaller scale. There will be a bar, catering and trade-stands. There will be a line of bookmakers; a paddock; a track which varies from venue to venue; a winning post and a winners enclosure; but they will all have been erected temporarily for the occasion. There is certainly no need to dress up, wellingtons are appropriate footwear for either gender. In many areas attending the local point-to-point is a pleasant annual ritual and an opportunity to meet and share a drink with neighbours and friends, have a small bet, buy a new hat, a picture or a piece of tack. Crowds are growing and events such as the Meynell meeting at Garthorpe are now very much important dates in the local social calendar.