Summary: Amateur steeplechases and pony racing near Chard in rural South Somerset: racing and betting (usually for small, fun stakes on your selection) make this an enjoyable all-family occasionSeries: Wessex Area Point to Points31st March 2019, 12:00 pm-5:45 pmIndicative Stall Costs: £25-£50The Cotley Point to Point is an annual amateur horse racing (steeplechase) meeting with the next event taking place on Sunday 31st March 2019 2m SW of Chard in Somerset. The course is located only 1 mile off A30 and is well signposted on racedays from the western end of Chard. The postcode for SatNavs is TA20 3EP. The first race is at 1pm so a 12.15 latest arrival is recommended. Two pony races are scheduled for this event but a decision has to be takes as to whether these take place before or after point-to-point racing. The Cotley Point to Point is an established and popular Somerset social event attracting a knowledgeable and enthusiastic crowd of 2000+ to watch quality amateur horse racing in the beautiful South Somerset countryside. Cotley is a particularly attractive course and the view of horses silhouetted against the horizon is much cherished and appreciated by spectators old and new. Point to Points tend to be whole family days out (dogs on leads welcome) which once attended will bring people back year on year. 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. In addition to the adult races the meeting at Cotley also stages Pony Racing where highly capable young riding stars of the future hone their race riding skills in fiercely competitive heats as part of the national championships. Aside from the racing other attractions include a small shopping village which sells countryside clothing, fashion and equestrian goods you will not normally find on the high street. 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 and win or lose, the Cotley point to point is always a great day out and a fun occasion. About the Course at Cotley Cotley Racecourse is a testing but very fair course which is normally only used for this meeting. The course is “left handed” making it particularly suitable for galloping stayers. All fences the fences are portable, well-built and of regulation height. 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 the Cotley Point to Point is now an important date in the local social calendar.