Event Category: Agricultural, Animal and Countryside Shows, Festivals, Shows and Outdoor Events, Horse Racing, Horse Show, Sport Events and Sports, Outdoor Leisure Pastimes and Park EventsEvent Tags: Cothelstone, Horse Racing, Point-to-Point, Pony Racing, Quantocks, Somerset, Steeplechases, Taunton and West Somerset Vale
The West Somerset Vale Point to Point is an annual amateur horse racing (steeplechase) meeting with the next event taking place on Sunday 26th May 2019 at the beautiful Cothelstone Racecourse in the lee of the Quantocks. The course is close to the county town of Taunton, 2m NE of Bishops Lydeard off A358 (Exit 25, M5) (well signposted on race days). The event has a seven race point-to-point card and 2 pony races. The first race is at 2pm so a 1.30pm latest arrival is recommended.
This point to point meeting attracts a 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.
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. Children’s rides and inflatables also welcome.Check Availability/Enquire about Trading
About the Course at Cothelstone
Cothelstone is a particularly scenic racecourse with good road links which makes it very popular with participants and spectators from Dorset, Devon and Somerset. It currently stages 3 meetings a year between March and May.
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.
Attractive and picturesque course under the Quantocks with friendly atmosphere and good viewing. A level course over pasture. Slightly downhill back and home straights. Races held over three miles comprise of 2 ½ circuits. The fences are well built and comprise of portable fences. Wattering available.
Left Handed. 7 fences (1 open ditch) 3 mile races: 19 jumps (3 open ditches) 2½ mile races: 16 jumps (2 open ditches)
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 West Somerset Vale meeting at Cothelstone are now very much important dates in the local social calendar.
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