Event Category: Horse Racing, Sport Events and Sports, Outdoor Leisure Pastimes and Park EventsEvent Tags: Combined Services, Horse Racing, Larkhill, Point-to-Point, Salisbury Plain, Steeplechases and Wiltshire
The Combined Services Point to Point takes place at Larkhill Racecourse high on Salisbury Plain on on Sunday 17th February 2019. Larkhill is one of the best Point to Point (amateur steeplechases) course in the country and this meeting always offers competitive racing at all levels with the highlight being the prestigious annual Mixed Open Race for the Coronation Gold Cup, so called because it was presented in the 1953 by HM Queen Elisabeth II.
Racing has been taking place at Larkhill since 1947 and it is considered one of the best point to point courses in the country. The course is on Ministry of Defence land and is part of a military area. There is no postcode (which seems to add to the fun of the excursion) but the course is signposted on racedays. Larkhill is located 2 miles north west of Amesbury and 10 miles north of Salisbury, near the A303, A345 and A360 (see map).
There is a scheduled six race card for the Combined Services Meeting with the first race at 12.45pm so an 11.45 latest arrival is recommended.
Wrapping up warm is always advisable as Larkhill can be bracing at any time of year. There are good facilities and excellent viewing at the course which is roughly triangular in shape and particularly wide, comprising 2½ miles of old downland grass track which means fresh and fair ground is assured.
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 Larkhill
Larkhill is a 13 fence right handed course, triangular in shape which is viewed from an elevated position. There are some permanent facilities but most are temporary and built on race-days. The first floor of the Queen’s Building is located above the offers two reception areas and a viewing balcony and is available on race days for the use of sponsors and guests.
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.
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 Combined Services Meeting are now very much important dates in the local social calendar.
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