What's the Point?
Point to Point Horse Racing…
Have you ever been driving along a country road between October and June and noticed a sign for a Point to Point Horse Racing event (P2P). Or seen a large gathering of horse boxes and jeeps in a random field, and wondered what wonders could lie beyond the hedge.
One of the great treasures of rural Ireland is the Point-to-Point, where would-be champion jockeys on potential National Hunt champion horses compete on temporary courses. The jumps are high, the competition is ferocious and the atmosphere electric. If you have time to stop, I cannot recommend it highly enough, even if you don’t know one end of a horse from the other. You will get to see supreme athletes, animal and human, for usually minimal cost.
Point to Points have been the lifeblood of the Irish jump racing since the 1880’s. For children, it allows an opportunity to get up close and hear the thunder of hooves. And for grown-ups it can be a wonderful few hours to break a journey. You can have a flutter if you are so inclined, and perhaps the chance to spot the Gold Cup winner of the future.
What to bring?
Make sure to bring wellies or waterproof shoes – this is no place for heels. And wrap up warmly as there may not be any shelter. For children, bring some healthy snacks as the only food on offer could be a chip van. Definitely bring a camera. If you have a dog keep it on the lead in case he runs with the horses. Also be warned that soft ground may not be buggy-friendly. Most of all, suspend your disbelief as you watch the skill of the horses and jockeys, and the sense of community of the spectators.