Point-to-point organisers will receive nearly £200,000 towards the cost of running events during 2001.

The Horserace Betting Levy Board has approved grants totalling £193,000, which is an increase of £5,000 on this year.

The money will be distributed across 120 courses, which stage over 200 individual point-to-point fixtures.

The grant is in recognition of the significant contribution that point-to-points make to National Hunt racing, particularly as a training aid for both horsesand riders.

The number of registered hunter certificates increased to a record 4,455 horses last season, while the number of individual point-to-point runners increased to 3,886, a rise of 17 per cent against 1999.