Last week’s spate of cold weather has caused extensive disruption for equestrian disciplines up and down the country. The point-to-point world has been one of the biggest losers, as six of the weekend’s nine scheduled meetings had to be abandoned due to snow and frost.
Only the East Devon point-to-point at Bishop’s Court, the Staff College and RMAS Draghounds point-to-point at Larkhill and the West of Yore point-to-point at Hornby Castle were able to go ahead, resulting in record runners at the East Devon meeting.
Oliver Carter, who owns Bishop’s Court, where the East Devon meeting was held, had been adamant in the run-up to the weekend that the meeting would go ahead, despite adverse weather conditions through much of the country. It is perhaps for this reason that the point-to-point attracted a total of 146 runners in 12 races, making it the largest meeting in the last four years.
Terry Selby, spokesman for Point to Point, the official home of point-to-pointing on the internet, was disappointed that so many meetings had to be abandoned, but was delighted by the weekend’s turnout.
Terry told HHO: “Of course it’s very frustrating that so few meetings went ahead, but on the other hand, to have 146 runners turning up for 12 races at the East Devon point-to-point is excellent. There were 232 runners this weekend, which is very pleasing indeed, given the conditions.”
Meanwhile, six race meetings, at Chepstow, Warwick, Kempton, Huntingdon and Doncaster, had to be abandoned last week because of the going. Several hunt appointments up and down the country were cancelled, while others were delayed or hounds were hunted on foot.
The Melton Hunt Club Ride, one of Britain’s best known cross-country rides, held in the heart of Quorn hunting country, also faced problems because of the weather and has been postponed until Wednesday.