Grab your wellies
Good news! The posh suede boots you usually don for Cheltenham can stay at home because there is no dress code for racegoers at point-to-points — you can wear whatever you fancy. However, dressing for the unpredictable weather conditions is a good idea.
With the season starting in November and finishing in June, a warm coat and wellies for the colder months and sun scream for the spring and summer are most probably the best essentials for your day out pointing.
Find your local point-to-point
If you are new to pointing but want to support your local meeting this season, the point-to-point website is the best place to start. There is a ‘course finder’ so you can pinpoint each exact location of meetings in your area. There is also useful information on each point-to-point to help you out.
One of the best features of point-to-pointing is how close you can get to the action and the horses. Point-to-point courses are situated in some of the most picturesque spots of countryside Britain has to offer, so there is never a shortage of stunning scenery — perfect to snap away on your camera. Barbury’s course, for example, is set in a bowl and, therefore, all of the track can be viewed from one place.
A perfect picnic
While all courses have their own bars and catering, going pointing is the best excuse to dust off the picnic hamper and pull out a picnic rug, because at point-to-points, everyone loves a good old picnic with friends and family.
Many courses also have trade stands and country fairs — plus bouncy castles and fairgrounds for children — so even your most un-horsey of friends can be kept entertained.
No empty pockets
When going Flat or National Hunt racing, you can often come away with empty pockets after taking one too many chances at the bookies. However, point-to-pointing you will find placing a £1 bet is entirely acceptable. There are normally two ways to place a bet at meetings — with the Tote or a bookmaker, and both are usually located near the paddock.
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Doggy day out
Pointing-to-pointing is also an ideal day out in the countryside for your pooch and they are certain to love it just as much as you. Organisers remind racegoers to always keep dogs on a lead, don’t leave them in cars unattended and clean up after them.
Don’t miss our Point-to-point special in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (21 November), which is out now, including an interview with champion jockey Will Biddick and more.