‘It’s very disappointing’: point-to-pointing to cease with immediate effect at popular course

  • No more point-to-point fixtures will be run at Barbury Castle, it has been announced, as a result of the ‘highly challenging economic environment”.

    In a statement released today (21 June), the Barbury Castle Estate said it was “saddened” to confirm that there would be no more meetings, at what has been a racing and pointing hotspot for over a century. It has most recently hosted the Vine and Craven and the Tedworth Hunt point-to-points, as well as the Barbury International meeting, the only British point-to-point in the calendar to draw together riders and horses from both the UK and Ireland.

    “We are saddened to announce on behalf of the Barbury Castle Estate that a difficult decision has been taken to cease point-to-point racing at the estate this season and into the foreseeable future,” the statement read. “This decision has been taken in conjunction with the organisers of three race meetings hosted at the estate – the Barbury International, the Vine and Craven and the Tedworth.

    “The decision to cease point-to-point racing at Barbury is a result of the current highly challenging economic environment. The course has been operating at a loss for a number of years, which has been compounded by the cancellation of meetings during the Covid pandemic and a significant reduction in sponsorship revenues. Against this backdrop, surging inflation has also substantially raised the costs of maintaining the course and the required multi-year capital investment programme. These factors have resulted in a continuation of point-to-point racing at Barbury becoming no longer viable in the current climate.

    “No firm decision has been taken on the long-term future of the point-to-point course.”

    Barbury Castle International Horse Trials, which runs from 7 to 10 July this year, is unaffected by this decision.

    Molly King, honourable secretary of the Tedworth meeting, told H&H the decision was “very disappointing, but unfortunately with increasing costs it’s something that had to happen”.

    “We’re looking at our options for an alternative location for our point-to-point to relocate to – I can say it won’t be Larkhill though as their calendar is already too busy to accommodate more fixtures,” she said.

    Racing took place at the Wiltshire estate until 1962, when the land was put into agricultural production. In 1992, the racecourse was reopened and meetings were added, helping make Barbury a popular choice for trainers, owners and spectators. Between 1995 and 2000, the Babury estate staged the only timber race in the UK; the Marlborough Cup.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...