The first ever point-to-point meeting to take place in December in mainland Britain was hosted by the Black Forest Club in Devon on Sunday and hailed as a “huge success”.

The fixture attracted 102 entries from 13 counties, with 72 runners coming under starters orders.

Warwickshire-based Fred Hutsby became the first person to ride and train a December double when Pocket Tiger obliged in the opener (Maiden Div I), before Oscar Royal followed up in the subsequent race.

Last year, after liaison with the Point-to-Point Secretaries’ Association and Point-to-Point Owners’ and Riders’ Association, the point-to-point board floated the concept of holding meetings in December.

The Devon and Cornwall area is hosting three fixtures this month. Area secretary Gordon Chambers told H&H that after a summer meeting, hunts were asked to consider the viability of holding December fixtures.

“Three said they would like to host one,” he said. “Sunday was a real success.”

The qualification system remains unchanged — to race, point-to-pointers must have hunted a minimum of four days that season.

“It just means they have to start their qualification earlier,” said Mr Chambers.

  • Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s point-to-point issue next week (14 December).
  • This news report was first publiahed in today’s Horse & Hound (7 December, ’06)