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Clare - Bel Harbour Horse Racing

Point to Point

Horse racing print showing point to point racing at Bel Harbour in County Clare, Ireland. The Point to Point racing tradition is still alive in Ireland.

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Mahogany style frame

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Point to Point Racing at Bel Harbour, Co. Clare

Horse racing print showing point to point racing at Bel Harbour in County Clare, Ireland. The Point to Point racing tradition is still alive in Ireland.

Dimensions: 

300mm x 255mm or 12 inches x 10 inches

 

Mounting:

Precision cut double mount


Framing:

Also available in attractive mahogany style frame with gold trim

Point to Point Racing

Point to Point racing is a form of amateur horseracing over fences for hunting horses. In Ireland many of the horses will appear in these races before they compete in National Hunt races either in Ireland or in the UK. In contrast in England and Wales horses running in point to points are more likely to be at the end of their national hunt careers. The Irish point to point is used as a nursery for future young stars: a horse that wins its debut point to point in Ireland will often sell for a lot of money.

Horses running in Point to Points must be thoroughbreds, save in the case of hunt members races and certain other club members races (e.g. Pegasus club members race). The horses have to obtain a certificate from a Master of Foxhounds stating that they have hunted for at least 4 days in the season before racing starts in January. (The 2007 season will in fact start in December 2006.) In addition the jockey must obtain a certificate from the hunt secretary.

The first Steeplechase ever was run locally between Buttevant and Doneraile, County Cork, over 250 years ago. Chasing from steeple to steeple or point-to-point began in 1752 when Mr. Blake challenged his neighbour Mr. O'Callaghan, to race across country from Buttevant church to Doneraile church some four and a half miles distance and so jump stone walls, ditches and hedges as these presented themselves. By keeping the steeple of the church in sight (steeplechasing) both riders could see their finishing point.

Point to point regulations in the UK and Ireland require all races to be run over 3 miles, but there are exceptions. Certain important races are run over longer distances, e.g. the Lady Dudley Cup (3 miles 2 furlongs) and the Heythrop men's open (4 miles). Maiden races for young horses (aged 4 to 7) can be run over 2 miles 4 furlongs.

A three mile race is almost invariably 2 circuits of a typical point to point course although there are one or two exceptions (e.g. Larkhill in Wiltshire). Every course must have a minimum number of fences and at least 2 fences must have ditches.

The fences are made of birch and are approx 4 foot 6 inches high.

Point to point regulations in England prevent licence holders training under rules from training pointers. However there are so many exceptions to this rule that it is almost without any effect at all.

Horses that are eligible to run in points are also eligible to run in hunter chases, i.e. races run under rules over regulation fences open only to horses with a current hunter certificate.