Have you ever watched a horse race over jumps? Imagine seeing racehorses from just a few feet away at their pre-race check in, watch them from a hillside as they navigate the jumps at a gallop, and experience the thrill as they thunder over the finish line from just a few yards away. From that vantage point, spectators can really get a sense of the speed, power, and beauty of the horses, the skill of the jockeys, and the way the two become one.
Living in Virginia, almost everyone has heard of the Gold Cup, the famous steeplechase held at Great Meadow. It’s like the super bowl of steeplechase racing. It’s huge, it’s exciting, it’s busy, it’s loud, and there are lots of really dressed-up people.
For a different vibe, consider going to a Point to Point. What’s the difference? Think of Point to Points like the minors in baseball. They are smaller races for less experienced horses as they train and condition for the bigger steeplechase races.
What does that mean for spectators? Point to Points are a less crowded, less formal, way to experience the thrill of horses racing over fences in a low-key, more intimate atmosphere. The best thing is that you can see much better and get closer to the horses and jockeys.
Local hunt clubs host Point to Point Races most weekends throughout the Spring season, which can be a great way to spend the day in the country and start learning what racing over fences is all about. Warrenton Hunt’s Point to Point, featuring up to ten races (including a sidesaddle race), will take place on March 18 at their longtime traditional location, the Airlie racecourse in Warrenton.
More than horses at the Warrenton Hunt Point to Point: Make a day of it!
Kids will be thrilled with seeing the horses and the races, and they can also enjoy the complimentary Kids Zone with activities like coloring and face painting. Maybe they’ll get a little excited and need to blow off some steam? Set them loose to run and jump on the miniature kids’ racecourse. And both kids and adults will enjoy strolling through vendor village featuring a variety of local shops and artisans.
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