This weekend we went to the Crawley and Horsham Hunt point-to-point πŸ‡ at Parham House.

I have never actually known exactly what a point-to-point is (I know it’s a horse race, but that’s about it). Β I looked it up and it turns out a point-to-point is a horse race for hunting horses and amateur riders. Β The name ‘point-to-point’ originates from the first of such races, run in Country Cork. Β A Mr Blake πŸ‡ challenged his neighbour Mr O’Callaghan πŸ‡Β to race across country from Buttevant church β›ͺ️ to Doneraile church β›ͺ️, jumping anything that got in the way – stone walls, ditches and hedges. Β They kept the steeple of the church at the finish in sight and this is where we get both ‘steeplechase’ and ‘point-to-point’ from, as they were chasing from ‘steeple-to-steeple’ or ‘point-to-point’. Β Nowadays they race around a purpose built race track – those pesky motorways, barbed wire fences and proud landowners don’t really allow to horses races between church steeples. Β But there is still one left in the UK that is run under the original conditions – the New Forest Boxing Day Point-to-Point, which gives you a start and a finish point, but allows you to chose your route – and sounds really rather fun.

It was a lovely day out, with a few Sat Nav mishaps (there is a place called Parham in Suffolk, not helpful) and a quick stop at Mcdonalds on the way (we had a few hungover participants), we arrived to enjoy a glorious day watching the horses.

There is something so reassuring about turning up to a proper countryside event – horses, barbours, tweed, muddy wells, dogs galore, every landrover in the county parked precariously in the mud and a slightly comical commentator. Β And the nicest thing is, it’s not too showy. Β Yes there are some red trousers, and the prosecco clutching young man wearing a white designer jumper possibly got the wrong memo (this is pony club, not a flashy polo match), and there were some slightly obnoxiously shiny landrovers. Β But really most people seemed very content pottering about in their non-designer tweed, wellies and flat caps, with their spaniels and terriers on leads, just enjoying the sunshine and the races.

It was a glorious day.

Alice xxx

Found Emily
Made it to the races
Time for a race @alicewetherell
Over they go @alicewetherell
And we tried on some hats