Point to Point | Horse Racing

There are several types of horse racing seen at Point to Point. These are Confined, Club Members, Hunt Members, Ladies Open, Intermediate, Mens Open, Maiden, Restricted and Mixed Open.

Point to Point races consider certain factors such as the gender of horses, age (e.g. 4, 5 and 6-year old Maiden), and rider (e.g. novice or veteran riders). With regard to the number of races, a Point to Point meeting can plan as many as seven races. However, these are subject to change on the actual day when the event will be held. The number, for example, can go beyond the scheduled seven races if a race is over subscribed and there is a need to divide the horses into 2 groups to be able to comply with the Safety Factor.

The Safety Factor limits the number of horses that can participate. For instance, the limit is 18 in Maiden events, while in all others, up to 20 horses can participate. These numbers can vary according to event types and course.

As to the length of the course, UK regulations require that the distance be about over 3 miles. However, exceptions are given to historically important events like Lady Dudley Cup and Lord Ashton of Hydeís Mens Open. These races are allowed to cover longer distances. Similarly, the distance is adjusted for younger horses wherein they are allowed to cover shorter distances.

Depending on the gender and age, some horses carry heavier weight compared to others. The heaviest weight is 12st5lb. For Ladies Open, weight is at 11st while in Mares Only event, weight is at 11st7lb. The minimum is 10st.

To level the playing field, horses that perform well in the past are penalized by requiring them to carry additional weight. The penalty depends on what the horses have won in the past.

Levels of prize money here are a lot lower than in Flat racing or National Hunt. In the 2014-2015 season, the total prize money in Open events such as Ladies, Mixed or Men does not exceed £550 while the allowed top prize for other events is lower, which is at £350. Special events such as Area or National Classics are worth slightly higher, as much as £1,500.