Can anyone give me any ideas on a good jumps course to take my Dad to for his 60th Birthday – fixtures appear to be a little thin on the gound in the South West as I am looking to go May/June time preferably on a weekend? I’m looking for somewhere that has good catering facilities and a reasonable standard of racing. Any ides?
Failing that I’m sure someone posted on here about there being some trainer who was doing a race horse owner for a day package, which sounded like a fairly decent idea?
The closest weekend jumps fixture to you during May or June take place at Worcester (Sun 11/5, 7/6, 8/6), Plumpton (11/5), Stratford (24/5, 1/6, 15/6), Fontwell (25/5) and Hereford (22/6), and as you can see none of them are desperately close to the South West! Wincanton hosts an evening meeting on Thursday 8/5 if that’s of any use.
Alternatively, the point-to-point season lasts longer in the genuine South West of the country than anywhere else. Clearly there’s a good chance that won’t meet the description of “quality racing” you were after, but I thought it as well to mention it as an alternative. Weekend dates late in the pointing season of potential use to you are;
3/5 Holnicote, Somerset
3/5 Flete Park, Devon
5/5 Vauterhill, Devon (Bank Holiday Monday)
5/5 Maisemore Park, Gloucs (Bank Holiday Monday)
5/5 Cotley, Somerset or Devon I think (Bank Holiday Monday)
10/5 Holnicote, Somerset
11/5 Vauterhill, Devon
14/5 Cothelstone, Somerset (Weds evening meet)
17/5 Bratton Down, Devon
24/5 Treborough Hill, Devon (brand new course)
26/5 Upcott Cross, Devon or Cornwall (Bank Holiday Monday meet)
31/5 Bratton Down, Devon
8/6 Bratton Down, Devon
14/6 Umberleigh, Devon (last meet of the season and usually a party atmosphere)
I may have got one or two of the counties wrong, but the bottom line is that they’re all in that – admittedly sizeable – chunk of the country. I’ve not visited any of the pointing courses in question, so can only advise what Mackenzie and Harris say about the quality of the racing / facilities / viewing, but I think Happy Jack has visited Umberleigh and one or two more.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.