County Galway Hunt (The Blazers) - Point to Point

 

A point to point 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. The Irish point to point is used as a nursery for future young stars.Horses running in Point to Points must be thoroughbreds,  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. 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

Point to point regulations in Ireland require all races to be run over a minimum of 3 miles, but there are exceptions.  The fences are made of birch and are approx 4 foot 6 inches high. 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.