The Western Hunt run a point to point meeting every year at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge. Next year the meeting will be February 2017 with the exact date to be finalised.
Point to point meetings are generally the starting point for novice steeplechasers as well as the more experienced steeplechasers entered, and with six or seven races on the day, you are guaranteed some exciting racing! The point to point is also a vital fundraising event for the hunt and we always welcome helpers to assist with course preparation or help on the day such as fence stewarding or cake baking for the Supporters Club who run the catering.
The Hunt has a sub committee chaired by Sarah Baker, the secretary being Linda Matthews. If you would like to get involved too, please contact Linda on 07857 615435, we’d be delighted to see you.
As well as the meeting in early Spring, the Western jointly organise and run a meeting in December (exact date tbc) with the North Cornwall Hunt, run under the name of the Cornwall Hunt Club. As one of the earliest meetings in the point to point season, it is normally very popular, and a variety of stalls on the day also make it an ideal place to pick up some Christmas presents!
We would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in sponsoring a race. Sponsors will be invited to judge the tack and turnout and present the prizes for their sponsored race as well as receiving free entry and hospitality. They will receive a full page advert in the race card, advertising banners are also welcome around the paddock. Please do contact Linda if you would like to be sponsor a race.
A brief history…
Pre WWII, the only racing in West Penwith was the St Buryan Races which was a flapping meeting (meaning it wasn’t run under Jockey Club rules) and attracted large crowds every Easter Monday. The first meeting run by the Western Hunt and held under Jockey Club rules was at Methleigh Farm, Porthleven in 1954, and meetings were held there until 1964. The course is thought to have consisted of three circuits over six specially built banks which were wide enough on top for horses to change legs upon. Members from each parish were responsible for building a bank, and they were built in a different style depending on the custom of the parish.
Mounted hunt servants attend the point to points in order to catch any loose horses should a jockey fall. For fun, Captain B R B Sparrow and H Lutey Esq always rode at the back of the hunt race and had a private race over the last bank and the run in which was always very much enjoyed by the crowd.
The Western point to point meetings were first held at the Royal Cornwall Showground since 1986, and have remained there ever since. Mounted hunt servants still attend, and lead the jockeys down to the start as well as catching loose horses.