On a lovely sunny day in May what could be better than a little fun and a flutter on the horses? We are not big gamblers but love the atmosphere, a good deal of family banter and the outside hope of possibly coming home up on the day with some winnings. It was with Ally, Theo and Guy that we set off for the May Point to Point at St Columb Major about 30 minutes from Coombe Mill.
The location was perfect, set high up with a great view from the fields around the course. We ended up parking in the centre of the racecourse giving us the option of watching from the boot of the car or up on the grassy hill. The first job was to try and glean a little information by purchasing a race card.
A day out with teenage boys means food before they can think about anything else so we delved into our picnic. It was a rather unsophisticated affair compared to the family next to us with their picnic basket and champagne – next time!
Refuelled, and not much wiser from studying the race card, we trekked up across the course to the parade ring where the boys had me laughing so much with their banterful exchanges on why each horse should win.
Decisions made we placed our bets with the bookies, a grand £1 on the nose from the boys and £5 from Nick for us. I did say we weren’t big gamblers! It is all about the fun of the day. Watching the boys with Nick always makes me smile. Theo towers over his Dad and Ally is much stronger, however they have a lovely relationship that is great to watch.
We settled down to watch the race each with our hopes pinned on a horse. Everyone there had a great view and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
In total we stayed for 5 races moving between the parade ring, the hillside and the boot of the car. I haven’t laughed so much in ages as we each bigged up our horses to win, but actually lost on every race. Thank goodness we really aren’t big gamblers!
If you are down with us it is worth looking into the local point to point races. They are very family friendly and a great day out. I may have teens now but mine have enjoyed the races with us since a young age. I couldn’t help but capture these girls who were having a wonderful time between races rolling down the hill.
Facilities at May Point to Point at St Columb Major
Entrance fee £10. Under 16’s are free.
Hog Roast baps and cake stall
Ice cream van
Indoor shed for wet weather
Potaloos – basic but functional!
Top Tips for Point to point local country races
Wear wellies or boots especially if it is damp
Be careful where you park if the ground is damp, especially without a 4 wheel drive car, there was no problem when we visited.
Bring a picnic rug to sit on (we forgot)
It is a perfect picnic opportunity but take your wrappings home as animals graze the fields.
Never bet more than you are happy to lose!
Take layers, even on a sunny day the wind up on the racecourse fields can catch you out.
Funnily enough I’ve just finished reading a book that takes racing to it’s highest level. It’s a great read if you have any interest in the sport, horses in general, or love a good fiction book with some real twists in the story. It’s called Citizen by Charlie Brooks
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.