Sadness at closure of popular pointing track
Black Forest Lodge will no longer host pointto-point fixtures as the land has been sold
THE point-to-point community is in a state of shock following the loss of a popular and longstanding course in the south-west.
Black Forest Lodge in Devon (pictured) will no longer host fixtures as the land has been sold.
The news was revealed on 3 September and “all efforts” are being made to rearrange the three scheduled fixtures.
These were the Black Forest Club on 19 November, Silverton Foxhounds on 21 January and the Mid Devon Hunt on 4 March.
Pointing had been held at Black Forest Lodge for 20 years and it was host to one of the opening fixtures in the British point-to-pointing calendar.
“It has been a course you could always rely on,” Devon & Cornwall Point to Point Association secretary Gordon Chambers told H&H. “Talks are progressing on resiting the three meetings.”
Point-to-point jockey and H&H columnist Darren Edwards holds fond memories of the track.
He rode his 200th point-topoint winner there on 1 December 2016 riding Luke Harvey’s Porlock Bay and scored a treble at the Silverton’s meeting in 2015.
“I have always been quite lucky there,” he said. “One of the best things about the track was that it drained so well and being near the sea it didn’t suffer too badly with frost, so it was ideal for earlyseason runs — you could race there in December and January without too many problems.
“It serves as a reminder that — like with hunting and all things equestrian — it really does rely on the landowners being prepared to have meetings on their land.
“It would be a good time for all hunts and point-to-points to remember to thank landowners.”
Point-to-point trainer and jockey Laura Thomas, who also enjoyed success at the venue, was among many to share their sadness at its loss.
“I thought it was a lovely course — it always had good ground because of the sandy soil,” she told H&H. “I particularly liked the opening meeting — it kickstarted the season really nicely.”
THE closure follows the end of pointing at Whitfield in Northamptonshire due to development work on the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) railway (news, 8 June).
However positive news followed with the announcement that a new racecourse would open at Edgcote, near Banbury, to hold the three fixtures previously located at Whitfield.
In other good news, it was revealed on 4 September that pointing will return to Knightwick in Worcestershire after 34 years.
The Clifton on Teme fixture will be held on an entirely new course at Knightwick, moving from its current home at Upper Sapey, on 29 April, 2018.