As the countdown to the start of the 2020/21 point-to-point season continues to build, there is particular excitement within the South Westmeath committee who will be unveiling a brand new track when they stage racing on Sunday October 18.
Umma House is the chosen location, just under 15km south-east of their long-standing track at The Pigeons which had been home to their annual point-to-point since 1978.
As preparations for the fixture have begun, the committee met at the track earlier this week to finalise the course configuration which will see racing being run left-handed around the course which is a mile around.
Described as a good, galloping track with two long straights, it will present a lovely fair test for young horses, with just a very slight incline to the finish line.
There will be five fences, with three of them located in the home straight – two before the finish line – with the third situated beyond the winning post, and the remaining two fences in the back straight on this all grass course.
Following over 40 years at The Pigeons without moving to a different venue, a new course which remains easily accessible with its central location in the midlands not far from the M6 motorway, presents an exciting opportunity for the committee.
Susan Scott, who is not only the point-to-point secretary for the South Westmeath Hunt, but also the regional secretary for the Leinster Association, said:
“After 40 years of enjoying the hospitality of the Moore family at the Pigeons for which we are very thankful, the good news is that we are not moving very far.
“Our new landowner, James Lennon, has offered us the use of his farm which we are very grateful for.
“It is a lovely large parcel of flat land all in grass with a slight incline up the back straight and it will be a nice fair test for any horse.
“We are really looking forward to holding our first fixture at the new venue and the preparations have already started at the track to ensure it is In the best condition we can get It for the 18th October.”