Thousands of punters turned out for the Savills Countryside Alliance Point-to-Point at Badbury Rings on Sunday (25 February), despite the cold weather.
Fingers were crossed that the event would not have to be called off because of the hard frost, but by the first race, at noon, the ground had been deemed firm but fit for racing. In the 12 years of holding the event the fixture has not yet had to be cancelled.
Racegoers wrapped up warmly and were not deterred by the bright but bitterly cold weather and around 2,000 people attended the six-race event at the course near the Iron Age hill fort.
The day was a joint fundraiser for The Countryside Alliance Foundation (TCAF), which administers the Fishing for Schools, Falconry for Schools and Casting for Recovery initiatives, and the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, which offers specialist care for patients with progressive conditions across north, south and west Dorset.
A silent auction – with lots varying from a day’s landscape painting tuition with renowned artist Charles Church, to shooting tuition and a stay in a St Mawes holiday home – raised £6,780 for the charities.
Other activities included terrier racing, around 30 food and clothing stalls and shopping village.
Chairman of the point-to-point committee Sophie Henderson said: “The day was a good success, thanks in great part to the strength and tireless work of the committee and the generosity of our sponsors, volunteers and advertisers. I would like to thank those who braved the weather to support us on foot and on horseback and look forward to welcoming them again next year.”
In recognition of 10 years of running the annual event the secretary of the point-to-point, Jane Stockdale, received the Countryside Alliance’s service award – The Goodson-Wickes Trophy – from Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner.
Mrs Stockdale said: “Receiving the Goodson-Wickes trophy was a complete surprise, but it is an award for us all. I have a fantastic committee and the point-to-point is a real team effort.”