The stage is set for a welcome return of Andoversford Races next Sunday April 3rd. The sun has been shining on the course as the team applies the finishing touches to the 8 steeplechase fences, which include 2 new starts this season. The sunshine, and hopefully an overnight shower or two, should enable good fields for this, the most valuable Point-to-Point in the UK calendar.
A packed programme is built around the Robert Hitchins Group Andoversford Grand Annual Chase, a Men's Open race worth £1,000. Robert Hitchins has been title sponsor of the event for nearly 30 years, longer than almost any sponsor at nearby Cheltenham Racecourse. Over 200 friends and guests of the company descend upon the venue year on year to enjoy the sports.
This year, they will be joined by other local businesses like Cheltenham College and its alumni society, retailers Martin & Co and Dubarry, automotive firm GX Land Rovers and Tayler & Fletcher, auctioneers and valuers, alongside Innsworth Technology Park, underwriting the pony races that preface the card.
It's a full on day with dog agility classes starting at 0830, and continuing all day, a parade of the Cotswold hounds, and a tent-pegging display to showcase another equestrian discipline that needs considerable application.
Admission may be bought in advance with savings of 25% on the gate price of £20. Accompanied children under 16 enter free, and dogs are welcome.
There'll be a public bar with reasonable prices, and loads of shops. Stop off at the Photography exhibition to see the leading entries for the "Horse in our lives" theme.
In short, an entertaining way to spend a sun-dappled Spring day.
Going for Sunday April 3 - Good (Thursday)
6m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)