Amateur riders all over Georgia are getting their horses in shape for their favorite springtime event: The Bear Creek Hounds Point-to-Point races on Saturday, March 27 at the gorgeous farm of Hal and Linda Barry in Moreland, Ga. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. and the festivities – including a parade of the Bear Creek Hounds – begin at noon.
Point-to-point racing got its start in Ireland 250 years ago when two riders dared each other to race to a church steeple in the distance, jumping fences, ditches and other obstacles on their way to the “point.” Children and adults at the Bear Creek Point-to-Point races will continue that tradition as they ride like the wind across fields and over jumps to be first at the finish line.
“Our second annual point-to-point races feature excitement and fun for everyone,” says Race Committee Chair Mary Margarett Nevin. “Riders will compete in unusual events like relay races that show off their skills. There’s even a race just for draft horses. And we have lots of activities for children. They can take free pony rides or make stick horses and compete in dash to the finish line, just like the big kids.”
And what’s a horse race without good food? Race goers are invited to bring their own tailgate picnics, which will be judged on their creativity. Barbecue will be available from Georgia’s Championship Barbecue Team, The Right Stuff of Griffin. The Right Stuff will feature their signature barbecue nachos.
“Our point-to-point is a benefit for the Joan Hope Latiolais Fund for the Shepherd Center Foundation,” Nevin adds. “The Shepherd Center has long been a friend to equestrians. Bear Creek member, Joan Hope Latiolais, needed its caring services after a fall in 2008, and our hunt members are avid supporters of the hospital.”
Riders will find entry forms and information on race qualifications at http://www.bearcreekhounds.com
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 27, at Bear Creek Farm, 1539 Bear Creek Road, Moreland, Ga., approximately 45 minutes from Atlanta. Free pony rides available.
The tailgating contest – with prizes – begins at noon, and the hound parade takes place at 12:30 p.m.
Racing begins at 1 p.m. with races scheduled every 20 minutes: Junior Foxhunter’s Flat Race, Pony Lead Line Trot Race, Senior Foxhunter’s Flat Race, Draft Dash, Senior Foxhunter’s Field Master’s Chase, Stick Horse Races, Junior Foxhunter’s Field Master’s Chase, Senior Foxhunter’s Relay Race and Junior Foxhunter’s Relay Race.
Admission at the gate is $25 for adults; $10 for ages 7-15; free for children 6 and under, and for military personnel in uniform and their families.
For more information and directions, please visit http://www.bearcreekhounds.com/