Cheltenham Festival might be the highlight of the Jumps season in horse racing, but West Sussex racing enthusiasts this year can see a Festival winner on home ground in West Sussex
Parham racecourse near Pulborough hosts the annual Crawley and Horsham Point-to-Point on St Patrick’s day, Saturday March 17 which also happens to be the day after the Cheltenham Festival ends.
Providing Parham with their own little bit of festival magic will be a parade of Sussex’s own past Cheltenham Champion Chase winner, Sire De Grugy.
Winner of seventeen races, including five Grade Ones and amassing over £725,000 in prize money, this much-loved chestnut was trained by Gary Moore near Horsham for his whole career.
He will be in the paddock at this local Point-to-Point between Storrington and Pulborough for everyone to see at 2.30pm between the second and third races.
The gates will open at 11am in time for jockeys of the future to ply their trade in the two ultracompetitive pony races that kick off the racing programme for the afternoon.
Afterward these, the six main races get underway, all run over steeplechase fences and covering three miles with entries largely ridden and trained by South East based amateur horsemen and women.
On the other end of the scale there will be an informal ride after racing for brave locals giving them the chance to attempt a circuit of the track, fences included.
This always provides great fun after the main races for participants and spectators alike -and staying behind after the main races to cheer them on is highly recommended.
This great day-out for all the family, also has an all-day funfair plus a dog show for the young and young at heart -as well as betting facilities for all the races.
Obviously, it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s day without a bar and a band and the band on the day will be the much in demand local folk band, Slipjig.
Parham really does have something for everyone and don’t miss being there on Saturday March 17.