Parham, Sussex, home to one of the great point-to-point courses where there has been racing for the last 62 years. It is a stones throw from Angmering the birthplace of ‘Black Tom’ Thomas Olliver one of steeplechasings most colourful and earliest characters. One of 16 children, a jockey from the age of six, one of seventeen riders in the first official Grand National in 1839, rode in a record 19 Nationals and a winner of three Nationals in the 1840s and 1850s. He was a classic rogue and if he was here today he would be trackside or in the bar. We are delighted to carry on the traditions of the earliest form of racing.
What is point-to-point?
Point-to-point racing is an amateur version of National Hunt racing or the Steeplechase. The name point-to-point refers to the points of the church steeples that the horses used to follow during a race. Nowadays, the difference between point-to-point races and steeplechases is that point-to-point races are run cross country, while steeplechases tend to be run on tracks.
In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the quality of racing seen around the country with many looking to win to help qualification for the seasons finale The Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival while the restricted series sees a nationwide novice competition and many are chasing the prize of racing at Stratford-on-Avon in the hunter chase in May. We believe we are at the beginning of that resurgence in interest in pointing and we aim to provide the best going, the best entertainment and the best hospitality we can find. We aim to make Parham Races a key part of the spring season.
We wish all our owners, trainers and spectators a fantastic day. Thank you to all our sponsors and supporters for providing what should be a wonderful day of entertainment and sport.
We leave the final word to Black Tom who famously told the owner of the veteran horse Peter Simple before going on to win the National in 1853.
“Sometimes he means it and I don’t, sometimes I means it and he don’t but today we both mean it.”
We hope today that all our horses and riders mean it. Good luck!