Devon point-to-point meetings are saved

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

The three point-to-point meetings previously run at Black Forest Lodge have been successfully rescheduled following the course’s sudden closure last month, organisers have announced.

The popular track, near Exeter, played host to three early-season meetings – the Black Forest Club in November, the Silverton Foxhounds in November and the Mid Devon Hunt in March.

But in a shock announcement last month, the fixtures were forced to find new homes after new owners acquired the site, and revealed they were unable to allow racing to continue at the course.

Now following lengthy discussions, the Devon and Cornwall Point-to-Point Secretaries Association (PPSA) have confirmed the new dates and venues for the meetings affected by Black Forest Lodge’s closure.

The Bishops Court Club, formerly known as the Black Forest Club, will be held at Bishops Court, near Ottery St Mary – traditionally home to the East Devon Hunt – on Sunday, November 19.

The Mid Devon Hunt’s meeting has been relocated to the Spooners & West Dartmoor’s course at Cherrybrook near Tavistock, and will take place on Sunday, March 4. The course at Bishops Court will then welcome the Silverton Foxhounds on Saturday, April 14 for their meeting.

In a joint statement, Devon and Cornwall PPSA chairman Frank Yeo and secretary, Gordon Chambers, said: “We would like to thank all the point-to-point committees, the landowners and the hunts involved to allow these meetings to be run this season at short notice.”

Black Forest Lodge, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary earlier this year, was established on the Powderham Estate of the late Hugh
Courtenay, the 18th Earl of Devon.

The right-handed, undulating course was a favourite among the region’s racegoers, attracting entrants from yards in all corners of the region, as well as Wales and the South East.

The course came under the national spotlight back in 2015 when Olympic cyclist turned amateur jockey, Victoria Pendleton, completed her first jumps race there onboard Minella Theatre.