The true grassroots of Irish horse racing, Point-to-Point tracks are transformed from farmland by dedicated volunteers into temporary racetracks. Photographer Pat Healy and writer Richard Pugh introduce the riders, handlers, venues and famous horses that give Irish point-to-pointing such a unique spirit.
Category: Photography, Sport
HEALY RACING photography and Richard Pugh share their passion and knowledge of Ireland’s unique point-to-point horse racing scene.
Steeplechasing began in Ireland in 1752. Today the sport of point to pointing is thriving as a favourite rural pursuit and is for many their first experience of horse racing. At hundreds of pop-up races around the country dramas are played out, and horses, such as Best Mate and Honeysuckle, and riders, including Derek O’Connor, Jamie Codd, Davy Russell and Rachael Blackmore, begin their glittering careers.
THE ORIGINS OF PTP * THE COURSES COUNTRYWIDE * THE HORSES
* THE RIDERS * THE HANDLERS * THE GRASSROOTS OF IRISH RACING
top of the range
I must say it is a gem. The 191 pages are not just packed with brilliant images and characters from that sport, but lots of stories, anecdotes and lists of all the former champions of the sport. I think it’s their best one yet!
if this is to be the final instalment of a trilogy devoted to the energy, colour and drama of the Irish racing scene, then the best has been saved for last. Pat Healy has already produced two gorgeous hardbacks dedicated to the visual images he and his family at Healy Racing have captured over the past decade. Thrills and Spills (2020) and Flat Out (2021) brought to life the respective National Hunt and Flat disciplines, capturing the life and vivacity of this great sport in spectacular panoramic and portrait form…This one sees … point-to-point aficionado Richard Pugh of p2p.ie providing in-depth and comprehensive copy to complement the extensive portfolio of stunning Healy snaps. Dating back to his commentating days, Pugh has long had a knack of identifying a niche in the point-to-point realm, and he has landed on the money again here by compiling a potted history of the sport that will be manna for its many devoted followers. He is a passionate anorak with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the modem point-to-point world, and here he has been allowed to spread his wings … All the bases are covered in what is a treasure trove fusion of old and new. Gems include point-to-pointing’s origins between the church steeples of Buttevant and Doneraile in 1752; its volunteer ethos; some compelling episodes in short story format; its fundamental role as a grassroots nursery for future horse and human track champions; the evolution into the commercial Leviathan it has become; and extensive sections dedicated to its most celebrated participants. They’re all there, from Norman Williamson, JT McNamara, Adrian Maguire, Rachael Blackmore, Derek O’Connor, Jamie Codd and Barry O'Neill to Michael Hourigan, Padge Berry, Tom Costello, Willie Mullins, Robert Tyner and Aidan O’Brien … will resonate with track and point fans alike…There is a wealth of information and insight documented in digestible format, and then there are the rolls of honour, recording an extensive array of champions since 1980. It makes for a wonderful potted history of a pursuit that has had its challenges lately, one that will serve as a go-to gift for its legion of enthusiasts in the countdown to Christmas. Moreover, it is now an award-nominated tome following its appearance on a shortlist of six for the Easons Irish Sports Book of the Year - Richard Forristal
the fun and enjoyment to be had from a day racing between the flags remains, and is captured magnificently in the latest tome celebrating the work of Healy Racing, and published by The O'Brien Press. With words from Richard Pugh, a man who pledged his heart and soul to the sport since he rode as an amateur in the 1990s, Point To Point, The Heart of Irish Racing, is now available in shops and could even be an early buy for the Christmas stockings … In almost 200 pages, this book celebrates the sport, tells many stories, creates the scene in words and pictures, and champions great horses, riders, handlers and award winners. It is a lovely step back in time, a reminder of so many human and equine greats, and a book that will be treasured, well-thumbed and enjoyed in spades … Point To Point, The Heart of Irish Racing is a must
a lovely Christmas present
an insight through words and pictures of the pointing world … an enjoyable read
a thoroughly gorgeous portrait of a slice of rural Ireland that most people never get to see
At hundreds of pop-up races around the country dreams are played out, and where horses, such as Best Mate and Honeysuckle, and riders, including Derek O’Connor, Jamie Codd, Davy Russell and Rachael Blackmore began their glittering careers. This lovely book from O’Brien Press is a must for fans of horse racing and in particular the point-to-point scene
a must for horse-racing fans … beautifully photographed
A really beautifully produced book filled with the most amazing photography from the Healy Racing stables … It’s definitely a must for any horse racing fans, a really beautiful gift
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