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Organisers of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase, Farmers Bloodhounds and Grafton point-to-points have confirmed that they will be holding an Open Day at Edgcote on Sunday 4th March.

Gates open at 11.00am and 'drinks and nibbles' will be available from midday.

Charles Dixey, Chairman of the Grafton Point-to-Point and a prime mover behind the new course, explained that the introduction to Edgcote will be an informal affair. "We are not looking for an all singing, all dancing Open Day but simply an opportunity for people to come to see the racecourse," he told me earlier this week. "Everyone is welcome." He is hoping that owners, trainers and jockeys will attend, as well as point-to-point fans interested in taking an advance look at the new venue. There will be the opportunity to walk the course and ask questions.

Edgcote is about six miles north east of Banbury, near the A361. The postcode is OX17 1AG but this covers the whole estate and following the sat nav will take you to the main house, not the racecourse.


A host of racing and hunting names have stepped in to support the race meeting to celebrate the life of James McNeile, tragically killed in a racing fall at the Avon Vale Races in April 2017, as plans develop for the 2018 renewal of the event, this year on Easter Saturday March 31st.

The latest business to support the event is fashion retailer Boden, headed up for school contemporary and friend Johnnie Boden. Boden will lend its name to the third race on the card, the Boden Veterans Chase. "James was a great friend, and a true enthusiast of hunt racing," commented Johnnie Boden. "That enthusiasm imbued everything he handled, and I'm very supportive of efforts to remember him through this imaginative day. James would thoroughly approve!"

Winning connections of the race will win Boden vouchers as part of their prizes.

Membership of the James McNeile Fan Club, sponsors of the Veteran & Novice Riders race on the same programme, has swelled with the acceleration of the Point-to-Point season. "I've been pleased with the response," added Peter McNeile, James's younger brother and former rider himself. "James won many friends through his racing, and had horses with the late Richard Woollacott. Racing is a very close-knit family that binds together and we've been massively supported by friends and relations willing us on to make a success both of the race and the day at large. We plan to make a donation to the Injured Jockeys Fund on the back of a successful day."

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