The 2016 Point-to-Point and Country Fair at Dowth which will took place on Sunday 30th October saw record visitors to the now annual event indicating a renewed interest in all things country and the Point-to-Point scene. Drawing record crowds of 5,000 the 2016 event saw crowds up 2,000 on last year.
The Dowth Point-to-Point race-card featured 6 races over 3 miles and fences. Trainer John (Shark) Hanlon celebrated a double with Rocks of Bawnree winning division two of the The Tattersalls Ireland 4yo Maiden, and with Lady Jameson’s victory in the our sixth race the James Gogarty Stone Winners Of Two Mares Race. Richie Harding steered both to victory and was recording his 200th winner. Division two of the The Tattersalls Ireland 4yo Maiden went to Redemption Song. The four-year-old maiden had received one of the biggest entries of the season.
The Goffs Bloodstock Sales 5yo Geldings Maiden went to Bordeaux Bill trained by J.A.Berry. The Peter Flood trained OurManMissini won the feature race of the day; The Savills Open with Anthony Fox aboard.
The ITBA & Hannon Travel 5yo Mares Maiden went to Midnight Walk , with Penultimate race, the Boyds Stores 6yo Geldings Maiden going to the Barry O’Neill ridden Barn Braq.
A thrilling and hotly contested Pony Club Race after the last official race was won by Conor McGrath who romped home on his trusted steed. One to watch for the future.
In addition to the racing action, there was an array of foodie treats on offer with event ambassador and Michelin star chef, Richard Corrigan as well as Ricki and Ger Roche-Garland of Hugo’s Farm Shop, Slane offering live cookery demonstrations on the day. The Boyne Valley Food Tent featured local, artisan producers sampling & selling their products in addition to the range of food vendors and barista coffee available onsite. Visitors indulged their tastebuds with flavours from around the world including oriental cuisine with Once Upon a Thai, gourmet burgers from In Meat We Trust, spicy chicken wings from The Wing Bar, savoury quiches, soups and salads by Rosita Moyles, succulent O’Brien-Lynch hog roasts or The Brown Hound artisan sandwiches at The Camper Cafe before indulging in sweet treats from George’s Patisserie and barista prepared coffees from Barista Bike & Coffee Buzz …Whether it was heart-warming food-on-the-hoof or an elegant dining experience in the public marquee, visitors enjoyed an epicurean adventure
The Shopping Village hosted a wide range of lifestyle brands including Magee 1866, Carol Sheridan Interiors, Mc Dowell’s Jewellers, Chislers children’s boutique, PC Racewear, John Daly Carved Sticks, Mojo watches, Swaggles Dog Collars, Hampton Accessories, The R.D.A., Cara Mara Seaweed Baths, Brainteaser and an array of craft sellers. There were also exhibits by photographer Síobhan English and renowned artist John Fitzgerald who capture the action as he painted live on the day.
Tying in with the Farm Africa charity ball for 350 people and also hosted by Devenish, which had been held on-site the pervious night, was the Farm Africa Kids’ Zone.
The Farm Africa Kids’ Zone featured Bouncy Castles, Punch and Judy Shows, Magic Shows, Spooky Storytelling, Arts & Crafts, Pumpkin Carving, Welly Throwing and lots of outdoor games. As charity partner for the weekend, Farm Africa were raising awareness for their work in Eastern Africa. On hand to lend their support to Farm Africa’s fund raising were The Vintage Barber Shop singers who’d afternoon performance delighted visitors on the day.
Complimenting all of this, were the local country fair exhibitors who including Newgrange Falconry, Michael Goulding of the The Royal Meath Bee Society and their exhibition hive, The Deer Society of Ireland, Fly-tie fishing demonstrations and also the Agri-Aware mobile farm.
Commenting on Sunday's Point-to-Point & Country Fair, Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman of the Devenish Group who hosted the event noted:- “We were delighted with the huge turnout on the day and wish to thank everyone who was part of the day, be it organising or joining us in our celebration of community and country life at Dowth.”
For further information on the day’s results see: www.P2P.ie