The origin of steeplechasing is, as the title implies, a race across country between two church steeples, jumping all obstacles along the way.
Going to a point-to-point is quite similar to going to a normal race meeting except it is much less expensive and often a lot more fun.
Although point-to-points can charge you, say, pounds 10 to park your car in the field the meeting is taking place in and another pounds 5 for each occupant - there is little they can do to prevent pedestrians from walking in for nothing.
The Melton Hunt Club meeting at Garthorpe in Leicestershire is the point- to-point world's Cheltenham Festival and last Saturday the cream of the hunter chasers thrashed it out for various championship races.
Bookmakers at point-to-points are notorious for making scandalously overround books - that's racing jargon for offering really mean odds about everything - but even so the form is as reliable at a point-to-point as at any horse race meeting (i.e. not very).
It is quite possible to back a few winners by trusting to common sense and the handy hints that can be obtained from buying a race card, which invariably contains a useful form guide.
It's an ideal nursery for introducing young horses to racing and young humans to watching them race. It is also a useful pre-retirement home for decent chasers of yesteryear. And, for those townies seeking that rural weekend fix, the countryside, and many of its fiercest defenders, is there in all its splendour.
l Copies of these photographs - and others by The Independent's sports photographers David Ashdown, Peter Jay and Robert Hallam - can be ordered by telephoning 0171-293-2534.Reuse content