Ryall’s Court near Upton upon Severn was one of the oldest Point-to-Point venues in the country before its closure in 2017. After over 130 years at the same location it was always going to be difficult identifying a suitable replacement for the Croome & West Warwickshire Point-to-Point and various options were explored before a site was found at the Lawnsbrook Farm home of Joint Master Patty Allen.
Due to organisational problems the meeting lay dormant in 2019 but this allowed the new course to benefit from improvements to its drainage and time for reseeding to take root. That has resulted in the course having an established look about it with an excellent covering of grass despite the very dry summer.
Local N.H. Court Inspector Peter Hobbs has been on hand to offer advice and work continues on a hardcore track leading into the racecourse. The fences will be built by Jim Squires so are bound to be up to his normal high standards.
Approximately 150 people attended the recent Open Day at Shelfield Park, and all were unanimous in praising the organisers for the huge amount of work that has been done on this new venue. Following a welcoming speech by Mrs Allen, Clerk of the Course Nick Pearce took visitors on a course walk.
The course is right-handed with a slight bank which provides excellent viewing. The 3-mile start is at the entrance to the back straight and the runners face a slight rise towards the first fence before continuing a steady climb to where the second fence is situated. The course then flattens out briefly before a steady descent to the third which is before a sweeping right-handed bend and the turn into the home straight.
The runners then face fences four and five before passing the winning post which is located just before the road crossing into the centre of the course. Fence six is located about halfway between the finishing post and another sweeping bend where fence seven is located. The runners then pass their starting point and continue for another circuit and a half to complete what is estimated to be just over 3 miles in distance.
The 2-1/2 mile start is at the entrance to the home straight, so the runners take three fences in the home straight, one on the side of the course, followed by three in the back straight to complete a circuit of the course.
Finding a new racecourse and having the will and commitment to turn dreams into a reality is always hard work, but the organisers of this meeting are now very close to reaping the benefits for all their efforts and ensuring Shelfield Park meets it true potential over the coming years.
One thing is sure it won’t be for lack of trying and it is a worthy replacement for their old venue.
Put the date in your diary
The Croome & West Warwickshire Point-to-Point
SHELFIELD PARK, Nr ALCESTER (B49 6JW)
SATURDAY 21ST MARCH
The track leading to the course, visitors turn left handed by the tree to the right of the picture. Markers to the 6th fence are visible in the foreground
The track leading uphill towards the centre of the course
The start is at the entrance to the back straight, markers for the first fence are just visible in the middle of the picture
The end of the back straight, with the marker posts for fence 3 just visible to the left of the three people walking
The bend into the home straight
The home straight from the final bend with the 2-1/2 mile start in the foreground and the marker posts for the first fence visible in the middle of the picture
The view from the finishing post back down the home straight towards the 2-1/2 mile start
The bend out of the home straight looking towards the 3-mile start, with the posts for fence seven visible in the middle of the picture
Some of the numerous visitors enjoying the organisers hospitality