WET weather and muddy fields were not enough to deter thousands of race enthusiasts from attending the annual Lockinge point-to-point race meeting today.

The popular event, which has become etched into the fabric of the local sporting and social calendar, was one of the few meetings to go ahead in the south of England on Easter Monday as heavy rain played havoc with the racing calendar.

Despite the inclement weather, around 4,000 people are estimated to have attended the grass roots race meeting, which as usual also offered a range of entertainment including a parade of hounds and a dog show.

Racegoers were also able to sample local produce from a range of trade stalls.

Chairman of the Lockinge Point-to-Point organising committee, David Leigh-Pemberton, said organisers were always confident the meeting, which features six main races and two pony races, would go ahead despite the wet weather.

Speaking during the point-to-point meeting yesterday, he said: “The weather has improved throughout the day.

“The rain’s holding off and we have seen the crowds pick up over the afternoon.

“The racing has been very good, we’ve seen two very competitive pony races and the main races, all of which have been very exciting.”

“We were confident it was going to go ahead.

“We are fortunate our course is on chalk so it drains very quickly in wet conditions and we are very glad we were able to as there has been a number of meetings that have been cancelled.”

“We’re very happy it was able to go ahead and we would like to thank our sponsors and supporters in what has been a difficult year.”

The point-to-point meeting has grown in popularity over the years, regularly attracting up to 10,000 people to the course.

Mr Leigh-Pemberton added: “To us as the organisers the meeting is very important. We like to support grass-roots racing which point-to-point is, particularly being in the heart of racing country, with Lambourn just down the road.

“It allows local businesses to see each other in a slightly different setting with the trade stands and as much as it’s a very important sporting event it’s also a very important social event with people bringing picnics and blankets and just having a great time.

“I’m looking up to the hill now and can see nine or 10 gazebos – it’s fantastic to see we have got such a loyal group of supporters.”

Point-to-point fixtures provide an opportunity for horses trained and ridden by amateurs to participate in races on an approved course.

The races are for horses owned and ridden by members of an affiliated Hunt.

See Sport for more and the race results.