A point-to-point is a form of horseracing over fences for hunting horses and amateur riders. In Ireland, where the sport is open to licensed - i.e. professional - trainers, many of the horses will appear in these races before they compete in National Hunt races. Consequently, the Irish point-to-point is more used as a nursery for future young stars: a horse that wins its debut point-to-point in Ireland will often sell for a lot of money. Whilst professional trainers are specifically excluded from running horses in point-to-points in Great Britain (other than their own personal horses), the days of the farmer running his hunter at the local point-to-point have gone (replaced to some extent by hunter chases). Increasingly, horses are run from "livery yards" - unlicensed but otherwise professional training establishments, sometimes closely allied with a licensed yard.
Horses running in Point-to-Points must be Thoroughbreds, save in the case of Hunt Members races and certain other Club Members races (e.g. Pegasus Club Members race). The owner must be a member, subscriber or farmer of a recognized pack of Hounds and obtain a Hunter Certificate from the Master to that effect. Once this Certificate has been registered with the Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) the horse is also eligible to run in Hunter Chases, i.e. races for similarly qualified horses run under BHA Rules over regulation fences on licensed racecourses. Similarly, potential riders must also obtain a Riders Qualification Certificate (RQC) from a Hunt Secretary and register it with the PPA.
Point-to-Point racing is also sometimes referred to as racing 'between the flags.