We went to the Dawestown point-to-point races (north of Cork) and the experience was unforgettable. You can stand right by the track and the afternoon is filled with color, the vast sky, and the sounds: jockeys shouting back and forth to each other, the brushing of the horses bellies scraping across the hedges, and always the rumble of pounding hoves on the thick turf.
When we saw the pack coming up the hill toward the jump where we were standing, it was common to see in the lead a riderless horse! In fact, there is always an ambulence that follows the pack around the course in case a jockey is injured. In most cases when a jockey is thrown, the horse, relieved of that extra weight, continues to race with his compatriots. Of course, he stays far enough on the right so that he doesn't have to jump over those annoying hedges.