AN EQUINE event which has been part of North Yorkshire country life for decades was given an emotional send-off as it left its home of 85 years.

The Middleton Point-to-Point was held at Whitwell-on-the-Hill - regarded as one of the best courses in the country with a reputation for attracting top-quality entrants - for the final time on Sunday, and it will move to a new venue from next year.

Crowds gathered at the spectacular course overlooking the Ryedale countryside for the last races, which will next year be staged at racehorse trainer Mick Easterby's Sheriff Hutton yard.

Organisers said they were sad to leave their long-time home and are hoping they will take their supporters with them when the event moves down the A64.

Mr Easterby has already hosted one point-to-point this year in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and another will be held on Easter Monday in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund's Jack Berry House rehabilitation centre project in Malton, with admission being £10 for adults and under-12s getting in free.

He said: "When you have land, it is nice to share it with the public and I love to see them enjoying themselves."

In Pictures: Last Middleton Point-to-Point at Whitwell-on-the-Hill