Rider Profile: Jo Buck

Area ladies’ point to point champion in 2011 and 2012 Jo Buck is looking forward to the new season starting, and she has also taken a new direction in her career. She has become a full time student again and is studying for a podiatry degree at Plymouth University.

Buck, 31, has been riding in point to points on and off since she was 17 years old, but has been riding really successfully for the last seven or eight years. Her first ride was for Polly Curling and Kay Rees on Hilters Chance, and was certainly not memorable as she fell. They gave her great support early on and Buck has also had support from Saltash trainer Jackie Du Plessis and of course, terrific backing from Leslie and Lisa Jefford. The highlight of her career so far was winning the AJA Hunters Chase at Cheltenham on Theatre Diva for Du Plessis. Buck said: “ I had never ridden at Cheltenham before, and it was certainly memorable to win there!”

She said: “ I wouldn’t ever have had the success I have without Leslie and Lisa Jefford’s backing. “ Ironically Buck first wanted to be a vet but she said: “My grades weren’t good enough. I liked the look of racing on TV so I thought I would be a jockey! I went to the British Racing School, had a spell with Philip Hobbs on work placement and that was me hooked!”

She has been working as a driving instructor part time, and riding out for the Jeffords but thought that the time was right to sort out a long term career. She has always been fascinated by how the human body works – anyone who knows her knows she is a fitness fanatic – and it was either physiotherapy or podiatry that appealed and podiatry won.

Jo said: “ I am based in Plymouth during the week at the moment. I tried commuting but, living near Wellington meant I was adding on three hours to my day. I ride out for Jackie Du Plessis, Sam Holdsworth and Lizzie Luxton when I can and the Jeffords at the weekends. I have a long break at Christmas so will be back at the Jeffords then.”

She is looking forward to riding several horses for the Jeffords including DEVON MEAD, a new horse from France owned by Jim Sluggett and also BYERLEY BEAR, who is now in Robert Chanin’s yard.

Her favourite course is Trebudannon because she has had a lot of success there and thinks it is a fair course that rides well and has a good atmosphere but it is closely followed by Great Trethew.

The best advice she was given was to keep an eye on the fancied horses in a race and always be aware where they are. Her own advice to first season riders would be: “Work hard on your fitness, always be friendly and polite. You never know who you are talking to and they might become important to you later on.”

Buck will be in action on December 1 at Black Forest Lodge where she has one or two rides at the moment depending on the ground.

Dave Spice’s advice for newcomers to placing an on-course bet

The Betting Ring can be an intimidating place for a novice race goer. In this feature, for those of you relatively new to the betting game, on-course bookie Dave Spice gives a few tips to help when placing a bet.

The Betting Ring

From afar, us bookies may seem like a bunch of miserable, greedy, moaning gits and indeed for the most part we are! However, we are more than happy to help get your money on to your next big winner. In actual fact, you will find us an approachable lot really – we’re up for some banter and enjoy watching horses run around a field for a living.

Here is my board last season at a point to point. In a typically similar format to my bookie colleagues, the board is written up as follows.

  • The race title at the top
  • the odds of the horse on the left
  • the horse name in the centre
  • the horse racecard number on the right.


The odds to the left show what return you will get for your investment should your horse win the race. Here we can see that eventual winner Double Bank was available pre-race at 2/1. Hence if you had put a tenner on to win, you’d have lightened my satchel to the tune of £30, which is broken down as a £20 profit (£10 x 2/1) plus your £10 stake back.

Generally the shorter the price the more theoretical chance that horse has of winning.

For example a superstar of the future, starting out on their career, may be seen at odds of say 1/5 – here you’d have to invest £5 to win £1 (although you would get back your initial stake too, so £6 in total). It takes a brave soul to invest much at these odds, however there are plenty of shrewdies out there prepared to empty carrier bags full of cash on such ‘certainties’!

Types of Bet

There are four main ways to bet at a point-to-point .

i)                    A WIN bet is quite simply putting an amount on your horse to win the race. Typically if you wanted to place a fiver on your horse you would say to your bookie ‘Five Pounds to win on … the horse number’

ii)                   An ‘Each-Way’ bet is essentially two bets

One for your horse to WIN

One for your horse to PLACE

If your horse wins – you win on both sides of the bet, if it is placed, you will lose the “win” part of the bet, but win on the “place” part of the bet.

The each-way terms will always be clearly displayed on the bookies board – showing how many places you will be paid out on and what fraction of the Win odds you will receive for a Place.

The bookies must offer you at least the following each-way terms as standard:

5 to 7 runners 2 places 1/4 odds
8 + runners 3 places 1/5 odds

Some of the more generous of us may offer better terms than this, however knowing how tight most of us are this is unlikely!

In order not to receive a grunt from your bookie, it is good to remember that an each-way bet is two bets (Win and Place) and therefore £5 each-way would cost £10. Tell them the following ‘Five Pounds each-way on number …’ and hand over your hard earned tenner!

iii)                A Forecast Bet

Often in races with smaller fields or races with a very hot favourite, bookies will offer Forecast betting. Here you must select a horse to win the race AND a horse that will finish 2nd. As this is obviously trickier than just picking an outright winner, you should expect considerably inflated odds from your generous bookmaker.

iv)                Betting Without the Favourite

On some occasions, usually when a race contains a very hot favourite, a bookie will offer ‘Betting Without’.

Using this method, if your horse finishes 1st you still win. But if it finishes 2nd, beaten by the favourite you also still win. It may be at the expense of a point or two in the odds you have taken, but ‘when the favourite goes clear, you’re still at the races here’!

Collecting your big winnings

Now that you have been proved correct and your horse has won the race (or come 2nd or 3rd if you’re on each-way) you can go and collect! It may take a minute or two for the official judges result to come through, but following that announcement we will be overjoyed to pay you. Just go up to the bookie you had the bet with, present your ticket and you will be paid your winnings, happy days!

Have a great day out

I hope this guide will help you further enjoy your days point to pointing. If you have any questions or need some help I will be standing at selected meetings throughout the season so look out for me. Don’t ask for any tips though – my notoriously bad record last gave a winner back in the 2007 season – which probably explains why I’m accepting bets not making them!

Have a great day out and good luck!

Dave Spice – On-course Bookie


One lucky owner will win an AGA this season as new championship for open horses is launched

Owners of horses that are placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the mixed open at Black Forest Lodge will score points in the new AGA Dual Control National Open Horse Championship 2014.

Full details and conditions can be found on the AGA Blog at: One lucky owner will win an AGA this season as new championship for open horses is launched.

via AGA Pointing


The Point to Point Authority via Facebook

We are being inundated with phone calls relating to RQC’s and whether they have been issued. Please if possible drop us a line via email (info@p2pa.co.uk) as this is more time effective and therefore means more time can be spent on getting applications logged, ready for medical checking, cleared and packed up to send out to you. We have to date cleared and issued all those who have applied wishing to ride at either Cottenham or Black Forest Lodge. Those that have not been issued have not been due to issues such as being put on medical hold, payment pending etc.If you have applied, please check your email regularly as those of you who supplied an email address will be sent an email confirming your application has been cleared and your RQC issued. Last season 85% of RQC’s were issued within 10 working days of receipt of the application with 62% of those being issued in under a week.Riders who don’t physically receive their RQC (Green this year) following receipt of the confirmation email, can ride without physically producing their RQC. No fine will be imposed for not producing your certificate but you will be asked to complete the relevant paper work confirming you have been issued with one which will be automatically checked / confirmed by the PPA office upon receipt.

Anyone found to have ridden who has not been issued with an RQC will automatically be referred to the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Disciplinary Department.

However if you fail to produce your MEDICAL RECORD BOOK and you wish to ride you WILL be FINED £60 (Regulation 50 (ii)) and made to see the Senior Doctor. The only instance when a fine is not applicable is when your MRB is being held by the British Horseracing Authority’s Medical Department.

Come Christmas shopping at “I hope it’s a pony”

Vintage 1930s Point-To-Point Boardgame that was available for sale on the stand at last year's meeting
Vintage 1930s Point-To-Point Boardgame that was available for sale on the stand at last year’s meeting

Amongst the Christmas fair stalls at Wadebridge point–to-point will be “I hope it’s a pony” selling an array of equine related vintage gifts. I am told that many of these are referred to these days as “MANtiques” as the (empty)second hand and vintage hip flasks, pewter and silver plate drinking goblets, stirrup cups and glasses appeal to the male shopper! There are all sorts of potential gifts to give and keep that will be attractive to anyone who appreciates objects that suit country homes such as a sturdy iron bootscraper and original equine photographic art by Rita Heard and vintage prints. Some rare and beautifully illustrated equitation books will be available to purchase too for those that like collecting for their own libraries. Also, if there are a few gaps in your tackroom you can find some secondhand worn in tack such as bridles, bits, reins and boots that might come in handy. “I hope it’s a pony” will be between the bar and the bookies and is a good meeting place to share stories about horses and the country so come along and spend some time between the racing activities. It will be an interesting collection and provide a unique shopping experience.

Other stalls and trade stands at the Point-To-Point include Farmers Friend, David Thorne whips, country clothing, crafts and stocking fillers.Come along and do some Christmas shopping.

PPA: Amendments to the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Race Planner


Following notification of important information being omitted from the 2013/14 National Planner, we have been asked circulate the following on behalf of the Point-to-Point Racing Company:

Amendments to the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Race Planner

A document with amendments to the National Sponsors’ section of the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Race Planner can be downloaded as a PDF from www.pointtopoint.co.uk.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The details of the Jockey Club Mares Maiden series of races were not included in the National Sponsors’ section of the planner (pages 32-39); please note the Jockey Club are offering not only the Champion Novice Mare Award, but also a Jockey Club Prize Money Bonus of up to £10,000 to the owners of the winning mare.

For this year, the PPORA Membership condition has been removed, so whether or not you are a member of the PPORA, you could be eligible to enter. The full page is attached for your reference.

The races in the series are flagged up on the relevant meeting pages of the Planner – all Jockey Club Open Maiden Races for Mares and Fillies carry the following strap-line:

“The first three past the post will score points for the Jockey Club Mares Maiden Series”

Also on the attachment is an amendment to the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) Countryside Alliance Club Mares’ Only series of races. Please note that the Ross Harriers Point-to-Point on Sunday March 2nd (page 155 of the Planner) does not carry a TBA Mares’ race; the meeting will, however, stage one of the Jockey Club Mares’ Maidens.

The Point-to-Point that will stage a TBA race in place of the Ross Harriers is the South Herefordshire at Garnons on Sunday March 16th (page 174 of the Planner). Again, this information is correct on the relevant meeting pages.

Rider Profile: Darren Edwards, PPORA southern jockeys’ representative

With less than a week to go before the start of the new pointing season on 1 December, it is difficult not to get a little bit excited about what the new season might have in store.  Perhaps I could end up sitting on the next Salsify or, better still, Bobs Worth?

Chances are that I won’t, but then again apparently people do win the lottery.

I will be entering my 13th season this time around and I am not shy to admit this makes me one of the elder statesmen of the changing tent but, as they say, with age comes experience.  As a youthful teenager I can recall riding against wiley old foxes like Jimmy Frost, Evan Williams, Tim Vaughan, Leslie Jefford and Ashley Farrant.  It is fair to say they would keep you in your place and the new-starters of today could learn a lot from such characters.  However, the demographic of the modern day amateur has changed somewhat and we now operate in a semi-professional environment where a lot of riders are attached to professional yards.

As someone who plies their trade away from the world of horseracing, in my attempt to keep up with this transition, I am for the first time this season training my own pointer, in the hope of improving my fitness.  “Woody”, as he has become affectionately known, arrived with me this autumn since when I have been giving him plenty of work.  He feels like a surefire winner every time I jump on him and I am hoping he has put me spot on for Black Forest Lodge.  The wonders of an equicizer.

Despite the changes that have occurred within pointing in recent years, from a jockey’s perspective, the fundamental principles of approaching a new season remain the same.  For new and old alike, the coming days [if not done already!] will involve checking the Rider’s Qualification Certificate and Medical Record Book are in order, checking tack including saddles, girths, and stirrup leathers, checking bodily attire including helmet, back protector, breeches and boots.  In addition time will be made for studying entries, speaking to trainers or owners, and planning for the all exciting first day of the season.

My advice to anyone having their first ride on Sunday is to arrive at the races early and familiarise yourself with the layout of the course.  Take advice from those that have been in your position before and, most importantly, enjoy yourself.  I certainly will be.

Black Forest Club update

Linda Courtney, secretary for the Black Forest Club has posted an update for the 1st December 2013 meeting on Jumping for fun, which can be seen at: https://j4f.activeboard.com/t55699209/black-forest-club-sunday-1st-dec/

27 November changes:

Course inspection results added to the above link.

Linda Matthews, secretary for the Cornwall Club will be at Black Forest Lodge to collect any trophies being returned for the Cornwall Club Point-To-Point on the 15th December

The latest official information is available on Talkingpoint

Useful Information:

Met Office 5 day forecast: Exe Estuary, 2.7 miles from EX6 8HR at the same altitude

BBC Travel News: Devon

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