Point-to-Point race programming under scrutiny

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A race programming committee has been formed to look at several key areas of point-to-point racing.

Drawn from the sport’s stakeholders and chaired by independent member David Minton, it will look at race programming and conditions and consider the horse population and make-up of those taking part as owners, trainers and riders. Those with an interest in the sport will be canvassed or be given a chance to make their opinions known.

The committee was formed following an internal paper that was put together by the Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) during the summer of 2014. It highlighted race planning and penalty structure, retention of participants, economic impact, communications, sponsorship, costs and relationships, regulation and qualifications, as issues that needed to be looked into in order to encourage people to take part in the sport and attract as many runners as possible.

Minton’s committee consists of the BHA’s Richard Russell, Alan Hill for the MFHA, press officer Matt Coleman, Nick Bostock for the PPSA, Tik Saunders of the PPORA and Philip Hall for The Jockey Club.

Following their initial meeting recently, Minton said: “The committee is made up of a good group of people from various areas of the country, and we had an array of views at our first meeting – our aim is to encourage people to get more point-to-pointers. We’ll be putting ourselves around to hear what people think.”

No time frame has been set for the committee to complete its work, although its first recommendations and report to the PPA Board will have been sent by the end of April.

Proposed Aims          

  • Provide a well-structured model for fixtures that will increase the numbers of participants and race-goers and thereby underpin the future of the sport.
  • Improve the average number of runners per race
  • Create a race programme that reflects the quality and quantity of the available horse population
  • Analyse data to highlight the imbalance in the race program in order to create a revised programme that offers appropriate balance of opportunities for horses of different ability.
  • Improve competitive nature of races. (Address small fields/short-priced favourites)
  • Horse Welfare – Prevent large weights being carried by multiple winners
  • Attract horses that are capable of sustaining a career in the sport by increasing opportunities
  • Identify horses yet to run under rules that could develop from Point-to-Points and vice versa
  • Encourage natural progression of the horses mental and physical abilities (it is beneficial for horses of similar experience to compete against each other)
  • Encourage Flat horses to transfer to Pointing
  • Guidance on cross referencing between areas in order to produce an evenly spread race program.

Further information the Point-to-Point Authority: 01285 841920 info@p2pa.co.uk