We enjoyed another fantastic season of pointing. Congratulations to all the Champions, to everyone who took part, and a huge thank you to all the volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes without whom our sport could not take place.
Encouragingly the average number of runners per meeting was up on 2014/2015 (53 compared to 49), as was the average number of entries per race (15 compared to 14). It has also been an exceptionally busy season for the Point to Point Racing Company, and we felt it would be helpful to summarise our activities in an effort to give all those involved in the sport a better understanding of the job we do.
As I am sure you know the Point to Point Racing Company is owned jointly by the Point to Point Authority and Weatherbys. The Company provides various services to the sport. It takes entries, publishes race cards, runs Talking Point, collates and publishes results from every meeting, designed and runs the website, publishes The Planner and the Results and Stats Book, produces Go Pointing, and sells point to point data. The aim of the Company is to run a self-funding business for the benefit of our sport. We are continually striving to improve the service we provide and would welcome any advice on ways this could be achieved with our various products and publications. A summary of our key activities are listed below:
We provided a full entry service for 86 meetings and took 4,427 individual entries on their behalf. 54% of these entries were taken online compared to 47% last season. This reflects a growing trend towards the online service.
2. The Planner
This publication is a vital one for all trainers and owners and sales increased again last year. We acknowledge we had problems with The Planner last season and as a result we have made some procedural changes. This includes employing expert staff to oversee the process during the production cycle.
3. Results and Stats and the Loose Leaf
Both also increased their circulations which demonstrates the need for this unique and specialist content.
We printed race cards for 129 meetings during the season. We did experience some problems with incorrect weights being printed in cards. To try and eliminate this completely we are improving our software programs to reduce the chances of mistakes being made.
5. Go Pointing
Is now sent out to 23,000 individual email addresses and its circulation continues to grow.
After a huge amount of work the new look pointtopoint.co.uk was launched in time for the start of last season. Whilst we are always looking to enhance the site the general consensus is that it is a huge improvement and an extremely effective advertisement for our sport. This is supported by website subscriber levels increasing by a third during the season. Of those taking out just the standard subscription 40% have upgraded to include ‘Viewpoint’ the race video subscription option. With nearly 60% of all meetings now included on ‘Viewpoint’, including new footage from Welsh meetings and with other meetings joining all the time we hope to grow subscriber levels for next season.
The company employs three members of staff headed by Viv Buckby. We are extremely grateful to all of them for all the hard work they put in to provide the excellent service we all receive.
So the overarching message coming from the Company is a positive one and we are hugely appreciative of the support we receive from all of those involved in the sport. However we only make a small profit each year and continue to keep a tight rein on costs whilst always looking at how we can better serve the sport.
I would encourage everybody to use the Company and its products as much as possible to enable the business to thrive and continue to improve its service to point to pointing.
Enjoy the summer.