Point to pointing starts again on Monday, the first day government roadmap allows outdoor sport to resume.
I am delighted to confirm that the fixtures’ enthusiasm has remained undiminished, and we currently have programmed 48 fixtures over 28 days racing until the end of the season. This despite the huge workload caused by covid restrictions and the difficulty of making the finances add up. We should all be very grateful that the HBLB has continued to support us in these difficult times, which has helped make this possible. I can also report that we seem to have a lot of new horses being qualified over past couple of weeks as well as new jockeys, so all set for great racing.
It now looks probable that Covid protocols will remain in place for the remainder of the season. This means the 2 metre rule and masks will have to be worn all day, and everyone staying within their zone when more than one in place. Furthermore, early declarations will remain in place. This means by Thursday 1200 in normal cases but there are one or two exceptions, including Easter fixtures which are by 1200 Wednesday, March 31. Similarly, we expect pre-registration for e-tickets to attend to remain in place – this normally closes at 1200 on Friday but for Easter it will be Thursday, April 1 at 1200.
Please note that many of the fixtures have adjusted their race cards to fit the new circumstances. PPRC are issuing a hard copy supplement to those who bought the planner and have put up the digital supplement. The first two weeks race cards can be found as pdfs on this website under News & Features: Easter fixtures were put on system on March 19 so you will have to load more stories (click on bottom) to view these.
In terms of those who can go the following is the plan:
– Fixtures resume on March 29 with participants and officials only present
– Owners will be allowed to come back on weekend of 17/18 April with one pilot on the previous weekend at the North Warwickshire. This may disappoint some of you since owners can come back under rules on March 29. However, racecourses have been working under covid restrictions for many months now, whilst this is new for each fixture. We need the sport to resume with no problems and ensure Local Authorities are happy before adding an extra zone etc.
– The plan is for paying public to return on May 17 as according to government road map. There may be one or two earlier pilots so keep checking. However, please note that social distancing etc will still be in place so all fixtures having to work out what numbers can be safely accommodated and ensure that fits with Local Authorities.
In the meantime, most fixtures are working on having live streaming so we hope that you will all still be able to watch the action at what should be some very competitive fixtures.
Hope to see and speak to many of you over the coming weeks and months.