In the light of the Prime Minister’s Announcement, we of course are calling a pause to the point to point season from today. Whilst I know that many of you would have liked to press on, and indeed the sport remains inherently safe, we cannot claim that we are acting in a vacuum. The national situation is worsening, and that means amongst other things that the availability of medical assets is no longer assured. Even if those could be guaranteed, there is the likelihood of waits at hospitals for injured jockeys, and racing having to be stopped due to lack of ambulances on course.
We also have to take into account the workload put upon the volunteers who run the meetings, the level of which may not be apparent to many of you. We are hugely grateful for their willingness to take on the enormous amount of work and stress that they have gone through to try to put on the meetings so far, and the occasional cancellation has not been due to lack of effort. However, this has reached intolerable levels over the past few weeks, and cannot continue.
Instead, we have decided to go for a clean break with the hope of restarting on weekendFebruary 20/21, based on the government Tier Reviewon February 10. This will at least allow you to plan with some surety. Please do keep the faith. Whilst there are several dynamics currently working against the country, these will play out, whilst others, such as vaccination programmes and the weather, will move in our favour. As such we believe that we can still have a good season all things being equal. To put things in perspective that will leave 19 racing weekends until the end of the season during which over two thirds of the normal fixture list would normally run.
Rest assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure our sport will be in a great space to get going again in a safe and secure manner, which is acceptable to us all. Please keep checking the website for further updates.
The North Cornwall at Wadebridge, scheduled for Sunday, January 10, has been cancelled.
Unfortunately the fixture has not been able to secure adequate medical support.
The postponed Larkhill Racing Club fixture (January 10) will now reopen entries on Monday morning, but only for those who were already in Tier 4 when entries were taken. These entries will only be taken by e-mail to: email@example.com as they will have to be added manually. Do not try to use normal entries system.
We are well aware that it is difficult to keep up with the numerous changes that are taking place. However, we do ask for your patience as both ourselves and the fixtures, which are run by volunteers, work to ensure that the sport can continue in a way that is both safe and acceptable for us all. This is not easy with a huge number of equities involved, many of which are not obviously apparent. Late changes are almost certain so please keep checking.
Due to various factors, North Cornwall at Wadebridge will run without Tier 4 horses or jockeys. There are 34 eligible jockeys in south west, and we do ask them to go to Wadebridge and take extra rides if offered.
Once entries are in we will help with marrying up horses and riders.
In the light of North Cornwall running without Tier 4, entries will reopen on Monday morning for LRC at Larkhill but only for those who were already in Tier 4 when entries were taken.
These entries will only be taken by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org as they will have to be added manually. Do not try to use normal entries system.
We are well aware that it is difficult to keep up with the numerous changes that are taking place. However, we do ask for your patience as both ourselves and the fixtures, which are run by volunteers, work to ensure that the sport can continue in a way that is both safe and acceptable for us all.
This is not easy with a huge number of equities involved, many of which are not obviously apparent. Late changes are almost certain so please keep checking.
Sadly, it is confirmed that the government lockdown includes point to pointing, and we will have to halt until further notice. I know this will be a severe disappointment to many of you, particularly after such an excellent start to the season. This not only produced great racing, but it also demonstrated to all who came that our model was safe, and everyone was doing their best to comply. This has been recognised at higher levels, and gives us a strong platform to move forward when possible. There is already increasing pressure to allow those grassroots sports, which are safe, to start up early. The BHA has been working hard on our behalf to ensure that we are perceived as one of those sports, and I am feeling relatively confident that we will get going again in early December. As a result we are now working with those fixtures, which should have run over the next 4 weeks, to see how they can be slotted into the December programme to everyone’s advantage. In the meantime may we reassure you that those who entered for the Wheatland at Chaddesley will be refunded in full.
For those who feel that we should push on, I would just say that this is going to be a long season. We need to work with other sports and organisations to ensure that we are seen in a positive light so that we can make progress where possible. To go it alone would risk condemnation from many quarters including the media which will be looking for targets. Far better that we are seen to be complying with the national effort in order to move forward thereafter. We should add for those who are unaware, that going ahead not only requires compliance with national policy but also the agreement of the Local Authorities in which a fixture is run, and could very easily close it down at short notice. This possibility would automatically cause considerable uncertainty for both fixtures and participants.
To finish on a positive note, the first three fixtures of 20 framed races, have had 26 races with 261 runners and over 400 entries. Most of the races have been competitive, and I suspect we have seen a few stars for the future – certainly Tattersalls have been delighted and the new four-year-old only Maiden race which would have been run at Chaddesley looked excellent. Perhaps more surprisingly, we have seen a large number of entries and runners from the more traditional end of pointing. The most popular race entered was the RoR/The Jockey Club Veterans Conditions race at Chaddesley with 44 entries, whilst the Oriental Club Owner-Trainer series race at Maisemore had to be divided. The Intermediate and Restricted races have all had more than 8 runners, whilst the 6+ year old maiden runners have totalled 62. This indicates a really healthy start to the season, and we would ask that you all hold your nerve – we will be back before too long.
The last two weeks have demonstrated that we can run point-to-point safely.
However, we must comply with government regulations and requirements. At the moment that suggests point-to-point will not be possible in this period of lockdown. However, we will make a definitive statement following the parliamentary debate on Wednesday to avoid any risk of further confusion.
Posted: Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 Author: The PPA
The Point-To-Point Authority have issued an updated newsletter details the latest processes and procedures that everyone will need to undertaken to access a Point-To-Point course whilst we are at level 4 status.
The Newsletter also unfortunately announces that our opening fixture, the East Devon Races fixture at Bishops Court on the 24th October will be run behind closed doors.
Included are updates on:
– Behind Closed Doors fixtures
Downloads linked from the Point-To-Point Authority Newsletter
Following a meeting on 16 July, the PPA Board has agreed that the proposed early season programme of point-to-points should go ahead.
The decision was not taken lightly, particularly as there are several factors which cannot as yet be fully quantified. However, on the balance of probability, given present progress at both national and sporting levels, and more specifically racing under Rules, it is believed that point to pointing will be able to start in October, hopefully on Saturday 24 at Bishops Court in East Devon.
The full provisional fixture list for 2020-21 (subject to BHA approval) can be downloaded here, but the following fixtures are planned for the early season:
24 Oct – East Devon at Bishops Court 25 Oct – Ledbury at Maisemore Park 1 Nov – Kimblewick at Kimble 8 Nov – The Wheatland at Chaddesley Corbett 15 Nov – South East Hunts Club at Charing 15 Nov – Dunsmore Racing Club at Dunsmore
The favourable response to the owner/trainer survey that was circulated earlier this month combined with the general progress made on Covid-19, and the possible losses to pointing if we did not make an early start, helped to make the PPA Board’s decision.
Of course, there may localised Covid-19 spikes between now and October, and indeed at any stage. To that end protocols have been written for the fixtures at varying levels at which they can be run, including racing behind closed doors. The sport emphatically does not wish to race without spectators, and we certainly hope we do not have to. However, it is important to plan for all eventualities and to provide opportunities for the sport’s participants, whilst ensuring it is financially viable for the fixture.
PPA June E-Newsletter is out now!In this latest edition, we update you on some of the key news and happenings in the point-to-point world, as plans progress for the 2020/21 season. This month we have for you:
– Update from Peter Wright
– BHA Integrity Education
– Update from PPRC
– P2P Quiz
– Website news features