Category Archives: Features

A Feature on an aspect of Point-To-Pointing in the Devon & Cornwall area

Review – Exeter Intermediate Series Final

Having not held the Intermediate Series since 2019, it was excellent to deliver the series once again for this, the 2022 racing season. We made sure it was back with a bang this year. Our thanks are extended to the participating Point to Points, Devon and Cornwall area and to those who declared to run

Throughout the season, The Exeter Racecourse team were in attendance at fixtures in the Devon and Cornwall area to continue to share the message, if you run in a qualifier, you’re in the final, which was worth £4,OOO this year. It was lovely to see good participation in the series, with 40 horses running in one of our nine Exeter sponsored Intermediate Qualifiers. The final, held on Haldon Hill on April 14 th 2022, had 11 entries and 9 declarations

We wanted to re-invigorate the series this year as much as we could, with a renewed effort into our Devon and Cornwall sponsorship, activation on social media and our website, as well as sharing the qualifying messages to all participating point to point fixtures within their racecards and live-streams.

The evening was as perfect as we could have wished for, Good ground after watering, and a full house of declarations meant that we had a bumper evening in store for our season finale. The Intermediate race no-doubt had the biggest cheer of the evening in the winner’s enclosure.

We hope that the added benefit, of attendance tickets to those horses that qualified during the series, as well as Directors Box invitations to those who held a race entry with us, added to the occasion – that was very much our intention

This series is incredibly important to the Point to Point community and Exeter Racecourse. It will only be possible to continue, with continued success, measured by us through the participation in the final. As our data displays, the participation in 2022 remains on-par with pre-Covid levels, therefore we are confident this series remains valid and has a place in our race programme. Please continue to support the series in 2023

Our gallery displays those in the ring, before the big final, and our winning horse.

For your information, we have published this year’s qualification record, race result, and race record below

Daniel Cooper

Clerk of the Course Exeter Racecourse

Exeter Sponsored Qualifier RaceRunnersQualifying horses followed up with Entry into Final
Sunday 5th December – Cornwall Hunt Club @ Wadebridge8 ranQualified entry received;
Voie Dans Voie
Sunday 16th January – Modbury @ Buckfastleigh9 ranQualified entry received;
Hotel du Nord
Party Tunes
Minimalistic
Sunday 23rd January – Tiverton Foxhounds @ Chipley Park8 ranQualified entry received;
Dr Rhythm
Port o’clock
Sunday 13th March – The Dart Vale & Haldon Harriers @ Buckfastleigh3 ranQualified entry received; Lagonda
Sunday 20th March – Lamerton @ Kilworthy7 ranQualified entry received; Jabbea
Party Tunes
Sunday 27th March – Four Burrow @ Trebuddon3 ranQualified entry received; Knockmoylan
Hadmeathello
Sunday 3rd April – Spooners & West Dartmoor @ Cherrybrook2 ranQualified entry received; Mahler Style
Sunday 10th April – Silverton @ Dunsmore3 ranFinal entries received at this point, no runners required a run at Dunsmore for a place in the final.

14.04.22 Race Result’ Good, watered 6 ran. Winning time 6m, 21.80s. (Slow by 37.80s)

1stPort o’clock, IOO ORD Summersby & Mr Darren EdwardsQualified at Chipley Park, 23 01.22 (Good to Soft) 8 ran. Fourth place
2ndHadmeathelloS Payne & Miss Chloe EmsleyQualified at Trebudannon, 27.03 22 (Good) 3 ran. Second place
3 rdKnockmoylan 115 ORC R Barber & Mr William BiddickQualified at Trebudannon, 27.03 22 (Good) 3 ran. First place.

Exeter Intermediate Series Final history by year (LAST 70 YEARS) First race 7998.

Highest rated horse: 775

YearEntriesDeclarations
2022 – First year held at the end of April  
2021 – Covid  
2020 – Covid  
2019 – Last year being held in May10 
2018  
2017  
20161510
20152013
201422 
201310 

Racing Welfare & Winter Fuel Grant

Racing Welfare are now accepting applications for the new Winter Fuel Grant, a one-off payment of £300 to help cover winter fuel costs.

The grant is for those employed in or retired from the racing and thoroughbred breeding industry, including those involved in point to pointing, who are currently living on or below the Minimum Income Standard.  Further information on the eligibility criteria can be found on the Racing Welfare website.

Anyone who is unsure whether they qualify is encouraged to contact Racing Welfare. The Welfare team will offer assistance with this grant and also help racing staff to claim any other statutory entitlements. Racing’s Support Line can be contacted, in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0800 6300 443.

A sneak preview of our Christmas Holiday Auction

The Devon and Cornwall Area Livestream Team have been hard at work seeking out “pledges” for the Christmas Holiday Auction. Funds raised will be used to support this season’s Livestream Project.

We’ve had a generous response with pledges coming in from the Area and beyond.

Whilst we’re in the firming up final details of many fantastic lots we thought we’d whet your appetite with an early tip off about some that have been finalised so far.

New Year Challenge – learn something new with our quirkiest pledge so far:

Have a go at “tent pegging” – a two hour coaching session for you and your horse with national tent pegging team trainers Michael and Tina Smith

Irish getaway: two nights’ accommodation for two at the legendary Dunraven Arms, County Limerick Ireland and attend a premier Point to Point nearby

Gallop and yard visits with leading trainers including:

  • Nicky Henderson (Berkshire)
  • Colin Tizzard (Dorset)
  • Dan Skelton (Warwickshire)

An oil painting commission by artist Dave Crocker. Take a look at Dave’s work in this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AVH4Syw_lM – where you’ll see lots of familiar horses

A bespoke Birdie cartoon created for the winning bidder by racing’s favourite cartoonist Darren “Birdie” Bird visit   https://birdieracinggifts.co.uk  to see examples of Birdie’s cartoons

Talking of Birdies … join Luke Harvey and a mystery racing guest for a round of golf at Naunton Downs Golf Club where Ben Pauling’s six-furlong hill gallop runs in a gap between two holes on the golf course.  A morning visit to Ben’s new, purpose built training facility is also included.  Read more about Ben’s new yard here: https://www.racingpost.com/news/fore-flashing-light-is-fair-way-to-warn-golfers-on-ben-paulings-new-gallop/512080

Coaching and jockey training including:

1-2-1 coaching with jumping guru Yogi Breisner for the winning bidder and their horse at Yogi’s Oxfordshire yard

3 jockey coaching sessions with Rodi Greene

Raceday tickets and hospitality packages including:

Tickets and Directors” Box Hospitality for 4 people at Exeter Racecourse on Intermediate Hunters’ Chase Final Day

Morning on the gallops followed by racing at Wincanton or Exeter with Jane Williams

2 tickets for the Aintree Foxhunters’ Day

You’ll soon be able to find out more information on these and other lots on our Facebook page @PointingDC and on our website www.pointingdc.co.uk We’ll be updating these regularly with auction news between now and Auction Go Live on 19 December when the full catalogue will be viewable here

Bidding will close on 29 December

We’re very grateful to everyone who has offered their support, pledges are still coming in, and we’d be grateful for more. If you’d like to support the auction with a pledge please contact Frank Yeo fyeo.aginvest@gmail.com by 15 December

We’re in the news!  Following on from our Dunsmore Livestream we’ve been attracting media attention

“Devon and Cornwall lead the way as livestream takes off” was the headline in Carl Evans’ Racing Post Point to Point Focus column on November 19th.  It’s  now also available to read on the national point-to-point website. You can read Carl’s thoughts – and see inside the new on course production hub – by clicking here Point to Point Focus by Carl Evans  

Area Chairman Frank Yeo found himself in front of the camera for a Star Sports podcast discussing the background and goals of this ambitious project. You can watch the podcast by clicking here Frank Yeo talks to Star Sports

Join us at Wadebridge

Our next livestream comes from Wadebridge on Sunday December 5th and we’ll be bringing you our now familiar format of race action, paddock spotting, interviews, and betting news.

Races will be filmed by Westcountry Videos and the streamed action will be enhanced with additional shots from the robotic cameras positioned around the course.  Cornelius will be interviewing winning connections as the action unfolds, and Simon Nott will be reporting on activity in the betting ring.

Armchair punters will be able to place a bet with bookmaker Dave Phillips by calling 07810 775119

It all adds up to a great afternoon’s entertainment – the next best thing to being there on the day, as well as a chance for competitors and racegoers to relive the action back at home.

How to watch

You can buy your livestream tickets here https://pointingdc.eventbrite.co.uk/

Currently on sale are:

Wadebridge Pay To View Tickets giving access to the Wadebridge on the day livestream (and replays that will be available until midday on Tuesday December 7th cost £12 (plus £1.52 eventbrite fee)

Livestream Angel Season Tickets priced at £75 (plus £6.44 eventbrite fee) these give access to all Devon and Cornwall Area Livestreams throughout the season.  This is the best value way to enjoy coverage.  Full terms and conditions of the offer are available here:  Livestream Angel Season Tickets Terms and Conditions

DULVERTON WEST AT BRATTON DOWN 15TH MAY 2022
“Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the …
Preview: Exmoor Point-to-Point at Bratton Down on Sunday 22nd May 2022
Its the turn of The Exmoor Foxhounds to host their event at …
RESULTS: DULVERTON WEST POINT-TO-POINT AT BRATTON DOWN ON SUNDAY 15th MAY 2022
GOING; FIRM, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES RESTRICTED – SPONSOR EASTLEIGH CARE …
GRANVILLE’S BETTING GOSSIP – EGGESFORD POINT-TO-POINT AT UPCOTT CROSS ON SUNDAY 8th MAY 2022
There wasn’t a lot of big money around the ring at Upcott …

Cover Photo Credit: Athwenna Irons/WMN

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES – SILVERTON POINT-TO-POINT

With the new point-to-point season fast approaching, here is another personal reminiscence, this time from Silverton Hunt fixtures past to whet the appetite for exciting days soon to come.

Baily’s Hunting Directory records Silverton Huntinformation from 1863. The Master then was Mr T Webber who held that esteemed office until 1895. According to my records, the first point-to-pointheld by the Silverton was on 23 March 1923 at Newton St Cyres. They raced there from 1923 until 1929 when the fixture was transferred to Shobrookenear Crediton.

Shobrooke was a stiff Devon track, right-handed with some plough and a long, hard pull up to the finish. The Silverton meeting was held at that coursefrom 23 March 1929 until their last fixture there on 3 April 1971, with a break in the war years. It becamea joint meeting with the Tiverton in 1964.Their final combined meeting at Shobrooke in 1971 saw wins in the saddle for Fred Rawle and Grant Cann, but Martin Pipe could only finish runner up ridingFaberstown in the Members’. Mr Pipe went on to carve out a successful career as a trainer!

There was no Silverton fixture in 1972, but on 28 March 1973 the point-to-point went it alone and moved to the East Devon course at Hayes Barton, Clyst Honiton.

The next move was to Thorverton in 1978. I remember going there in 1985 for the final meeting at that course. Chris Down rode a double on Holcombe Lass and Macnab’s Quest, as did Philip Scholfield on Sandsprite and Harvest Hymn. Sara Luxton won the Ladies’ on Isotip, and Philip Rawlerode Dull Light to win the Men’s Open. These were the good old days for us race readers with never more than five or six races.

In 1986 yet another move took the Silverton to Haldon. I must confess that personally I never enjoyed point-to-point racing on the inside of Haldonracecourse, although I had a good view for race reading from the pigeon loft which was the judge’s box in the centre of the course.  I had been used to National Hunt racing at “Devon and Exeter” (who changed it to “Exeter”?). Admittedly some good point-to-point racing ensued at Haldon with generally decent fields, but there were some funny results including in 1992 when a long odds-onfavourite was beaten after a questionable ride. I remember the brilliant Proud Son winning on his debut the following year. He later went on to win the Horse and Hound Cup. In addition such good Ladies’ horses such as Khattaf and For A Lark did their stuff at Haldon over the years.

And so the fixture was taken on to Black Forest Lodge in 1997. There are plenty of good memories of the fixtures at Black Forest Lodge on the Earl of Devon’s land which was a proper point-to-point course with the benefit of quick draining soil. At the early season fixture horses came from Wales and the Midlands which led to competitive racing. My racereporting always saw me on the hill side overlooking the last fence where the whole action could be seenwith a good pair of binoculars. There was only a single occasion when fog descended which forced me to go down between the last fence and the penultimate to see anything of the action. 

As 18-year-old Rachael Blackmore trudged back after her fall from Cheekyrun   in the Silverton Open Maiden on 27 March 2010,  nobody would have dreamt that the young Irish novice jockey would eventually become the first female to ride the winner of the Grand National. This is a true story however and Devon owner/trainer Gordon Chambers readily recalled the occasion, “Yes, Rachael was just getting started. I bought two horses from Ireland from a pal of mine which were ready to run and part of the deal was he would bring them over and stay with me and see them run, and could he also bring over a young girl who had been riding out for him and if I thought she was good enough could she ride them over here. She was very keen and had not had many opportunities. Having watched her, I thought she was good enough !”

It was a shame that this popular viewing course,superbly prepared under  Clerk of the Course Norman Chanin, should be lost for good after the 2018 season. The intention for the Hunt to race at the new Dunsmore, Silverton course was thwarted by the pandemic, although the closely associated DunsmoreClub managed an initial meeting there in November 2019.

Let’s hope that Dunsmore proves a successful new home. The Club meeting this season is on Sunday 14 November. The new season opens on Saturday 30 October at Ottery St Mary with the East Devon fixture.

GRANVILLE TAYLOR

Acknowledgments:

Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers, Sale & MacKenzie ,various years

.Baily’s Hunting Directory

The Continuing Story of Point-to-Point Racing, Michael Williams

Mr Michael Kutapan – Point to Point History & Research( Jumping For Fun web site)

The Pointer (David Coulton

Footnote:

A big gelding called Native Trail won a division of the Silverton Adjacent Hunts’ Maiden in 1983 with Jimmy Frost in the saddle. 

The unbeaten top rated two-year-old of 2021, Native Trail, won the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last week to become favourite for next year’s Derby. It looks as though Godolphin has stolen the name.

GRANVILLE’S REMINISCENCES: TIVERTON FOXHOUNDS POINT-TO-POINT

To whet the appetite for the rapidly approaching newpoint-to-point season, I am pleased to add anotherreminiscence from the Devon & Cornwall area to the collection I wrote during the first COVID lockdown .

The original set of reminiscences was designed as aseries solely in lieu of local meetings lost in the midst of website COVID restrictions from March until June 2020, hence a number of hunts were not covered. One of those not covered was the Tiverton Foxhounds, which has now found a regular home at Chipley Park. It was not always so, since the meeting has had several venues over the years.

For those interested in the history of the Tiverton Foxhounds point-to-point, it stretches back well over a century. The early Foxhounds fixtures in the late 19th century were shared together with Sir John Amory’s Staghounds and Sir John Amory’s Harriers

Joint fixtures with the Staghounds continued until the first world war (1914) at such locations as Peadhill ,Tiverton and Holmead. No further fixtures were held after that war until 1921. 

The re-start on 9th April 1921 saw a combined meeting between the Tiverton Hunt and the Tiverton Staghounds at Peadhill.  This combination transferred their point-to-point to Pileywell, near Tiverton, in 1924 and continued at that venue until the last meeting before the second world war on 22ndApril 1939. The Devon Yeomanry joined the combined hunts meeting in 1935 and 1936. Roderick Heathcoat-Amory (Sir Ian’s son) rode his own horse Lightning to win the 1937 Members’ race at Pileywell    

The Tiverton Foxhounds held their first independent fixture on 12th April 1947 (after snow had covered the whole country that winter). Cullompton was the venue and remained so until it closed after the fixture held on 6th April 1957. I don’t have many facts about the course at Cullompton. 

They raced at at Shobrooke from 1958 until 1963. Shobrooke was a very stiff, undulating course with some drop fences and plough thrown in for good measure. It was right-handed with a long hard pull up to the finish .

No meetings were held after 1963 until 22nd April 1972, when Halberton Court became the new venueuntil it was closed in 1982. This is where I come in if you will forgive a few personal anecdotes because I was there on March 7th 1981 in a press capacity (my goodness was it really 40 years ago). I remember the day mostly because I had to be towed off the track in deep mud, very kindly by the point-to-point secretary .

I had to resort to the form book to recall that Robert Chanin rode the Hunt race winner on Trig Point, beating Grant Cann on the favourite Spider Legs.The evergreen gelding Devon Spirit and Keith Pookwon the Adjacent Hunts’, just one of that gallantgelding’s six victories that season at the age of 16.Wiener Chic and Sue Reynard beat Moonstep (Pip Fisher) and Gay Express (Biddy Peck) in the Ladies’,and Lucky Friday, won the Open under his owner/trainer Andrew Congdon from the Torrington Farmers’

I do remember that the going was really heavy that day and True Member with Kevin Bishop in the saddle beat a big field in the Restricted. Some well known local riders figured in the last which was the Adjacent Hunts Maiden (whatever happened to Adjacent Maidens?). Honey Jump relished the deep ground under Martyn Keenor to beat Fabulous Spirit (George Turner) and Sandsprite (Philip Scholfield) in a very slowly run race. 

Not quite the end of the day because there was still time for Grant Cann and Oliver Carter to inform “the press” – me- that Grant was about to announce hisretirement from the saddle (perhaps because he was beaten on the Hunt race jolly) . Fortunately I took their tale that day with a pinch of salt and ignored it. Grant’s eventual retirement was forced upon him four years later when a freak accident ended his excellent career with a total of 217 point-to-point winners behind him.

That turned out to be the last ever meeting at Halberton Court, and the point-to-point was abandoned the next season. In 1983 a new era began at Bishop’s Court, Ottery St Mary, where divisions of the Men’s Open, Ladies’ Open and Adjacent Maiden meant a nine-race card. Winning riders that day included Jimmy Frost on Flying Camel (“more camel than flying”, relates the form book), Polly Curling, Janine Mills, nee Evans, (riding one of my favourite horses of all time Silver Ransome), Stuart Kittow, Peter Hobbs and the aforementioned Grant Cann

The Tiverton said goodbye to Ottery after the 1987 season, moving to Stallenge Thorne near Milvertonfor a Wednesday afternoon  fixture the following year. What a shame these popular, well attended weekday point-to-point meetings do not figure in the modern fixture list. The Tiverton Foxhounds spent 12years at that excellent track on farmland hosted by Ken and Caroline Nicholas. Sadly Ken passed away recently.

I remember Stallenge Thorne as a demanding left handed track with good fences and reasonable viewing. One of the best pointers to win there would have been Earthmover who won the Ladies’ Open under Polly Curling prior to going on to two Cheltenham Foxhunter victories.

Modern day West country point-to-point followerswill be familiar with Chipley Park, near Wellington,and handy for the M5 ,which has hosted the fixture since 2000. Chipley is a right handed course with a steady incline to the finish up a dog leg home straight which favours staying types, and seems to attract big fields. Several Welsh trained and Midland based runners turn up every year and after race schooling seems to attract a cast of thousands. It is a very fair, good viewing course, but the bend at the bottom of the track can get boggy in wet weather. The 2021 meeting was lost to the COVID lockdown. 

The Chipley Park date for the diary this season is Sunday 23rd January 2022, meanwhile we look forward to welcoming back point-to-pointing at Ottery St Mary on Saturday 30th October with the East Devon meeting.

GRANVILLE TAYLOR

Acknowledgments:

Hunter Chasers & Point-to-Pointers, Sale & MacKenzie ,various years

The Point-to-Point Calendar 1937-38, Arthur W Coaten

The Continuing Story of Point-to-Point Racing, Michael Williams

Mr Michael Kutapan – Point to Point History & Research( Jumping For Fun web site)

The Pointer (David Coulton)

PPA: POINTING TO PAUSE AGAIN, Weatherbys Point-to-Point, Weatherbys Point-to-Point

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 weekend February 20/21, based on the government Tier Review on 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.

Welcome to http://www.pointtopoint.co.uk – The Official Home of Point-to-Pointing. We bring you the latest entries, results and fixtures for the season.
— Read on www.pointtopoint.co.uk/news_articles/pointing-to-pause-again

THE AXE VALE POINT-TO-POINT – AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY

ACTION FROM THE FIRST MEETING IN 1947. The horse and jockey are not known.

POINT-TO-POINT enthusiasts, especially from the West Country, are promised an enjoyable read in this delightful new book by Jacquie McCullough with contributions from Granville Taylor.

The history of the Axe Vale point-to-point, from the first meeting on 24th April 1947, is thoughtfully covered, illustrated by more than 200 photographs, mostly previously unpublished.

From 1947, Axe Vale meetings took place on undulating farm land “across the road” (A 3052). The move to the presentcourse at Stafford Cross took place in 1965. The writer weaves stories in chronological order throughout each decadefrom that first fixture.

As intimated in the foreword by Ross Wilmington, MFH, Axe Vale Point-to-Point Chairman, “I am confident that this book will take a treasured place in very many homes and makes a fine tribute to all the individuals involved with the meeting since its inception back in 1947.”

All profits from the sales of the book will go to the Axe Vale Hunt point-to-point.

This privately published book at a cost of £19.99 plus £2.20 P & P has a limited print run, so early ordering is recommended. Copies can be ordered by sending an email to axep2p.book@gmail.com when BACS details will be provided.

Cornelius Lysaght TO LEAD DEVON & CORNWALL LIVE STREAM PRESENTATION TEAM

Cornelius Lysaght
Cornelius Lysaght

Internationally known horse racing broadcaster Cornelius Lysaght will head up the Devon & Cornwall live streaming presenting team when the 2020/2021 point-to-point season gets under way with the East Devon races at Ottery St Mary on Saturday 24th October, writes Granville Taylor.

With the meeting set to take place behind closed doors (BCD), the Devon & Cornwall area organisers work during the extended close season looks to have paid off. Anticipating the likelihood of racing BCD, the committee have used part of a £10.000 grant from Totnes and Bridgetown Racing Company Ltd to purchase live streaming equipment, and the area, with the approval of the British Horseracing Authority and the Point-to-Point Authority, is set to be the first in the UK to broadcast all their 25 meetings in the area for the coming season.

Announcing the initiative, Frank Yeo, Area Chairman said, “It is hoped this new venture will be able to bring the atmosphere and excitement of point-to-point racing to everyone at home. We are delighted that Cornelius Lysaght, with nearly 30 years experience as BBC Racing Correspondent, will be the lead presenter.”

The live streaming programme will include coverage of all the races, plus pre-race and post-race information, interviews and analysis. The long established West Country Videos team will be operating two cameras at each meeting.

Frank Yeo added, “We are very grateful to all those who have helped us get this off the ground, especially Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company Ltd, whose generous £10.000 will also boost race sponsorship in these difficult times.”

corneliusracing.com

Financial Support packaged Launched for Devon & Cornwall Point-To-Points

Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co. Ltd. is delighted to announce the launch of a special £10,000 financial support package to kick-start the 2020/2021 Point to Point season in the Devon and Cornwall area. 

The Company has long been associated with support for Westcountry Point to Pointing, and for next season the funding will be provided in addition to their existing sponsorship of four Hunter Chases and four Open races; including the prestigious Area Classic at Buckfastleigh, ‘The Westcountry Champion Chase’, with a purse of £1000.

The aim of the new support is to underpin Devon and Cornwall Point to Pointing at this difficult time, following the disappointment of the early abandonment of racing in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A real consequence of this loss was the individual financial hardship with so many rural jobs reliant upon a successful horseracing industry. In addition the Hunts’ and Point to Point Committees faced unprecedented losses of their income derived from Point to Point meetings.

The Devon and Cornwall Point to Point Secretaries Association has worked extremely hard in conjunction with Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co Ltd director George Welch to produce a plan utilising the extra £10,000 to best effect. Race sponsorship has always been the Company’s core area of support, and again this will form the bulk of the new assistance with additional sponsorship of 12 x £500 races, spread right across the Devon and Cornwall area. Furthermore every Point to Point fixture will receive a grant to help offset the cost of providing contactless card readers for entrance gates, an additional requirement for racing in the ‘post covid’ environment.

 Finally, the support will extend to purchasing technical equipment to enable the provision of live streaming of racing through social media. This is an initiative which the area organisation is keen to explore with great potential to broaden the sports accessibility, marketing and even revenue earning for the future.

 The Devon & Cornwall Point-to-Point Secretaries Association Chairman Frank Yeo said, “On behalf of our 25 horse racing fixtures in Devon & Cornwall, we are fortunate to have this invaluable sponsorship from the Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company at this very challenging time during and post Covid 19. Our own Association and the Races Company has helped to create the opportunity to maintain the sponsorship of Open races for 12 fixtures and provide the option of using contactless card readers instead of cash. The Races Company foresight and financial support has also allowed the Area to develop live streaming of all the race meetings to be accessed by older and Covid-vulnerable racegoers direct to their mobile phone or TV, plus our sport access to many potentially new racing enthusiasts through social media and present our exciting sport to a much wider audience.”

Looking ahead to next season, plans are in place to run the inaugural Totnes and Bridgetown Point to Point at popular Flete Park, after last season’s plans were thwarted by the health crisis; this will be made possible by the generous support of the Flete Estate and the hard work of the Dartmoor Hunt Point to Point Committee. The Company’s share of the profits from the meeting will be donated in their entirety to the Devon and Cornwall Point to Point Area providing sustainable ongoing financial support year upon year.

Totnes and Bridgetown races can trace its history back to the 1780’s. The original Race Committee was superseded by the formation of a Limited Company in 1928, and although the last Totnes and Bridgetown race meeting took place at Totnes in 1938, the company continues to offer its generous support to this day.