Around this time last year I was banging on about communication — one of my favourite subjects — and the current spell of cold weather has brought that subject sharply back into focus.

In February 2017 I wrote that “communication has improved considerably”, and
I’m pleased to say that the improvement has continued, but we’re not there yet. Frequent going updates are being communicated in the lead up to fixtures — although some areas are still lagging behind — and all mediums are being used. I am a great fan of social media, which can reach a sizeable audience very quickly, and it can be a very effective tool, especially for meeting organisers. It has also been used very effectively by the Point-to- Point Authority during recent weeks. It’s important to stress that any news about going, inspections and so on should be fed into them and Weatherbys as a priority.

I would also encourage people to use The Pointing Forum. It has been much derided at times during recent years, often rightly so. But with 2,416 registered members and many more guests, it is a useful tool. There is a dedicated section for going reports by area, which can be used by public relations officers and meeting organisers to post official updates.

Of course, the need for effective and timely communication doesn’t stop at going updates; it also applies to inspections and potential postponements or abandonments.

I’ve stood on a point-to-point course as a committee member waiting for the frost to come out of the ground and hoping that the meeting can go ahead. So I appreciate that it is not a nice position to be in — damned if you do, damned if you don’t springs to mind.

We got away with it on that occasion — probably by the skin of our teeth — however, I think I speak for many when I say that the earlier a decision can be made, the better.

Ref: Horse & Hound; 1 March 2018