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Q: It was great to see former Cheltenham winner Thisthatandtother winning point-to-points this season.

Considering the horse’s success under National Hunt Rules, are there any rules within the Point-to-Point Owners’ and Riders’ Association (PPORA) preventing former winners under Rules from entering certain point-to-point races?
SC, Oxfordshire

Point-to-pointing is governed by the Point-to-Point Authority (PPA), comprising key stakeholders and regulated by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

According to Freddy Arthur, point-to-point executive for the BHA, the criteria for a horse’s eligibility in point-to-point (P2P) races is periodically reviewed by both bodies.

Any changes go through stakeholder consultation procedures involving the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association (PPSA) and the PPORA, before decisions are made by the PPA board.

Specified timeframe

“Eligibility criteria allow horses attaining success under Rules of any recognised Turf authority [referred to as Rules] to run in P2P races after an agreed timeframe,” said Freddy.

“Currently, horses that have won a steeplechase – other than one confined to amateur riders – with a penalty value of £20,000 or more, on or since 4 June 2006, would not be eligible to run in P2P races. This date is rolled forward to after 2 June 2007 for the 2009-10 season.

“Similarly, should a horse have been placed first, second or third in a Grade One or Grade Two steeplechase after 30 September 2007, they would not be eligible for the current season,” he said. “The date of 30 September 2008 would apply to the 2009-10 season.

“Restrictions also determine when a horse can have last won under Rules, and a cut-off point in which a horse must not have run under Rules.”

Level playing field

“Permit holders and licensed trainers are allowed to run their own horses – or horses owned by a family member, spouse, or cohabitant, as defined by regulations – in P2P races,” said Freddy.

“Although winners under Rules may be eligible to run in P2Ps, they often carry penalties as a result of previous successes.

“Therefore races are framed to promote a level playing field for progressive P2P horses to compete against former Rules horses that may no longer be suited to the rigours of National Hunt racing, but can prolong their careers and remain competitive in the amateur sphere.”


BHA, tel: 020 7152 0049

PPA, tel: 01285 841920

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (18 June, ’09)

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