As a competitive sportsman, I enjoy point-to-pointing for the chance it gives me to compete and win. The fact that I can do this while using the skills I learnt as a child, on an animal I love, makes it all the more enjoyable. I also get a great deal of satisfaction from watching horses I have ridden progress on to bigger and better things.
The sport has received some criticism recently for pandering to the growing trend of “win and sell” horses — typically four- and five-year-olds who may only grace the racecourse once before being sold to the professional side.
Equally, there have been grumblings about the number of former top National Hunt horses migrating back to point-to-points and hunter chases, because they are failing to cut the mustard on ITV Racing. In essence, I am talking about activity at either end of the spectrum — the bottom and top of the career ladder — normally affecting maiden races and open races or hunter chases.
Often forgotten are the rungs in the middle of the point-to-point ladder (restricted to conditions races), which do not always attract the attention that they deserve.
The Two Amigos is a horse I rode last season who had stepped onto the middle rung and has not looked back since. He is a pint-sized character, who won a maiden in Ireland but failed to make an impact in bumpers or hurdles in the UK. He won five straight point-to-points last season, improving as he grew in confidence.
Now, having reverted back to under Rules racing, he has used his pointing experience and new-found confidence to great advantage — winning three from four to date and collecting £42,883 along the way.
Although not on his back under Rules, I have been a proud spectator and it is all thanks to his season point to-pointing.
Ref Horse & Hound; 17 January 2019