Opinion

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Racing, like many disciplines, is a game of ups and downs. Whether it’s a five-furlong sprint at Wolverhampton on a Monday evening, a three-mile Graded chase at Ascot on a Saturday or a hunt members’ race at Wadebridge on a Sunday, people and horses turn up to compete — and win. From the rider to the trainer, the owner to the punter, the objective is the same.

Sometimes the odds of winning are very short (I prefer this to be the case) and sometimes they are long (well, you have to be in it to win it). But regardless of odds, the law of racing averages means you will finish disappointed more times than you will finish elated.

Modern-day society is, sadly, very fickle. As a rider, a sustained run of losers and people begin to question your ability, you fall out of the limelight and your number of rides start to decline. Begin riding winners again and the trend reverses but, as I say, generally you ride more losers than winners.

Celebrate the wins

For these reasons, it is extremely important to remain positive throughout and celebrate the “ups” whenever they happen.

A great example of this was former point-to-point rider James Best, who recently won the Becher Chase at Aintree on Walk In The Mill.

While learning his trade on the West Country point-to-point circuit, James had a horrendous fall — most people would have been put off riding for life, but not James. Therefore, to see his elation when crossing the line at Aintree was brilliant and so well-deserved.

With positivity in mind, it’s only fitting to mention the wonderful achievement of Gina Andrews, who recently notched up 200 point-to-point winners. As a fellow double-centurion, I know this does not come easily and it is testament to her ability and determination in the saddle — well done, Gina!

Ref Horse & Hound; 20 December 2018