David Simpson: The Point-to-Point Authority are in listening mode *H&H VIP*

Opinion

Anyone who has read the latest newsletter from the Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) will have deduced that the sport’s governing body are in listening mode.

There have been concerns raised about the number of horses for some time and this issue has been highlighted as the top priority. Rightly so, but I would also encourage people to continue to air their views on this issue and anything else that currently concerns them.

This can be done in person as the PPA team are always out and about, and they are very approachable. Indeed, the newsletter also contains a list of the meetings they will be attending.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that everyone has a right old moan for the sake of it; more that they put forward some positive suggestions about how to change things.

I’ve long been a fan of syndicates and this is another topic that has been addressed, which is good news, and details are expected soon about a new initiative that will make it easier for everyone to join one.

Area variation

There are two other topics that have been discussed in recent weeks among pointing followers and participants — the treatment of owners and admission prices.

It goes without saying that owners are a vital part of the sport, but it is apparent that facilities on racedays and availability of passes are inconsistent. The debate about passes is something that seems to occur every season, particularly when syndicates are involved.

The Midlands seem to be getting it right. For example, tickets for owners are sent electronically, and each owner receives a ticket which admits two people per entry. For syndicates, a phone call from the trainer is all it takes to arrange extra tickets.

Maybe it’s time to consider whether their approach is something that can be adopted by other areas. I’m certain they would be very willing to share their knowledge and ideas. The south-east also receive plenty of plaudits for their owners’ facilities — again, is it time for some knowledge sharing?

There is another suggestion that I would like to put forward, which concerns point-to-point season tickets. Is it feasible for a season ticket to be made available for pointing enthusiasts to purchase in advance of the season?

Finally, well done to all the winners at Cheltenham’s Hunter Chase Evening last Friday evening (3 May). There were some great performances.The victory of Sam Cavallaro made me smile and I was also delighted to see Pippa Ellis in the winner’s enclosure after her home-bred, Latenightpass, won the Connolly’s Intermediate final.

Ref Horse & Horse; 9 May 2019

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