Plans are under way to raise a £250,000 “fighting fund” to help ensure the future of hunting and point-to-pointing in the face of the continued threat to both sports.
The fund, set up by the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association (PPSA), would be used to help safeguard hunting and other country sports, to improve point-to-pointing and to ensure that central administration is soundly based.
Libby Gilman, chairman of the PPSA told HHO: “Some of the funds will be donated to the Countryside Alliance, to assist in its vital work towards safeguarding the future of hunting and rural sports, while the rest will be shared between individual meetings and be used by the PPSA to support the sport.”
John Wilson, vice-chairman of the PPSA, who announced the creation of the fund at Cheltenham Countryside Day, says: “Point-to-pointing and hunting are interdependent — when we see the threat to hunting from the present government, we see a threat to point-to-pointing as well.
“We have set ourselves some serious objectives, and I hope that this fighting fund can help in a small way to ensure the links between the two sports of hunting and point-to-pointing are as strong tomorrow as they are today.”
Bookmakers have been asked to kick-start the initiative through a special donation — a request to which a “favourable response” has already been reported.
This will be followed by a major prize draw during the peak of the season (subject to approval by the Gaming Board of Great Britain), with the overall first prize a Land Rover Discovery Landmark — Land Rover has sponsored the sport for 18 years — and smaller prizes at each meeting. The second prize will be a Champagne box at the Cheltenham Countryside Day next year.