William Badlam: “Don’t do anything heroic” *H&H VIP*

  • The season is in full swing and I’m gearing up to ride in my first point-to-point after Christmas.

    I’ve ridden most of my life — I’m 17 — and my mum, Jane, has ridden racehorses and had a few in training. So taking up pointing was inevitable; I’ll be wearing mum’s colours.

    I’m currently studying A levels, and hope to train as a farrier. I ride out for trainer and vet Sue Taylor, so I’m used to schooling racehorses. It’s race-riding experience I need now.

    My first run will be in February and I’ll aim for a simple, flat track with a novice riders’ race. Jockeys need to take advantage of these races, which are ideal for inexperienced riders.

    You have to be able to listen to people who know what they are doing, so I take on board everything mum and Sue tell me.

    In my first race I’ve been told to relax and not do anything heroic.

    We have a pointer, John The Glass, who is a novice too. He’s an eight-year-old by Deportivo who will debut over fences this season, but we also have a schoolmaster to show me the ropes.

    Ten-year-old Grand Fella won as a three-year-old in Ireland but then lost form. He jumps well and knows what he’s doing.

    It’s hard not to be a bit nervous, but excitement is the overriding feeling at this stage. I wonder how long that will last?

    Next week, don’t miss Alan Hill’s comments in his point-to-point column.

    Don’t miss the full report from point-to-point action from Barbury in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine (10 December), out now.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 10 December 2015