About the Sport
The sport of point-to-pointing is run by the Point-to-Point Authority (PPA), which comprises the following bodies – the Point-to-Point Racing Company (PPRC), the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association (PPSA), the Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association (PPORA) and the British Hound Sports Society (BHSA - formerly the Master of Foxhounds Association), all of whom have a seat on the PPA board.
The Point-to-Point Authority works closely with the British Horseracing Authority, particularly in the fields of regulation, medical and veterinary and the Point-to-Point Racing Company is 50% owned by the PPA and Weatherbys, who provide many of the services – including horse certificate registration, entries and finance – that keep the wheels of the sport oiled. The PPA also works closely with the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) to ensure the health and safety of all riders, and runs pony races at some of its fixtures under the auspices of the Pony Racing Authority (PRA).
The Point-to-Point Authority
The Point-to-Point Authority is responsible for the administration, promotion, governance and strategy of point-to-point racing. The board is comprised of seven directors - one each from The Jockey Club, the Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association (PPORA), the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association (PPSA), the British Hound Sports Society (BHSA) and three independent members.
Working under delegated authority from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the Point-to-Point Authority has evolved from the former Point-to-Point Board in order to ensure the sport's destiny is in the hands of its own community and has the resources to run its affairs openly and transparently. Working closely with its member organisations, as well as the BHA and the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), the PPA ensures its services are provided cost-effectively.
The Point-to-Point Authority is run from offices near Swindon and provides a range of administrative services to jockeys, owners & keepers and point-to-point fixture secretaries.
The Point-to-Point Racing Company
The Point-to-Point Racing Company provides administrative support to point-to-pointing as well as producing an extensive array of products.
During the season, it provides an entries service every meeting, providing owners and trainers with the option of entering via the telephone or online, which has available to all meetings since the 2016/17 season. It also produces racecards for the vast majority of these meetings. The team is also responsible for qualifying all horse in its administrative role, supporting the British Horseracing Authority in the day-to-day running of the sport.
Its product range includes two books produced during the close season – the 'Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Yearbook', containing full results from the previous season along with a statistical summary, and 'The Point-to-Point Race Planner' containing full race conditions for every Point-to-Point for the coming season.
During the season, it publishes the weekly Loose Leaf Form Guide which is the only definitive resource for Point-to-Point form, covering every Point-to-Point and Hunter Chase, including comments in-running and proven ratings, making it an invaluable tool for regular racegoers, form students, owners, trainers and jockeys alike
The Point-to-Point Racing Company also manages the pointtopoint.co.uk website, keeping the sport up to date with all the latest news and events, meeting previews and reports, in addition to providing full race entries and results and a comprehensive database of horses, jockeys and trainers covering nearly 20 years of the sport.
The Point-to-Point Racing Company Team
Nick Wilson (PPRC Director)
Phil Lodge (PPRC Controller)
Jen Graham (PPRC Coordinator)
The Point-to-Point Secretaries Association
The Point-to-Point Secretaries Association, as its name suggests, brings together the secretaries of each point-to-point meeting under the direction of an area secretary, and represents them in dealing with the other organisations involved with the sport.
It has been chaired since May 2020 by Ilona Barnett, who is also the South Midlands area secretary and has been meeting secretary for various fixtures.
The Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association
The Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association was formed to promote the interests of the owners and riders of horses running in point-to-points and hunter chases throughout Great Britain.
It arranges, promotes, and manages point-to-point races on behalf of national sponsors, created the rider sponsorship scheme, organises rider seminars, provides owners riders with advice, and hosts an Annual Awards Lunch at Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse at the end of each season.
The British Hound Sports Society
The British Hound Sports Society represents all the packs of hounds that hunt according to the legal guidelines in England, Wales and Scotland.
It has strict rules and codes of conduct that have been specially written to promote standards of best practice both in the kennels and in the field and to prove the accountability of their members.
All members of the British Hound Sports Society have to agree to abide by the Association's instructions. The BHSA undertakes a rolling programme of kennel visits which are carried out by respected and appointed individuals, to ensure that all the rules are adhered to and standards are maintained. There are considerable sanctions available to the BHSA, which include disqualification of any member hunt or individual.
The British Horseracing Authority
Overall, the sport of point-to-pointing is run under the regulations of the British Horseracing Authority, while an individual Hunt or recognised Point-to-Point Club runs each meeting at a local level.
The British Horseracing Authority delegates governance of point-to-point racing to the Point-to-Point Authority, while retaining all regulatory powers and decision-making for the sport.
The BHA point-to-point department is the point of contact for enquiries related to:
- Regulations, instructions and policy
- Horse and rider eligibility queries
- Inspection of courses
- Rider medical qualifications
- Veterinary – drug testing and vaccination checks
- Stewards enquiries, disciplinary matters and appeals
- Arbitration of entries
Weatherbys, who primarily provide administrative services to the British Horseracing Authority, play an important role in point-to-pointing. The Equine Services Department registers the certificate to race for every horse, ensuring all are qualified and eligible.
Weatherbys are also involved in sponsorship, supporting the sport as a nursery for young National Hunt talent by sponsoring one of the season's most prestigious Hunter Chases, Stratford's John Corbet Cup, under the banner of pointtopoint.co.uk.
Weatherbys Printing Services are also heavily involved in the sport, working alongside the Point-to-Point Racing Company to produce racecards for over 100 meetings every season.
The Injured Jockeys Fund
The Injured Jockeys Fund was founded in 1964 following two devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrel. Both falls resulted in severe paralysis, which immediately ended their careers. Since then, the Fund has helped over 1,000 jockeys and their families and has paid out more than £18m in charitable assistance.
Point-to-point riders – anyone who currently holds or has historically held a point-to-point licence – can access the full range of help and services provided by the Injured Jockeys Fund, where appropriate.
The Injured Jockeys Fund Head Office is in Newmarket:
Peter O’Sullevan House 7a Newmarket Road I Newmarket I CB8 7NU
Other centres are Oaksey House in Lambourn and Jack Berry House in Malton.
The Pony Racing Authority
The Pony Racing Authority was established to represent and oversee the running of all pony races for riders aged 11-15 years and as a governing body to ensure pony racing's integrity and safety.
Pony racing is held under the regulation of the Pony Racing Authority and the allocation of fixtures – which take place at both Flat and National Hunt courses, as well as at point-to-point race meetings – is authorised at the discretion of the both the British Horseracing Authority and the PRA.
The Pony Racing Authority exercises control over riders and ponies taking part, and consists of members from the Racecourse Association, British Hound Sports Association and Point-to-Point Secretaries Association.
For all point-to-point pony racing enquiries, contact Lucy Felton.
Chair – Independent
A former chair of the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association, Andrew Merriam became chair of the Point-to-Point Authority Board in July 2017. Andrew, who lives in Suffolk, is the fourth person to hold the role since the PPA's creation in 2008 – the previous incumbents were Robert Waley-Cohen, Simon Claisse and Tim Curtis.
Andrew, who is also a Jockey Club Deputy Senior Steward and a Director of the British Horseracing Authority, has been actively involved in the sport for many years. He is passionate about point-to-pointing and has attended hundreds of meetings as owner, steward, trainer’s husband and rider’s father.
The Jockey Club
Philip was elected to The Jockey Club in 2015 and became their representative on the Point-to-Point Authority Board in September 2017. He is a Lloyds underwriter, specialising in entertainment and sporting insurance. He is also a non-executive director at Sandown Park and has been involved in the sport as a point-to-point and amateur jockey, retiring on a winner in February 2017.
He rode his first winner in 1995, and – if he has any regret – it was that he never had the chance to ride at the Cheltenham Festival, although he has ridden in the major races at Aintree and Stratford, as well as at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening. If asked to choose, he would certainly opt for point-to-pointing ahead of racing under rules, citing the fun and camaraderie to be had in the amateur sport.
As chair of the Point-to-Point Secretaries Association, Ilona currently sits on the Point-to-Point Authority Board as the PPSA representative. Ilona is also the South Midlands area secretary and has been meeting secretary for various fixtures. Her husband Andrew's family roots are firmly set in farming, hunting and pointing in Warwickshire and they have bred, owned, ridden and trained their own horses for a number of years.
Ilona is also General Manager of Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse and a regular Steward at numerous meetings across East Anglia, the South Midlands and the West Midlands.
As chairman of the Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association, Mark is the PPORA representative on the Point-to-Point Authority Board. He is Export Manager for Baileys Horse Feeds and used to ride in point-to-points, but now enjoys hacking, jumping and hunting his ex-pointer, Bisto.
He is also an able event groom and lorry driver and supports his wife (and Baileys Marketing Manager) Jane on competition days. Mark is also a very active point-to-point committee member, steward and volunteer in the East Anglia region.
Alan has ridden all his life, in point-to-points and as an amateur under rules, and was a Master of Hounds for 20 seasons. He rode as an amateur for 23 years, riding 98 Point-to-Point and 49 Hunter Chase winners, including three Foxhunter winners – two at Aintree and one at Cheltenham. He now trains point-to-pointers, has had the most winners among all active trainers, was champion point-to-point keeper in the 2013/14 season and champion Hunter Chase trainer in 2016/17. His wife, Lawney is a licenced trainer and they have two children – son Joe was champion point-to-point novice rider in 2012. Alan farms 1,000 acres in Oxfordshire and is involved in helping run and prepare Kingston Blount point-to-point course.
Darren is currently fourth on the list of active riders, with 312 career victories in points alongside 29 under rules, of which the highest profile was Maximize in the 2004 Kim Muir Chase. He is also one of few leading riders who is not involved with horses full-time – his day job is Head of Green Energy & Sustainability for chartered surveyors Fisher German. Darren joined the Point-to-Point Authority Board as an independent in January 2022 and is the only jockey, and at 38 the youngest member, to sit on the board.
Fiona joined the Board as an independent in January 2020, and brings huge practical experience to the team. Quite apart from great success as a rider in the past – winning the Cheltenham Foxhunters in 2002 – she is currently Point-to-Point Secretaries Association area chairman in Yorkshire, as well as a very successful joint owner-trainer with her father. Fiona is a lifelong enthusiast and participant, and point-to-pointing is very much her passion.
Peter joined the PPA in October 2018 following a career in the Army and many years assisting with the running of Larkhill Racecourse. As a Lieutenant Colonel, Peter spent much of his time in the military working in or on Africa. During that period, he acquired a wealth of experience and skills that have served him well in his new career, including strategic analysis, planning and diplomacy. Peter is a lifelong pointing enthusiast and has been an official, owner and racegoer at point-to-points, which has given him wide experience to draw upon.
Marketing & Sponsorship Manager
Jake has been on the staff since October 2022, working three days a week with the primary responsibilities of encouraging more horses, owners and jockeys into the sport and generating national sponsorship. Jake has been involved in marketing throughout his professional career, working for multi-national organisations such as Coca-Cola, Masterfoods and Procter & Gamble and most recently running “Yeokens” for Yeo Valley. He is Public Relations Officer for the South Midlands Area, as part of which he has been writing for Go Pointing and the national website for several years, including regular features like “Trainer Talk” and “Pointing People”. He has been an owner since 2012, volunteers at the majority of Kingston Blount fixtures and has sat on the national Race Programming Committee.
Karen has been part of the team since March 2022 and her main focus is dealing with Rider Qualification Certificates and the Rider Sponsorship Scheme, liaising with meeting officials and managing the finances of the Point-to-Point Authority office. Before joining the PPA, she has been long involved in equestrian sports and has a strong pedigree in office and personnel administration, having completed over 30 years in the Royal Air Force. Karen remains an RAF Reservist.
Dr Jerry Hill MBE
Chief Medical Adviser
Dr Jerry Hill MBE is Chief Medical Adviser (CMA) for the British Horseracing Authority and provides a similar service for the sport of point-to-pointing. His role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic saw him recognised for his extensive programme of work on medical provision in British racing over the previous six years. Since his time in horse racing, he has improved medical requirements at British racecourses, expanded physiotherapy provision to all British race meetings and facilitated academic research into jockey nutrition, mental health and concussion protocols. Since Autumn 2020, he has also been an Honorary Consultant to Public Health England, formally supporting the Deputy Chief Medical Officer who oversees the sports portfolio.
Chief Veterinary Officer
Graham is one of the British Horseracing Authority’s senior veterinary officers and dedicates much of his time to point-to-pointing. He is also a partner with the Three Counties Veterinary Hospital, based near his home at Upton-on-Severn, as well as being vet to the Australian equestrian team for many years. Originally from Devon, Graham has been an aficionado of the sport since his youth.