This section of the website is for Officials, providing you with the tools you need to do your various jobs. Here can be found the official instructions for your posts, the forms required, protocols for specific events and – in some cases – presentations. Most are downloads and can be printed if required.
In general terms, the Clerk of the Course will be responsible for the layout of the event with particular reference to the course itself, while the Fixture Secretary will be responsible for everything else – including the paperwork, finding the officials, facilities for the general public, the race programme and so on. As a result, these two roles – along with some others – have subdivided sections below.
This is a new initiative for the website, and as such is likely to be incomplete. If you feel something has been missed which would be useful to your role, please contact the PPA Office on 01793 781990 or email@example.com
For those who are interested in volunteering to help run a point-to-point, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and we will endeavour to put you in touch with fixtures in your part of the country.
Length of ‘Racing Season’ and National Championships
The oﬃcial end of the racing season will be Spring Bank Holiday Monday, May 27th, and the results that count towards the National Championships will also ﬁnish on that day. However, the actual season will continue for a further two weeks to allow the Tiverton Staghounds and Torrington Farmers to continue to run on their traditional weekend dates after the Spring Bank Holiday, providing they remain at their current courses. NB: all results will be included in oﬃcial records, as do walkovers.
Changes to Keeper Responsibilities
From the 23-24 season onwards:
- Where an Owner has placed a horse with a Keeper, the Keeper will become responsible for all breaches of the Regulations 'as if the Owner'.
- No action will be taken against the Keeper where it can be shown that any breach of the Regulations was the result of an action by the Owner, to which the Keeper was not a party, in which case the Owner will be responsible.
In practical terms, this means that a Keeper will have to have signed at least one Hunter Certificate to confirm that (s)he has understood and accepted his/her new responsibilities. We have used this opportunity to adjust both the Hunter Certificate Registration form, to be more in line with how the information is entered on to the system, and the confirmation letters.
NB 1: An owner can retain responsibility if they wish, but in such cases, the Keeper will not be responsible for their actions/activities.
NB 2: Weatherbys will not register a horse without the Keeper’s signature if they can find no record of that signature having been provided for another horse in same season. It is therefore strongly recommended that you get the signature or provide the name of a horse already registered with the Keeper’s signature.
NB 3: Only one person can be registered to make entries online. This is a requirement of the current software.
Paddock Attendants' Clothing and Names.
The name of the Keeper or Owner may appear on the attendant's clothign in the paddock even if not sponsored (see Appendix L to Regulations 23-24
There have been some minor changes to ensure the regulations are stating the rules as was originally intended. E.g. point-to-point races, whether flat or over jumps, have the same stipulations regarding licensed trainers. However, there has been one significant change:
Restricted Race. The change is to allow a winner of a Restricted race to continue running in such races, with a 5lb penalty. After a second win, the horse moves to Intermediate level, the conditions for which remain the same.
Definition. A Restricted Point-to-Point steeplechase is a race open to any horse, except where further restrictions have been imposed, which, at starting, has not won any race under the Rules of any Recognised Racing Authority other than National Hunt Flat races or Flat races, or any Point-to-Point Steeplechase other than Maiden Races, Hunt/Members races or no more than one Restricted race.
Penalties. A winner of one Restricted Race will carry a 5lb penalty.
Amendment to Reg 122 (iii). Late amendment to Reg 122 (iii) in soft copy online but not your hard copy. This now reads:
- Reg 122 (iii) If a horse runs the wrong side of a direction post or flag or misses a fence their Rider shall turn back and ride the course correctly from such point of the race, or they shall pull up. A Rider who takes the incorrect course and/or fails to pull up shall be guilty of an offence and, unless the Stewards are satisfied that the provisions of Appendix AA apply, their horse shall, on an objection under Regulation 140(iv), be disqualified.
- Appendix AA has been reheaded ‘Taking the correct course’ and reads:
- If a Rider fails to pull up in the circumstances detailed in Regulation 122(iii) or disregards the requirements of Regulation 122(iv), the horse shall be disqualified unless the Stewards are satisfied that in all such cases all Riders remaining in the race have taken the same course and, in the opinion of the Stewards, no Rider has obtained an unfair advantage as a result.
- Should the provisions of this Appendix be enacted the horse(s) shall not be disqualified upon any objection under Regulation 140(iv), and, for the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of Regulation 124(i)(b) shall not apply.
The Fixture Secretary, along with the Clerk of the Course (see below), is the key individual in the setting-up and running of a fixture. It is a very busy post and is likely to involve your time for much of the year, not just in the lead-up to your meeting.
It should be noted that Fixture Secretaries carry out slightly different roles at each fixture and – as such – it is not possible to provide a fully accurate blueprint for every meeting. However, we provide a general guide in the Key Documents below.
We strongly recommend that Fixture Secretaries read through all the other officials role listed below as there may be other requirements that you will need to put in place before a meeting.
Health & Safety
The Clerks of the Course (CoC) often do slightly different jobs around the country, depending on whether they deal with a course or just an individual fixture. The information below has been divided accordingly, although it would be sensible for CoCs to check all the available documentation to check whether it applies to you
On the Day
One of the key issues on the day is to agree with the Chief Steward who is responsible for ensuring that the correct assets are in place for racing. Normally, it will be the Senior Steward who confirms that racing may commence, but the Clerk of Course who confirms that every individual responsible is in place for each race.
The Chief Steward is ultimately responsible for the decision that racing can go ahead on the day, considering both that the course is safe and that all the necessary people are in place to allow racing to be carried out safely and with integrity. They are supported by a Team of Stewards who need to be deployed before, during and after each race to cover all likely issues where disputes and problems may arise.
Aide Memoires re: running Enquiries
The Starter requires an Assistant and a recall person. At a point-to-point, they also double up as the team checking girths etc at the start. The document below provides the specific Instruction for the Starter’s role.
The Judge requires an Assistant and a timekeeper. They will be provided with an iPad by their Area, which must be used in a close finish, as it may be required to be used in evidence to confirm the result of a race. The documents below provide instructions on the role and the set-up that should be in place, as well as recommended procedures and a presentation on how to carry out the role.
The Declarations team is busy and should be a minimum of three people unless very small numbers of runners/riders are expected. They are responsible for accepting declarations for horses to run in specific races and collecting/checking Rider Qualification Certificates and Medical Record Books against the Medical Red List (which is provided by the Fixture Secretary).
Clerk of the Scales
The Clerk of the Scales is a key role and requires an assistant, so that careful checks can be made re: weights, and that the correct equipment is carried. The Clerk of the Scales is also responsible for keeping the Judge informed re: runners and changes of colours as well as ensuring that the Announcer informs the public correctly about all official information, including the results.
Point-to-points have considerable medical facilities available, based on each course’s requirements. The list of qualified and registered doctors is held by the BHA Medical Team, which also forwards necessary paperwork to the Senior Medical Officer at each fixture. However, the following documents provide an explanation of what is needed on the day.
One of point-to-pointing’s top priorities is horse welfare. There are a minimum of two vets on the day, more usually three, and at least two of them must be ARVS qualified. More detail on the requirements can be found in the documents below.
Fixtures will have different approaches on how their finances are run. The presentation below lists what will need to be done, and when, at a national level.
The Announcer, along with the Commentator, are the key public-facing individuals upon whom the day’s success depends. It is vital that the Announcer carries out their duties correctly, making the right announcements at the right time, and ensuring a regular pattern is observed for each race. The first document provides the correct order of announcements. The second provides the wording in the case of a stewards enquiry that is to be announced to the public.