We caught up with avid point-to-point supporter & PPORA committee member, Charlotte Marshall! Having owned, trained & brought up three jockeys, Charlotte is heavily involved in pointing, as well as working hard with the PPORA to continue to improve the sport!
🏇How are you involved in pointing? I am on the PPORA committee & Mum to Charlie & Izzie Marshall who are both currently riding, so I am an avid supporter. We have trained horses at home in Brightling for 20 years, but this year I am taking a break from that side of things & Hannah Clarke is training one for us in Dorset.
🏇What is your favourite aspect of pointing? Definitely the camaraderie. Horse sport is such a great leveller – you can be winning one moment & then wiped out the next. Everyone involved in pointing has experienced the rollercoaster of fortunes & so people automatically understand your emotion. There is always someone ready to celebrate or commiserate with you.
🏇How did you get into pointing? As a family, we would always support the local meetings as spectators. Then when I was at Durham University in the late 80’s I rode out for Arthur Stephenson. It was during the time that his great horse The Thinker won the Gold Cup & there was a fantastic atmosphere in the yard. We would all go pointing on our days off. When Fraser & I moved to Brightling, Di Grissell was our neighbour & helped us buy & train our first pointer.
🏇How would you describe pointing to someone that hasn’t been before? It’s an outdoor party for country people where you can wear your wellies & a warm coat.
🏇What’s your pointing highlight? We haven’t really had any really big race wins! My highlight is that I get to see my kids every weekend at the races.
🏇If you could change one thing in pointing, what would it be? A consistent format for reporting the going. When you live in one of the far corners of England you have to commit to travelling & you are very reliant on third-party reports. Some going reports are excellent, but others are much less accurate. A universal approach would be very welcomed by those of us who have to travel miles.
🏇🏼 What's your favourite point-to-point and why??
Penshurst. It’s a local track so the paddock, lorry park & car parks are full of friends. It’s extremely well run by Helen Sarchet & her team.
🏇🏼What is your role on the PPORA committee member?
Thanks to some very heavy arm twisting by ex ptp jockey, Philip Hall, I’m now the area rep for the South East.
🏇🏼Explain the role of the PPORA alongside pointing & how being a member enhances the P2P experience!
The PPORA is the go-to place if you need any information about pointing. I am particularly keen to help first-timers with what appears to be a daunting mountain of paperwork & administrative hurdles when starting out! Having helped all my 3 children get a licence, I have experience in what needs to be done & would like to share that!
🏇🏼What’s your earliest pointing memory?
Eyton-On-Severn was my local track & I remember being introduced to my Mum’s ex-boyfriend there aged 5. I thought he looked like a film star & couldn’t work out why she ditched him for my Dad!
🏇🏼What do you think lies for the future of pointing?
Probably some streamlining & there will be winners & losers in that process. At the moment it feels like the sport is moving towards a more Irish format where pointing predominantly exists to supply young horses & jockeys to National Hunt racing. I think this will help ensure the sport’s longevity but I would like to see opportunities for the have-a-go amateur remain.
🏇🏼What’s your favourite aspect of training/owning pointers?
We’ve trained horses at home for over 20 years & without doubt my favourite aspect is the people I work with. Zoe Pennells, my right hand lady, and her husband Julian have become the greatest of friends & have shared every step of the journey with us.
🏇🏼Any hobbies outside of horses?
Really our hobbies are all horse related – our youngest son, Alfie, is successfully eventing & we all hunt & team chase. I love skiing (although annoyingly my whole family is better than me!) & I can’t wait to travel without restrictions again! ⛷
Thank you Charlotte for your interesting insight on our sport! See you soon!