This week we’re chatting to 2020/21 National Champion Jockey James King. James is one of the best in the field, rarely going a weekend without riding a winner and is often the one to watch in the big races too! In April, James won the Aintree Foxhunters’ Chase on the 66-1 Cousin Pascal, showing his sheer ability to produce the best in all horses!
🏇How are you involved in pointing?
I ride for the powerful Fran & Charlie Poste stable (Station Yard Racing) producing young point-to-pointers to hopefully go on & be successful under national hunt rules.
🏇What is your favourite aspect of pointing?
The fun to be had at the end of a good or bad day in the lorry park afterwards with great owners, trainers and friends. Winners are great too!
🏇How did you get into pointing?
Through a great, long-time supporter of pointing (& PPORA committee member!) Tim Sage. I used to walk, run, cycle or get picked up to ride out for him as & when I could or he needed me. He was a huge support to me starting out & gave me my first 2 winners.
🏇How would you describe pointing to someone that hasn’t been before?
A great fun day out to be had by all, come rain or shine.
🏇What’s your pointing highlight?
Training a few of my own horses last year to win for a huge supporter of point-to-point racing, Jason warner, was a great thrill. He epitomises what pointing is all about, so it meant a lot.
🏇If you could change one thing in pointing, what would it be?
I would change the penalty system; I don’t agree with the theory that old horses on the downgrade have to carry around near 13 stone. Surely we & the paying public want to see the good, older horses running & enjoying pointing in the twilight of their careers. Every horse should start the season off levels then accumulate penalties, 'IF' they are still capable of winning. But that’s just my opinion…!
🏇Where’s your favourite point-to-point & why?
Has to be Bratton Down; I have been leading jockey there the last 2 years & it's a real jockeys course with a really friendly atmosphere.
🏇What’s your pointing career aim?
To stay fit, healthy and injury-free, and to ride as many winners as I can.
🏇What’s your earliest pointing memory?
My mother grew up in Worcester Lodge just across the road from Didmarton point-to-point, so I watched the racing there from a very early age.
🏇What do you think lies for the future of pointing?
I think the future for point-to-pointing in Britain is good. We are catching up with our Irish counterparts commercially, but we haven't eliminated the fun & amateurish side to the sport. Both the Cheltenham & Aintree Foxhunters’ were won by English pointers this year (2021)!
🏇What’s your favourite aspect of riding pointers?
My favourite part of riding point to pointers is the characters you meet along the way doing it.
🏇Any hobbies outside of horses?
I play a bit of cricket through the summer & enjoy going hunting when I can squeeze it in.
Thanks for the fascinating insight James and best of luck for the season ahead!