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John Simpson

We’re with owner rider, full-time farrier & one of the most enthusiastic people we’ve ever met, John Simpson! Having been around his horses his whole life, John wanted to give pointing a go; its a funny story how he got into it…

🏇🏼How are you involved in pointing? I’m an owner/rider. I rode my first race in 2018 & have been hooked ever since.

🏇🏼Favourite aspect of pointing? Riding of course! I've always enjoyed the social aspects of watching races but nothing beats riding your own horse.

🏇🏼How did you get into pointing? We organised a day at the races at Newmarket for my 40th birthday. My partner jokingly suggested I would have made a good jockey in my youth. I've taken part in almost every equestrian sport since I was a kid - from hunting to dressage, polo & carriage driving…the more I thought about it, racing sounded exactly like the next adrenaline sport I needed! So a few G&Ts later we were contacting everyone we knew connected to the P2P world, trying to work out whether this was just some mad mid-life crisis. Fortunately, they didn't think I was (entirely) mad, so just a few weeks later, Sally Corrigan & trainer Nigel Padfield put me in touch with Alan Hill - I purchased my first pointer 'According to Trev' from him. He was the only horse I tried & Alan assured me Trev would look after this middle-aged novice. He was absolutely right!

🏇🏼What’s your pointing highlight? I actually think my highlight was riding in my first Hunt Members race at High Easter on 'According to Trev'. We were the wild outsiders, but as it was my local, many of my friends, customers & family turned out to support us. We came absolutely dead last, but we got the biggest cheer of the day! It meant a huge amount to me to see the support from my friends & family - I was sure that they all thought I was joking when I said I was going to start pointing! It was at that point that I knew I wanted to carry on & be more competitive as an owner/rider.

🏇🏼Earliest pointing memory? Watching at High Easter with a beer in hand thinking, "I could do that (if I lost 3 stone)".

🏇🏼If you could change one thing in pointing, what would it be? My experience as an amateur owner/rider has been extremely positive. I have been supported & encouraged from day 1 by not only my trainer, but also others involved in the organisation. Particularly during Covid last season, when it felt at times like it just wasn't going to be possible to race, the dogged determination from the race organisers, volunteers & supporters behind the scenes to get our sport back up & running at the first opportunity proved to me that the sport is committed to continuing to provide great racing.

🏇🏼Favourite point-to-point & why? I think it's got to be High Easter. It's my local course; I've been a spectator, duty farrier & now a jockey! I've seen firsthand the hard work put in by Simon Marriage & the Essex with Farmers & Union hunt team to provide a great day's racing for participants & punters so it will always be a special course for me.

🏇🏼What do you think lies for the future of pointing? I'd like to think that it will continue to encourage new owners, jockeys & trainers to participate. There's a massive opportunity for people like to me to get involved & I think that in order to keep it a competitive amateur sport, it needs to stay as inclusive as possible.

🏇🏼Favourite aspect of owning pointers? Being part of a team. I've spent 3 years training under Alan, Lawney and Joe Hill and gaining mountains of knowledge and understanding about the sport. From guiding me on fitness, race riding, strategy and tactics, they've supported me from the day I bought my first pointer & have worked hard to get myself & my current horse 'Mahlers Star' to ride competitively at every meeting. I think the best part of owning & riding as a novice rider is the huge learning curve from every race.

🏇🏼Any hobbies outside of horses? I am a full time farrier & dad to my two beautiful children. When I'm not racing, I love cycling, playing polo & the odd day out hunting.

John, it’s been fantastic to catch up! Your enthusiasm is contagious & it’s great to see you enjoying to sport after years of putting so much into it!

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