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Meet Our Reps


Area: West Midlands

How did you get into Pointing?

I grew up on a very remote farm and we didn’t get out much; so visits to local point to points were highlights and I thought they were exciting.  I had a pony but outgrew it and didn’t ride again until I married a horsey girl.  She had a cob and hunted a bit.  I had a couple of days hunting on him and decided to buy my own horse and it had to be something I could race.  After a couple of unsuitable ones, I bought an old selling hurdler for £350 who gave me my first winner.  I didn’t have a horsey background and just made it up as I went along, but I got there in the end.

How and why did you become an area representative?

I had been a steward and judge for some time and liked being involved behind the scenes; so when I was asked to stand, I was glad to be able to do something useful.

What is your favourite aspect of Pointing?

For me, the amateur ethos, though sadly, this is disappearing fast.  Seeing “little” people having fun racing their own horses and having some success is what keeps me coming back. I loved every minute of training my own horses, and to be able to do it without the red tape of NH racing makes it accessible to anyone.

Where’s your favourite point-to-point?

Didmarton, as it is my local track, I’m on the committee and rode my first winner there.  I’m told I went there in my pram and have only missed one year since due to an emergency on the farm.

What is your Pointing highlight or biggest achievement?

I had very few runners at all after I stopped race riding, but in 1997, I bought a mare for £800.  I ran her in two point to points, finishing second and first, but she went lame.  I sent her to an £800 stallion and she bred William Somers, who won six races, including two hunter ‘chases and was second five times from thirteen starts before we lost him to a foot infection.  He was just pipped at Cheltenham, giving weight away all round.  To win a race at Cheltenham with a horse I bred, produced and trained myself had always been my dream and we nearly did it.  I was lucky to replace him with Presentandcorrect who won fourteen races for me and I still have him aged 23.  He raced for thirteen successive years and was incredibly sound.  I rode out two horses every day when I was seventy and Presentandcorrect was sixteen and then it was time for us both to call it a day.  My last runner was a winner; so it was the perfect ending.

What is your day job?

I was a farmer and also a videographer, making promotional and training videos as well as filming weddings and a couple of funerals.  I have always enjoyed photography and took a lot of pictures for Messrs Sale, MacKenzie, Selby and Harris.

How would you describe pointing to someone that hasn’t been before?

I used to describe it as “banger racing for horses”, but that is less true today as it takes a better horse now to win a point to point than a low grade NH handicap.  The informality of a point to point and  freedom of the public to get close to the action is a big plus and it’s still a tribal gathering for country people.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to get involved in Point to Pointing?

Go for it! Your area PPORA rep is there to offer guidance.

If you became the new CEO of Pointing what would you concentrate on first?

Casting the net for new recruits to people in other equestrian disciplines.  Those who are looking for a career will find their own way in, but we need to send out search parties for people who are just looking for an exciting equestrian hobby.  Removing obstacles such as unnecessary regulation and red tape would help a lot, but in today’s risk averse health and safety world, that’s not easy.

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