We’re chatting to jockey & vet student Paddy Barlow today! A focused & determined rider who had a winner last weekend!
🏇🏼How are you involved in pointing?
I am currently riding as an amateur and have been since I was 16.
🏇🏼What is your favourite aspect of pointing?
The atmosphere; the point-to-point community is such a friendly group of people, whether that be in the weighing room, in the box park or within the crowd. Everyone is always willing to lend a hand if someone is struggling, has forgotten a bit of kit or needs some advice and to cap it all off everyone goes to the back of the car boot for a drink, picnic and a celebration whether it’s a win, lose or draw.
🏇🏼How did you get into pointing?
Both of my parents rode as amateurs, and my uncle was a professional, so I grew up around it and always wanted to try and emulate them.
🏇🏼What is your day job?
I am currently training to be a Vet at Nottingham University and combine it with regularly riding out for Jon Barlow, Peter Hammersley and Kelly and Laura Morgan.
🏇🏼What’s your pointing highlight?
It has to be riding my first winner in the Open Maiden at Sheriff Hutton last year. The fact it took me until my 3rd season to get there and that it was for dad with lots of our family and friends each having a leg in the horse made it a really special day.
🏇🏼If you could change one thing in pointing, what would it be?
Scrap P2P bumpers, although they’ve been well supported, they take away from the Maiden races on the card and the winners on average don’t command such a high price at the sales as those that won Maidens do. For example, there were just 3 runners in the 4-year-old Maiden at Larkhill last weekend but another four 4-year-old’s running in the bumper. By having both you’re just taking away runners from the other race. We’ve experimented and tried it, and I applaud the PPA and race planning committee for trying something different, but it hasn’t worked and hopefully their removal will see better fields for the 4yo and 5yo races which are a great idea.
🏇🏼Where’s your favourite point-to-point & why?
Eyton-on-Severn. It’s a great big, fair galloping track and I love riding round there. I grew up going racing there every Easter Monday and have great memories of doing lots of roly-polys down the big hill when I was younger!
🏇🏼What do you think lies for the future of pointing?
I’m not too sure to be honest. It’s going to be more difficult in the next couple of years due to the increasing pressure on hunting and rising costs of insurance and other essentials, making it more difficult for hunts to hold points and make them financially viable. We’ve got to find new ways to make it work with that either being through community held meetings or jockey organisation days like the Yorkshire Jockeys Club meeting at Charm Park this weekend. Everyone’s going to really have to band together and stop fighting amongst themselves if we’re going to make sure that we can keep the pointing that we all love going into the future.
🏇🏼What’s your pointing career aim?
To ride as many winners as possible and I’d love to ride in the Foxhunters one day.
🏇🏼How would you describe pointing to someone that hasn’t been before?
Friendly, fun, a bit mad at times but a thoroughly enjoyable day out and not one you will forget in a hurry.
🏇🏼What’s your earliest pointing memory?
Being thrown into the back of a family friends car aged 4 after Dad had broken his shoulder at Tabley and Mum had to go in the ambulance with him to hospital!
🏇🏼What’s your favourite aspect of riding pointers?
Riding winners, there’s really nothing else like the buzz that it gives you.
🏇🏼Any hobbies outside of horses?
I really enjoy running and like doing lots of half-marathons and fell races when I’m free. It also helps to give me a break and get out of the bubble of the racing and veterinary world and on the plus side all the training also helps to keep me fit for racing!
Thanks for the fascinating read Paddy, best of luck this weekend!