This week we chatted to Sam Davies-Thomas; Sam has worked in pointing for over a decade, across many aspects of the sport, from riding over 100 winners to his current role at @haddontraining. Sam has joined the PPORA committee this season & provides a fresh new outlook on improving the sport with his vast depth of knowledge & experience. Sam is a credit to the PPORA & we’re delighted that he has come on board!
🏇🏼How are you involved in pointing?
I’ve been involved in pointing since I was 16yrs old; I had my first ride at 17 when working for Caroline & Gerald Bailey. I enjoyed 10 years in the saddle which is where I found my love for the sport & the people involved. Since retiring I have taken up a number of Raceday Presenting roles in the midlands alongside Charlie Poste & also assist G&T Racing when needed at the races. It is great to be able to give a little back to a sport that has provided me with so much fun.
🏇🏼What is your day job?
I am Racings Team Leader for Haddon Training; we are an OFSTED outstanding training provider delivering Equine Apprenticeships all over the country. It’s a great job which gives me real satisfaction to see the future of our sport progress.
🏇🏼How did you get into pointing?
All thanks to Caroline & Gerald Bailey; I wanted to ride from a young age but when I got to 16 I always knew I was going to be too big & probably lack the ability to turn professional. Through Caroline’s contacts, I was able to pick up a few rides although it did take me 17 rides to get around!
🏇🏼 What is your role on the PPORA as a committee member?
I am now Midlands Area Rep which is great to be able to give something back to the sport. I am the point of contact for anyone in the South Midlands with ideas, problems or questions & will be able to help.
🏇🏼 Where’s your favourite point-to-point & why?
My favourite course to ride around would have been Cottenham when it was still running & I feel losing this track was a massive loss to the circuit as it gave another option to some short runner horses. Mollington & Horseheath are both great fair galloping tracks & very well maintained.
🏇🏼If you could change one thing in pointing, what would it be?
I could bang the drum about prize money but I think that is done enough. My concerns are we now seem to have lost the smaller trainers/keepers - farm owners who may have 2/3 horses themselves. The reason being is that it is not financially viable for them, it cost so much to keep the horses & although it is a hobby there still needs to be some reward to be attractive to the grassroots of the sport.
🏇🏼Explain the role of the PPORA alongside pointing & how being a member enhances the P2P experience
The PPORA is a committee that supports owners & riders around the country. Led by very passionate people who want to push the sport forward. Being a member allows you to access & support the committee. We are able to voice any concerns you have to the PPA & discuss any ideas members may have to better the sport.
🏇🏼Earliest pointing memory?
Well, my first ride was at Ashorne where unfortunately in the race before I went out my best friend Johnny Bailey broke his leg. It is fair to say I went slightly pale when I saw him & thought what am I getting myself into! I then proceeded to get deposited into the open ditch…well things could only get better I guess!
🏇🏼What do you think lies for the future of pointing?
I think there are some great forward-thinking people at the forefront of the sport now. Recently we have seen a poor show of runners at meetings; although it is still competitive I can't help but think we need to get more horses involved or restrict the meetings down.
🏇🏼How would you describe pointing to someone that hasn’t been before?
It’s a sport that welcomes anyone into it, anyone can get involved one way or another. In a sentence “its a field of like-minded people having fun, watching like-minded horses having fun”
🏇🏼Any hobbies outside of horses?
I enjoy a round of golf although it does frustrate me! I have taken up cycling recently alongside a few mates we have been supporting Racing Welfare & look to take part in the challenge again this summer. Oh & I’m partial to a drink…
Great to catch up Sam & we look forward to seeing you representing the PPORA out pointing soon! #PPORA