Category Archives: News

THE BRIAN ARMSTRONG CHAMPION NOVICE HORSE AWARD

THE BRIAN ARMSTRONG CHAMPION NOVICE HORSE AWARD

This perpetual Trophy is awarded to the Champion Novice Horse in the Wessex and West Midlands Point-to-Point Areas.

First awarded in 2019, it is presented (with a memento) at the Awards presention event in the winner’s Area.

The trophy perpetuates the former Western Daily Press Young Horse Award first awarded in the 1990s.

To be eligible to score points for this Award a horse:

  •  Must be qualified with a Hunt affiliated to the Wessex or West Midlands Areas
  •  Must have run in a Maiden race in the current Point-to-Point season.

SCORING

Points can be scored in any Point-to-Point race or Hunter Chase in G.B. up to the close of the Wessex or West Midlands Point-to-Point season (whichever is the later).

Scoring: 10 points for 1st, and (except in Maiden Point-to-Point races) 6 points for 2nd, and 3 points for 3rd

In the case of a dead heat, the points for the particular position shall be added to that of the next position and divided equally between those involved.

Brian was born in Warwickshire on 23 May 1953, and died aged 62, succumbing to pancreatic cancer to which he gave no concession – a dedication that earned him universal respect.

A life-time devotee of Point-to-Pointing, he kept scrapbooks of pictures as a child before becoming a photographer in his own right. His photographs were first published In Hunter Chasers and Point-to-Pointers in 1992, and he quickly became a familiar sight on the racetrack with camera in hand.

In the new millennium he became the Wessex Area’s press officer, a role he shared with his wife Gill (who sadly died almost exactly a year after her husband in October 2016).

Brian’s career was in the naval defence industry but after concentrating full-time on racing he quickly became very well-known as Point-to-Point correspondent for Horse & Hound.

By nature a quiet and reserved man, he was most methodical and meticulous, and revelled in the minutiae of the sport. He built a formidable library in addition to his photographic archive and frequently swept the board in racing quizzes and competitions.

 

 

 

EAT LIKE A CHAMPION – FREE ENTRY – CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE – TUESDAY 20TH NOVEMBER @ 7 PM

 

 

 Racing Welfare is very happy to be hosting a health and nutrition evening in Cheltenham with esteemed researcher Dr George Wilson.

The event is open to anyone involved in the racing industry including point-to-point yards and studs.  Come along to find out what you should be eating to keep yourself healthy and happy.

Taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse at 7pm on Tuesday 20th November

Dr George Wilson – ex-jockey and researcher with Liverpool John Moores University – will be with us on the night, offering advice on how to fuel yourself for an active lifestyle and eating to sustain a healthy weight. George worked closely with 20 times Champion Jockey AP McCoy throughout his career and continues to advise many other top jockeys.

Open to everyone… Remember:  
Better nutrition = more energy + better performance = happier you!

For more information or to confirm your space,
please contact Adam on 07825 675 377 or email aferguson@racingwelfare.co.uk

 

SPONSORSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT FROM P.P.A.

 

Increased support for British point-to-points

Increased support from leading-brand companies is further endorsement of British point-to-pointing ahead of the new season which opens in November.

At a sponsors’ gathering and season’s launch at Cheltenham today it was revealed that Skinner’s Pet Foods, which has a network of stockists around the UK, is backing 22 ladies’ open races. That is an increase of two, culminating in a prestigious hunters’ chase final at Stratford in May. Skinner’s is also sponsoring the national women riders’ title.

WEST MIDLAND AREA QUALIFYING RACE @ WORCESTERSHIRE MEETING ON 20TH APRIL

Frontline construction company JRL Group Ltd is ramping up its backing for the sport’s point-to-point Flat races, which have been increased in number from six to 10. The additional contests were a natural progression for a relatively new concept – of last year’s half-dozen races five were so popular they had to be run in divisions.

Leading horse feed manufacturer Connolly’s RED MILLS enters its twelfth year of sponsorship by supporting 14 intermediate races plus a hunters’ chase final at Cheltenham in May. The company also backs the champion horse award for the winning-most pointer, while its supplement brand, Foran Equine, sponsors the two trainers’ championships.

WEST MIDLAND AREA QUALIFYING RACE @ ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (NORTH) ON 10TH FEBRUARY

Leading managed IT and communications provider Timico returns with its lucrative series of mixed open races – each one worth £1,000 in total prize money – leading to a hunters’ chase final at Cheltenham worth £25,000, notable riches for the amateur sport.  Fourteen races will lead up to the final, which will mark Timico’s third year of sponsorship.

WEST MIDLAND AREA QUALIFYING RACE @ LEDBURY ON 31ST MARCH

Filly and mare owners are not short of opportunities for their horses. The Jockey Club sponsors a 19-race series for maiden fillies and mares, leading to the creation of a champion. She will collect double prize money on her first run at any Jockey Club-owned racecourse within three years of winning the award.

WEST MIDLAND AREA QUALIFYING RACES @ CLIFTON ON TEME ON 28TH APRIL AND THE ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) ON 27TH MAY

The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association continues its 3-2-1 Bonus scheme for fillies and mares running in the trio of point-to-point bumpers run under Rules each spring. Bonuses of up to £3,000 can be won by fillies or mares in each race.

 
 

A MESSAGE FROM PETER WRIGHT – NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE PPA

I was honoured and thrilled to be offered the post of CEO for the PPA, which I took up yesterday. As you will be aware, I have picked a very busy time to pick up the reins, with numerous meetings of all stakeholders coming up before the season begins. However, I thought it essential that I started with a short note to you all, if only to reassure you that I don’t think I already have all the answers and nor do I intend to impose my views upon you.

I have two passions in my life: point to pointing and Africa. In the latter I was working with very conservative peoples with tribal instincts. They appeared insular but are very friendly and fun once you get to know them. I am delighted to say that we all made progress together. I hope that we will be able to do the same.

I don’t underestimate the challenges facing pointing with declining numbers of horses, owners and crowds which are also ageing. Furthermore, due to the widely differing situations across the country, there is no one blueprint or magic bullet, which will solve the problems.

However, I also feel and have seen that many positive ways forward have already been found, but the lessons have not been widely spread. We can all help in changing this by broadcasting successes, and adapting ideas to suit our own needs.

Whilst I do have some strong views about point to pointing and its future, I am much more interested in hearing everyone else’s thoughts over the coming season. As an esteemed colleague once said, ‘we have two ears and one mouth, best remember that ratio’. To that end I hope to come to 50+ of the points this season (weather permitting) across the length and breadth of the country, and want to talk to anyone and everyone.

I am happy to hear about the problems but even keener to hear of possible solutions and ideas that have worked locally which might be used elsewhere in the country. I hope that you will all help in making this happen, and yes I can take a certain amount of (metaphorical) chest prodding.

Looking forward, it goes without saying that I, and the PPA more generally, want to help take pointing forward to a secure prosperous future. Sometimes this will require leadership and making awkward decisions, but for most of the time we see ourselves as your advocates and support. We wish to be seen as Passionate, Approachable, Transparent and Helpful.

I really look forward to meeting you all over the coming months, many at the various events before the season. Please do come up and say hello, and encourage others to do the same and give their penn’orth. Together we can find the best PATH forward.

Peter Wright
CEO PPA
01793 781990 / 07501 452817

 

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY – AREA HUNTER CHASE

The Hunter Chase which is confined to horses qualified with West Midland packs and normally takes place on a Friday evening in late May is seeking a new sponsor.

The race has proved popular with local owners, trainers and riders and provides a wonderful opportunity for businesses to entertain their clients in a relaxed racecourse atmosphere.

If you are interested, know somebody who might be interested or just want further information please contact Jenny Cheshire (JCheshire@worcester-racecourse.co.uk)

 

SURPRISE AWARD FOR NICKIE SHEPPARD TRAINED HORSE AT LARKHILL

The connections of Ballycahane had a pleasant surprise when they opened their post recently, because one of them included a letter from Larkhill Racecourse sent by Terry Selby who produced the Point-to-Point Annual until Foot and Mouth intervened during 2001.

Terry is in charge of the scoring for the Larkhill Championships and the letter informed the Herbert family that Ballycahane had won the Roger Roberts Memorial Trophy.

The Nickie Sheppard trained gelding had made an unsuccessful foray to Larkhill on December 3rd but his exploits for the rest of the season, when he won or was placed in eight of his nine races clinched the prize for connections which will be presented at the Awards Lunch in the Queens Building at Larkhill Racecourse on Friday 19th October 2018.

Although horse and jockey are qualified with the Monmouthshire, they have both benefited from the training and advice provided by the Sheppard family at Eastnor.

 

CROOME & WEST WARWICKSHIRE MISSING FROM THIS YEARS FIXTURES

WEST MIDLAND FIXTURES 2018/2019

FRIDAY 28TH DECEMBER – HARKAWAY CLUB @ CHADDESLEY CORBETT

SUNDAY 10TH FEBRUARY – ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (NORTH) @ CHADDESLEY CORBETT

SATURDAY 2ND MARCH – DUKE OF BEAUFORT @ DIDMARTON

SUNDAY 31ST MARCH – LEDBURY @ MAISEMORE PARK

SUNDAY 7TH APRIL – ANDOVERSFORD RACES @ ANDOVERSFORD

SUNDAY 14TH APRIL – COTSWOLD VALE FARMERS @ MAISEMORE PARK

SATURDAY 20TH APRIL – WORCESTERSHIRE @ CHADDESLEY CORBETT

MONDAY 22ND APRIL – NORTH COTSWOLD @ PAXFORD

SATURDAY 27TH APRIL – BERKELEY @ WOODFORD

SUNDAY 28TH APRIL – KNIGHTWICK RACES @ KNIGHTWICK

SATURDAY 11TH MAY – WHEATLAND @ CHADDESLEY CORBETT

MONDAY 25TH MAY – ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND (SOUTH) @ CHADDESLEY CORBETT

The 2018/2019 fixture list has just been published. The programme in the West Midlands has reduced to 12 with the Croome & West Warwickshire meeting being a notable exception from this year’s calendar.

The Croome Point-to-Point took place at Ryalls Court, Upton upon Severn for over 100 years, but following the loss of this historic course in 2015/2016, the fixture has faced a period of instability.

Although a gravel extraction licence had been granted, the C & W.W. committee were hopeful of using the course the following year, but it became unserviceable after heavy equipment caused irreparable damage to the racing surface, and that resulted in the meeting finding a new home at Maisemore Park in 2017/2018.

They were hoping to return to that venue again this year but were unable to do so with the Cotswold Vale Farmers fixture reverting back to Maisemore Park (a venue it had used previously between 1993 – 2007). It was felt their meeting was a better fit into the “Gloucester Races” brand, and unfortunately a third fixture was not an option.

Due to the late Easter and the timing of the Croome Point-to-Point, other venues in the area were unable to facilitate an extra meeting which meant the Croome committee felt they would not be able to proceed with a Point-to-Point in 2018/2019.

On a positive note, the Croome and West Warwickshire Point-to-Point Committee have identified a new course at the home of Joint Master Patty Allen at Lawnswood Farm, Shelfield.

Initial reports suggest it will be right handed and on a slight bank with excellent viewing. With no meeting in 2018/2019 the organisers can now concentrate all their efforts on this new venture.