Sponsorships are difficult to find and require a good understanding between both parties for the relationship to continue for any length of time as personnel change and so do company priorities.
The arrangements also need to be mutually beneficial and our sport provides an outlet to those who wish to advertise their products or businesses to wider audiences.
Point-to-Pointing in the West Midland benefits from a whole range of sponsors. Those that support individual races and brands that put their names to major Award categories. Each is valued; some are long standing, while others are sponsoring for the first time.
Individual race sponsors are too numerous to mention but all support is appreciated. The costs of running a Point-to-Point continue to rise and it would be difficult to run fixtures without their backing.
Promotion of the sport has come a long way over the last 20 years. It has become much more professional in its outlook and marketing of meetings is now considered essential. To have major regional or nationally recognised brands supporting our sport is something which should not be taken for granted.
Point-to-Point meetings have changed as well. The Cotswold Vale Farmers meeting at Andoversford has run a Country Fair in parallel with its Point-to-Point for almost a decade and that has attracted a much wider audience.
Rebranding offers further opportunities with the Cotswold fixture now known as Andoversford Races. Under Peter McNeile’s guidance and using his marketing expertise it has attracted a host of major sponsors. He has created the Cotswold Country Business Club, which provides an inexpensive route to reach the affluent group of land, property and rural business owners whose entertainment needs are built around horse sports and traditional country pursuits.
Gloucester Races at Maisemore Park provides a wonderful racing and event venue. For their 2018 meeting they have enhanced their hospitality packages, which includes a two-course lunch with reception drinks and wine on the table, pay bar throughout the day and a traditional afternoon tea in a smart marquee overlooking the course.
In 2017 the meeting included a variety of interactive demonstrations and attractions throughout the day. They also had a bouncy castle for the little ones and a rodeo bull for the larger ones. There was also a selection of 40 local businesses selling a range of quality products in between races in a shopping pavilion – expect something similar this year
A similar approach has been adopted by others but due to a variety of circumstances not all meetings are in a position to follow their examples.
Sponsors of our Area Awards (which are as a result of Points accrued throughout the season) celebrate with the winners at our End of Season Awards Evening which takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse on 30th June 2018.
Due to the generosity of David Redvers Tweenhills Stud is in its second year of supporting the Pony Racing Awards. 7 meetings stage Pony Racing, with the Championships finishing at the Croome fixture on Monday 7th May. Pony Racing has evolved dramatically over the last 20 years and a vast majority of our current batch of Jockeys have this activity on their C.V.’s.
Hargreave Hale is our longest standing sponsors. Their support began at Worcester in 2009, with a Hunter Chase restricted to horses qualified with one of the West Midland Area packs. It is one of the few races in the country with this regional qualification criteria. Their support over the years has been invaluable and long may it continue.
Cheltenham Racecourse are once again sponsoring the Champion Trainer Award. Their advert appears in all out racecards, while reciprocal arrangements means our area advert appears in their Festival Trial Day and New Year’s Day meeting programmes and on the big screen. This exposure to a wider audience is critical to maintaining the sports momentum and it is vital these high-profile promotions are maintained.
In 2004, a Novice Riders prize was instigated at every West Midland Area meeting, with the Annual Winner being chosen by the sponsor at the end of the season. The Elms School in Colwall took this Award on in 2016. They have always encouraged students interested in equestrian activities and one of their former pupils Ed Bailey had taken the Award the previous year. It is vital that young people are encouraged to participate in our sport to ensure its survival. It is believed this Award is the only one of its type in the country.
Fisher German is a leading National firm of specialist property consultants and chartered surveyors who have a heritage approaching 190 years, with nearly 500 skilled people in 16 offices.
They have sponsored individual races, including the prestigious Lady Dudley Cup for a number of years but ventured into Area sponsorship last year with their support of the Leading Gentleman and Leading Lady Riders Championships, which are keenly fought throughout the year.
To encourage more runners in our Open races, 2016 saw the introduction of the West Midland Area Open Race Championship with a first prize of £1,000. This initiative was well received and was eventually won by Clive Bennett’s Stone.
This year the Award is supported by Dairy Partnerships, a privately owned, independent business producing cheese from milk supplied by their owner contracted farmers. Now that participants are more aware of what is on offer, this sponsorship should continue to grow.
The participation of young horses in the sport is crucial so each of the 14 administrative regions presents a memento to the winner of their Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association Young Horse Area Award. The highest overall points scorer during the season is named the National Young Horse Champion.
The Area is lucky to have secured Three Counties Equine Hospital and Cottage Field Stables to jointly sponsor this award. The TCEH is one of the leading veterinary practices in the country, while Tom and Sophie Lacey’s Cottage Field stables in renowned as a nursery for young horses.
We would like to thank all sponsors, past, present and future for their help in maintaining racing at the highest level in the West Midlands.
If you wish to discuss any aspects of sponsorship please contact firstname.lastname@example.org