Point-to-point David Simp­son

David Simp­son dis­cusses the need for bet­ter fix­ture plan­ning

Horse & Hound - - News Insider -

IT is good to be back point­ing and, three week­ends into the new sea­son, there are al­ready plenty of talk­ing points to get stuck into.

The ob­vi­ous place to start is with the num­ber of run­ners; dur­ing the week­end of

24-25 Novem­ber, three fix­tures were sched­uled and, while they weren’t on each other’s doorstep, they were still close enough to get peo­ple ask­ing ques­tions about fix­ture plan­ning.

There were a cou­ple of walkovers and three matches of two run­ners (a turn-off for spec­ta­tors), but the train­ers I have spo­ken to have given the thumbs-up to the in­creased num­ber of pre-Christ­mas fix­tures. Of more con­cern to some were the seven maiden races across the three afore­men­tioned fix­tures.

The con­sen­sus was that there weren’t enough horses around to run them this early in the sea­son, par­tic­u­larly when the geo­graph­i­cal spread of the fix­tures left some­thing to be de­sired. How­ever, to pro­vide some balance, there was also an ac­knowl­edge­ment that the lack of rain has ham­pered prepa­ra­tions for some train­ers.

DE­MAND FOR GO­ING RE­PORTS

GO­ING re­ports have also been on the radar, again, but not be­cause of their ac­cu­racy. The com­ments have been re­gard­ing their fre­quency and ac­ces­si­bil­ity. For ex­am­ple, “Is there a go­ing up­date and where can I find it?” I know where to look, but not ev­ery­one does.

The na­tional point-to-point web­site is the first place to start and it’s en­cour­ag­ing to see or­gan­is­ers are feed­ing re­ports through on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. There are also nu­mer­ous so­cial me­dia chan­nels, as well as the Point­ing Fo­rum (part of the Jump­ing For Fun web­site). I use all of th­ese and I’d en­cour­age or­gan­is­ers to do like­wise.

Twitter is par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive and of­fers the po­ten­tial to reach a lot of peo­ple in a short space of time. Us­ing a hash­tag also makes in­for­ma­tion eas­ier to find, and I’d like to en­cour­age any­one post­ing a go­ing up­date to use #P2PGo­ingRe­port.

Last week, Dar­ren Ed­wards namechecked (com­ment, 29 Novem­ber) the new head hon­cho at the Point-to-Point Authority, Peter Wright. I’d like to wish Peter all the best in his new role, and I’d also like to pass on my best wishes to his pre­de­ces­sor, Clare Hazell. Clare was al­ways the first per­son to give me hon­est feed­back about is­sues raised in this column. It’s good to know that peo­ple at the top are look­ing in.

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