Horse & Hound

No spectators at pointing this year

- LE

SPECTATORS will not return to point-to-points this year.

Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) CEO Peter Wright confirmed the season is “on” and the sport has put in place “all the necessary requiremen­ts” for racing to go ahead safely, but the paying public will not be allowed to return before January at the earliest.

“This is not about the risk or protocols, but about optics of local authoritie­s, media, the British Horseracin­g Authority (BHA) and other entities,” said Mr Wright.

“We cannot afford to put the racing industry at risk by moving ahead of racing under Rules.

“That said, the BHA understand­s that we are different and will be discussing options with the [Department for

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] including the possibilit­y of dispensati­on similar to nonleague football.”

Owners will still be allowed to attend, within their zone, and that contingenc­y planning is under way for January to March, with an abbreviate­d fixtures list should restrictio­ns remain in place.

Hunts would not be asked to run at a loss, but the contingenc­y plans instead would use the levy grants to run fewer fixtures, ensuring there are meetings every weekend and that all areas of the country are catered for.

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