The cancellation of two-thirds of last season has forced some innovative changes to the fixture list for the 2020-21 season, announced earlier this week, although still to be ratified by BHA.
In recompense for the loss of so many fixtures, the season will start with 6 fixtures at Bishops Court and Dunsmore in Devon, Charing in Kent, Maisemore and Chaddesley Corbett in the Midlands on October 24, the sport's earliest ever start.
The Wessex calendar is largely similar to last season, but the Avon Vale has switched to a Sunday, March 28, thr last of 7 fixtures at Larkhill. A total of 164 fixtures is scheduled between October and the start of June 2021.
Peter Wright, CEO of the Point-to-Point Authority, announcing the changes, added, “There are three areas or issues which are going to influence the way in which Point-to-Point meetings can be staged at the end of October: the state of progress nationally as the government assesses restrictions relating to Covid-19; the way in which racing under Rules is able to take place; and our own readiness as a sport.”
Fixture secretaries are aware that flexibility could be needed, while a local spike of Covid-19 cases could jeopardise an individual meeting, but Wright is optimistic that racing will get underway in late October. Racing behind closed doors without paying spectators would hit income, but should that be necessary race meetings would be able to pare facilities to the essentials, and with the sport’s pre-Christmas grant, support from sponsors and flexibility in the amount of prize money on offer, early meeting organisers are readying themselves for all eventualities.