Pointing stops again for third national lockdown
In the light of the Prime Minister’s Announcement last night, the Point-to-Point Authority acted immediately to call a pause to the Point to-Point season from today.
Peter Wright, CEO of the governing body, remarked, "Whilst I know that many of you would have liked to press on, and indeed the sport remains inherently safe, we cannot claim that we are acting in a vacuum. The national situation is worsening, and that means amongst other things that the availability of medical assets is no longer assured. Even if those could be guaranteed, there is the likelihood of waits at hospitals for injured jockeys, and racing having to be stopped due to lack of ambulances on course."
The Stop-Start nature of the season thus far has not deterred keepers and riders from supporting fixtures with large entries and often 9 or 10 race programmes so far, achieved by dint of a largely volunteer cadre who run the meetings. Peter added, "We are hugely grateful for our volunteers' willingness to take on the enormous amount of work and stress that they have gone through to try to put on the meetings so far, and the occasional cancellation has not been due to lack of effort. However, this has reached intolerable levels over the past few weeks, and cannot continue." The sport has opted for a clean break with the hope of restarting on weekend February 20/21, based on the government Tier Review on February 10, allowing participants to plan with some surety. Whilst this is disruptive, and even galling since racing under Rules may continue as an elite sport, it will still will leave 19 racing weekends until the end of the season during which over two thirds of the normal fixture list would normally run.