how to get involved
There are a number of ways that you can get involved with Point-to-Pointing as an Owner – either as a Sole Owner (where you own the horse yourself) or as part of a Partnership.
Can anyone own a Point-to-Pointer?
The simple answer is yes, as long as you are 16 or older and are a Master, Member, Subscriber or Farmer of the Hunt that issued the Hunter Certificate for your horse. However, disqualified persons cannot own Point-to-Pointers.
Over and above this requirement there is no formal registration for Owners of Point-to-Pointers.
More in-depth information on Ownership can be found in our Owners section.
What about Syndicates?
Horses can be owned by groups of people, although there are certain restrictions on what this group can be called; the group title must end in one of the following: Family / Friends / Partners / Partnership / Group / Club and one person must be nominated the ‘lead’ Owner.
Therefore the Ownership name would appear in a Racecard in this style: “The Point-to-Point Partnership (Mr J. Smith)”.
How do I register my colours?
There is no requirement to have your colours registered, this is only required if your horse is going to run in a Hunter Chase or any other race under Rules.
The basic rule is that you can have any colours or combinations of colours and design that you would like. As a result, you may sometimes see some weird and wonderful silks in Point-to-Pointing, for example a skull and cross bones and even Mickey Mouse!
So how do the colours appear in the Racecard?
This information comes from the official Entry Form - the Owner submits the colours which are what are used in the Racecard – so when entering it is best to stick to an uncomplicated, clear style when describing your silks (e.g. “Red and blue quartered body, striped sleeves, checked cap”) in order to avoid confusion.
Do I need to have a Trainer for my horse?
Officially, there is no such thing as a Point-to-Point ‘Trainer’, although many people do prepare horses for Point-to-Points on behalf of the Owner(s). Officially these stables are livery yards but the people responsible for the horses are usually referred to as Keepers, with their name also appearing in the Racecard if it is included on the Entry Form.
Owners can of course prepare their horses themselves, in which case no Keeper’s name will appear in the Racecard unless the horse is owned by more than one person.
People interested in training Point-to-Pointers should seek advice from the British Horseracing Authority.
How do I make an Entry?
Entries must be made by the Owner of the horse (or their chosen representative) to the Entries Secretary of the respective meeting. These must be made on a copy of the official Entry Form which must be signed by the Owner of the horse. Entry Forms can be found in the Downloads section.
Many meetings have their Entries taken on their behalf by The Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd. This is the only way by which Entries can be accepted by phone, meaning that no paperwork is necessary, although The Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd. does accept Entries by post on the official forms.
Meetings which use The Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd. Entries Service will have contact details printed on their page in the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Race Planner; telephone Entries can be made 9am-5pm Tuesday – Friday and from 8.30am-12.30pm on the Monday morning on which Entries close on 01933 304840 – these Entries will need to be paid by credit or debit card or by Weatherbys Account at the time of the call being made.
Fax Entries can be sent to 01933 304796 although credit or debit card, or Weatherbys Account details will have to be provided by telephone on 01933 304795 before Entries close or the horse will not be entered in the race. Postal Entries, with payment details or cheques made out to The Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd., can be sent to: The Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd., Weatherbys, Sanders Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 4BX. Please note that it is advisable to call the office on 01933 304795 to make sure the Entries have been received before Entries for the meeting close. Further information on the service is included in the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Race Planner.
The 2011/12 season saw the launch of online entries, which can be made at www.pointtopointentries.co.uk. Owners will receive a unique username and password for the website on their Hunter Certificate letter of confirmation from the PPA; passwords can be changed after logging in for the first time. Owners now also have the option of granting authority to act to the horse's keeper, if they do not train the horse themselves. This enables the keeper to make entries for the horse (they will receive their own username and password), and also declare the horse on the day of the race without the need for an Owner's Declaration of Authority form. For more information regarding online entries, feel free to call one of the team on 01933 304795.
Each meeting will have a set date and time by which all Entries must have been received. After this time Entries are deemed to have ‘closed’ and no more horses can be entered for the meeting.
The closing date for entries varies meeting by meeting and can be any date from the Saturday to the Monday the week prior to the meeting (all meetings that use the Point-to-Point Racing Company Entries Service close at 12.30pm on Mondays), so it is very important to check this. No late entries will be accepted unless in extraordinary circumstances, whereby BHA approval will be required.
Full details of race conditions and all closing details for each meeting during the season can be found in the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Race Planner.
What happens once Entries have closed?
Once entries have closed the Entries Secretary will check that all of the horses entered have a valid Hunter Certificate. A list of the Entries is then sent to The Point-to-Point Racing Company for validation.
Once validated, entries are published on the Talking Point Fax Service (09068 44 99 88*) and pointtopoint.co.uk, as well as in the Racing Plus newspaper.
The Entries Secretary will then pull together all of the horse, Owner, Trainer and Rider information from the Entry Forms for each race for publication in the Racecard.
*Calls cost 61p per minute plus network extras. Service provided by The Point-to-Point Racing Company. Network provider - Oxygen8. Helpline - 0844 9930298
What kind of horse can take part?
Except for Hunt Members races, all horses which run in Point-to-Points need to have been registered by Weatherbys - in the General Stud Book (G.S.B.) or Non-Thoroughbred Register (N.T.R.), and to hold an official passport that shows details of their birth, parentage and their appearance. The passport must contain DEFRA Medical Pages, and they must be up-to-date with all required injections.
If you are unsure whether you have the correct passport you may call Weatherbys on 01933 440077 and speak to the Horse Registry Department.
So as long as my horse is registered I can run it?
Not really; in addition to the above there are further conditions which apply.
In order for your horse to be eligible to run in any Point-to-Point race it will need to have a Hunter Certificate (HC) registered with Weatherbys. Hunter Certificates are issued by a Master of Foxhounds and cannot be signed until the 1st November.
To be eligible the horse has to be qualified (i.e. hunted a minimum of four times during the relevant season) with a pack of recognised Foxhounds, Harriers, Bloodhounds or Draghounds. After this the Master will sign and issue the HC. You must also be a Member, Subscriber or Farmer of a recognised pack so as to qualify as an Owner.
HC's are registered by Weatherbys from November throughout the Point-to-Point season. The HC must be received by Weatherbys by 12 noon on a Friday. A Certificate for a horse that is registered by 12 noon on a Friday means the horse is eligible to be entered for and run at any Point-to-Point meeting where Entries close on or after the following Saturday.
The only time that you don't have to register the Hunter Certificate is when you only want to run your horse in a Hunt or Hunts Members and certain other Club Members races (e.g. Pegasus Club Members race). If this is the case you must submit your Hunter Certificate with your Entry to the Point-to-Point meeting where the hunt race is to be held. For any other race it must be registered.
Many of the leading Riders that you see riding in National Hunt racing cut their teeth in the Hunting and Point-to-Pointing arenas in the UK and Ireland, such as Timmy Murphy, Ruby Walsh, Robert Thornton, Paul Carberry and Sam Twiston-Davies, to name but a few of the current crop.
You can contact the Point-to-Point Authority, British Horseracing Authority, British Racing School, Northern Racing College, or the Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association, to learn more about getting involved as a Point-to-Point Rider.
Budding Riders under the age of 16 can also get involved through Pony Racing - contact details on Pony Racing can be found in the Who’s Who section.
What are the requirements for riding in a Point-to-Point?
In order to ride in Point-to-Points you must be at least 16 years old and the holder of a Riders' Qualification Certificate (RQC), which is issued by the Point-to-Point Authority.
In the first instance, you will need to contact your local Hunt Secretary around October/November and ask for the relevant paperwork.
You are only eligible to apply for an RQC if you are one of the following of a Hunt: a Master; a Member; a Subscriber; a Farmer; a Son/Daughter/Spouse of a Master/Member/Subscriber or Farmer; a Person who has paid a One Day Cap.
There are two types of RQC: a Full certificate and a Hunt Members Race certificate.
The full RQC entitles you to ride in as many races as you want, whereas the Hunt Members RQC only allows you to ride in one Hunt Members race (you need to have qualified with the relevant Hunt in order to ride in their Hunt race).
Should you apply for a Hunt Members RQC you can always upgrade to a Full Certificate by paying the difference of the two. You are only allowed to ride in a total of three Hunt Members races each season.
A comprehensive guide called "In The Saddle" tells you everything you need to know about the Rules and Regulations of Point-to-Pointing for Riders, and can be found in the Downloads section. BHA Information for Owners & Riders can also be downloaded there.
As all Point-to-Point meetings throughout the UK are run by volunteers, there is always the need for another pair of hands to help with the preparation.
The staging of a Point-to-Point is a massive undertaking and any assistance, great or small, is always welcomed.
For details on how you can help out please contact the appropriate Area Secretary who will be able to direct you further.