As all Point-to-Point meetings throughout the UK are run by volunteers, there is always the need for extra pairs of hands to help with the preparation – it can be a large operation and any assistance, great or small, is always welcomed!
There are many roles you could take on either before the day or during the event. These include helping in the Tote, taking declarations or selling racecards, amongst others. You could also help in the build-up to the event by preparing fences or even taking on the role of Point-to-Point Secretary! A list of the voluntary roles are below;
Stewards are appointed by the Point-to-Point Committee and are the eyes and the ears of the Regulator. They are in place to ensure racing is conducted properly and through them, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) regulate the sport on a race-day.
Stewards hold enquiries when a possible breach of Regulations takes place and these enquiries form the foundation of all decisions. Where possible, six Stewards are required per meeting including one Chairman. Two members of a panel of six can be 'newcomers'. Although not a requirement, it is advantageous to have had race-riding experience either under Rules or in Point-to-Points. With the exception of newcomers, all Stewards must attend a Stewards Seminar within the last three years and have officiated twice in one season.
The Chairman will deploy Stewards on a rota of duty basis.
A Stewards Assistant is in charge of briefing Stewards on Stewards Enquiries which have occurred earlier in the season, and for providing details of the odds for each horse including details of significant moves in the betting market.
The fixture secretary is the lynch-pin of the meeting. They are in charge of ensuring all is in the order for the smooth running of the meeting.
Clerk of the Course/Clerks Team
A Clerk of the Course, is appointed by the Point-to-Point Organising Committee and is responsible for the racing related arrangements of the meeting. They ensure the course is fit for racing on the day, and work with a skilled supporting team whose duties include the construction of fences in line with BHA Regulations and Instructions. In addition, they are responsible for confirming accurate going reports and for briefing those on the day on various procedures.
Clerk of the Scales
The Clerk of the Scales weighs the riders in and out, ensuring the horse's number and rider name is exhibited on the numbers Board, in addition to variations to race card information. They ensure announcements are made to the public regarding withdrawals and send a return at the close of each day's racing.
Judges and Assistant Judges
The Judge is responsible for placing the first four horses past the winning post and giving the distances between the placed horses. They sign and present a report at the end of racing.
The Declarations Clerk accepts declarations to run noting extras to be carried such as blinkers, visors and tongue straps. They ensure that Medical Record Books (MRB's) and Riders Qualification Certificates (RQC's) are checked and retain MRBs until riders are finished riding for the day and do not need to be passed fit by the Doctor. Declarations Clerks also deal with the division of races.
The Starting Team.
The Starter is responsible for starting the race by flag or starting gate at the correct time and for effecting a fair start at a walk or jig-jog. They must keep control of riders and horses in order to implement a fair start.
The Starters Assistant duty is to check and tighten girths and adjust equipment when requested in addition to assisting any rider in difficulties.
The 'recall flag person' should stand with their back to the first fence. When the starter raises his flag prior to the starting the race the 'Recall flag person' raises their flag above their head until the Starter lowers the flag to start the race.
Announcements are made to convey information to the general public. The commentator gives a running commentary of the race in real time.
Fence attendants are in charge of implementing the bypass procedure and planting Direction Markers in the top of the fence opposite an obstruction, the deployment of warning flags and flags to gain the attention of medics and vets.
For details on how you can help out please contact the appropriate Area Secretary who will be able to advise.