Limited numbers of owners will be returning to Irish point-to-points following last weekend’s season’s openers behind closed doors.
Fixtures at Ballingarry in County Tipperary and Oldcastle in County Meath were run under strict protocols laid down by the Irish government, but after being completed without incident it has been decided that owners of runners can now attend, beginning at Necarne this weekend. At this stage there is no admission for members of the public/paying customers.
Necarne is based in County Fermanagh within Northern Ireland, but in common with all point-to-points held in that country it is run under the Rules of the Irish Turf Club and is regarded no differently from meetings held south of the border.
Only one owner per horse will be admitted at Necarne and at Monksgrange in County Wexford on Sunday regardless of whether they are involved in partnerships, clubs or syndicates. Anyone living in counties which are classed at Level 3 or above of Ireland’s ‘Plan for Living with Covid-19’ will not be allowed to enter.
As with all other attendees, owners must register online in advance and they will not be able to enter the paddock/parade ring, while only the winning owner will be permitted in the winners’ enclosure.
Any conversation between an owner and their trainer, groom or rider must be carried out at a minimum distance of two metres. Hand shaking is therefore not allowed, there are no refreshments on sale and riders are expected to change in their cars. All riders, owners and trainers are asked to leave the course once their horse/s have run.
Britain’s first point-to-points of the season will be held at Bishops Court in Devon on October 24 and at Maisemore Park in Gloucestershire the following day. Both meetings are expected to be held without paying spectators.