In the light of the Prime Minister’s Announcement, we of course are calling a pause to the point to point season from today. 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.
We also have to take into account the workload put upon the volunteers who run the meetings, the level of which may not be apparent to many of you. We are hugely grateful for their 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.
Instead, we have decided to go for a clean break with the hope of restarting on weekend February 20/21, based on the government Tier Review on February 10. This will at least allow you to plan with some surety. Please do keep the faith. Whilst there are several dynamics currently working against the country, these will play out, whilst others, such as vaccination programmes and the weather, will move in our favour. As such we believe that we can still have a good season all things being equal. To put things in perspective that will leave 19 racing weekends until the end of the season during which over two thirds of the normal fixture list would normally run.
Rest assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure our sport will be in a great space to get going again in a safe and secure manner, which is acceptable to us all. Please keep checking the website for further updates.
Peter Wright, CEO Point-to-Point Authority (PPA)