South West point-to-point receives significant financial boost

PUBLISHED: 07:47 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:47 28 July 2020

Racing at Ottery St Mary.

Racing at Ottery St Mary.

Archant

The Westcountry point-to-point circuit has been given a terrific boost with the news that Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co Ltd is to launch a special £10,000 financial support package to kick-start the 2020/2021 Point to Point season in the Devon and Cornwall area, writes Granville Taylor.

The company has long been associated with support for Westcountry Point to Pointing, and for next season the funding will be provided in addition to their existing sponsorship of four Hunter Chases and four Open races; including the prestigious Area Classic at Buckfastleigh, ‘The Westcountry Champion Chase’, with a purse of £1000. The aim of the new support is to underpin Devon and Cornwall Point to Pointing at this difficult time, following the disappointment of the early abandonment of racing in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A real consequence of this loss was the individual financial hardship with so many rural jobs reliant upon a successful horseracing industry.

In addition, the Hunts’ and Point to Point Committees faced unprecedented losses of their income derived from Point to Point meetings.

The Devon and Cornwall Point to Point Secretaries Association has worked extremely hard in conjunction with Totnes and Bridgetown Races Co Ltd director George Welch to produce a plan utilising the extra £10,000 to best effect.

Race sponsorship has always been the Company’s core area of support, and again this will form the bulk of the new assistance with additional sponsorship of 12 x £500 races, spread right across the Devon and Cornwall area. Furthermore every Point to Point fixture will receive a grant to help offset the cost of providing contactless card readers for entrance gates, an additional requirement for racing in the ‘post covid’ environment.

Finally, the support will extend to purchasing technical equipment to enable the provision of live streaming of racing through social media. This is an initiative which the area organisation is keen to explore with great potential to broaden the sports accessibility, marketing and even revenue earning for the future.

The Devon & Cornwall Point-to-Point Secretaries Association Chairman Frank Yeo said: “On behalf of our 25 horse racing fixtures in Devon & Cornwall, we are fortunate to have this invaluable sponsorship from the Totnes and Bridgetown Races Company at this very challenging time during and post Covid 19. Our own Association and the Races Company has helped to create the opportunity to maintain the sponsorship of Open races for 12 fixtures and provide the option of using contactless card readers instead of cash. The Races Company foresight and financial support has also allowed the Area to develop live streaming of all the race meetings to be accessed by older and Covid-vulnerable racegoers direct to their mobile phone or TV, plus our sport access to many potentially new racing enthusiasts through social media and present our exciting sport to a much wider audience.”

Looking ahead to next season, plans are in place to run the inaugural Totnes and Bridgetown Point to Point at popular Flete Park, after last season’s plans were thwarted by the health crisis; this will be made possible by the generous support of the Flete Estate and the hard work of the Dartmoor Hunt Point to Point Committee. The Company’s share of the profits from the meeting will be donated in their entirety to the Devon and Cornwall Point to Point Area providing sustainable ongoing financial support year upon year.


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