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Plenty of appetite from national sponsors for the sport

26-October-2018 19:54
in General
by Peter McNeile

Increased support from leading-brand companies is further endorsement of British point-to-pointing ahead of the new season which opens in November.

At a sponsors’ gathering and season’s launch at Cheltenham today it was revealed that Skinner’s Pet Foods, which has a network of stockists around the UK, is backing 22 ladies’ open races. That is an increase of two, culminating in a prestigious hunters’ chase final at Stratford in May. Skinner’s is also sponsoring the national women riders’ title.

Frontline construction company JRL Group Ltd is ramping up its backing for the sport’s point-to-point Flat races, which have been increased in number from six to 10. The additional contests were a natural progression for a relatively new concept – of last year’s half-dozen races five were so popular they had to be run in divisions.

Leading horse feed manufacturer Connolly’s RED MILLS enters its twelfth year of sponsorship by supporting 14 intermediate races plus a hunters’ chase final at Cheltenham in May. The company also backs the champion horse award for the winning-most pointer, while its supplement brand, Foran Equine, sponsors the two trainers’ championships.

Leading managed IT and communications provider Timico returns with its lucrative series of mixed open races – each one worth £1,000 in total prize money – leading to a hunters’ chase final at Cheltenham worth £25,000, notable riches for the amateur sport.  Fourteen races will lead up to the final, which will mark Timico’s third year of sponsorship.

Filly and mare owners are not short of opportunities for their horses. The Jockey Club sponsors a 19-race series for maiden fillies and mares, leading to the creation of a champion. She will collect double prize money on her first run at any Jockey Club-owned racecourse within three years of winning the award.

The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association continues its 3-2-1 Bonus scheme for fillies and mares running in the trio of point-to-point bumpers run under Rules each spring. Bonuses of up to £3,000 can be won by fillies or mares in each race

Whilst Andoversford has not attracted any national qualifiers, interest in the 2019 fixture is anticipated to be strong. "Andoversford is a very established fixture, even in the busiest month of the season for fixtures. The growth of national campaigns demonstrates the underlying appeal of this division of the sport in delivering a value solution in terms of brand visibility and sheer entertainment vaue for sponsors," commented Peter McNeile, Chairman of Andoversford Races. "We look forward to building up our event yet further in 2019 and cementing Andoversford's place in the county's list of must-have events. Book the date now - Sunday April 7th!"

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