THE insurance companies have taken a worrying view towards the horse world.

Hunting has halted in some parts of the country and I fear it won’t be long until that is the case countrywide. For the point-to-points, it’s not looking an awful lot more optimistic at the minute. With so much money flowing through the points at the moment, it is surprising that a deal cannot be done.

Handlers, owners, agents, jockeys, prospective buyers and sellers will be very keen to get the problem sorted, as will the sales companies who trade the majority of these horses before and after their point-to-point exploits.

They have been a fixture of our racing history for centuries and you would love to think that it could be sorted out before any disruption is caused. Some things come and go, some things are here to stay. Watching full fields of locally produced horses and jockeys gallop around muddy fields, with a chance of finding a future Gold Cup winner, is what keeps that entire sector alive. War Of Attrition, Best Mate and Denman, to name a few, all went through the tried and tested route. Gaining experience and toughness and making a handsome sum of money for their owners in return. That’s one end of it.

Then there’s the hunt committees who have been organising the races so loyally for decades; the local owners with their home-bred in the confined race; the champion jockeys who learned their skills here, the master horsemen who passed through and are still in the sport; the fence and track makers, officials and volunteers; the racecard sellers and bookmakers who stand there soaked through about four layers of clothes, not forgetting the water seeping through the cracks in the wellies. All of them unsung heroes.