The fact that you will no longer have to take a point to pointer hunting to qualify to run changes very little. The one thing it does stop is the moaning old timers -they can no longer bleat that point to pointers are genuinely qualified. Traditionally, point to points are staged to raise money for the hunt and entertain the landowners who have allowed the hunts to cross their land throughout the season. For many years all you’ve needed to qualify a horse is a cheque book. With the rule change, you can either sign a cheque and hunt to qualify or just sign a cheque.
When we lived in a different part of the country the hunt didn’t want us and understandably so. They had big fields and didn’t need unruly pointers all over the place. Hunting has changed so much since I was a child. Many landowners have different opinions on hunting than they did years ago, not all welcome hunts as they did when I was growing up. In my childhood, no landowner would put a fence line up without a hunt jump being built, it is all very different now. Last year I took Tilly out a few times, her childhood memories will be very different to mine. She often talks about the saboteur with the balaclava chasing hounds up a cover crop screaming “leave it”. I can only imagine she was talking about the trail that had been laid!
As long as hunting and point to pointing don’t lose the connection I see no problem with the rule change. In fact, I think it is very sensible and works for both parties. As aforementioned, nothing has changed apart from we can all abide by the rules one way or another. Hunts need support and most know what self help is all about. Many hunts organise all sorts of things from auctions, balls, dinner parties, race nights etc etc. I pulled the huntsman’s leg last time I went out with the Heythrop asking him why he continually opened gates that I’d jumped previously with Tony Collins and Matthew Puffer. He told me the price of a gate should it get smashed! It will be a sad day if hunting and point to pointing lose that connection.