Merriam, who lives in Suffolk, becomes the fourth person to hold the role since the PPA’s creation in 2008 – previous holders have been Robert Waley-Cohen, Simon Claisse and Tim Curtis.
Nick Sutton, who has acted as chairman in a temporary capacity since Curtis stepped down earlier this year, and retains that role until December, said: “After a thorough search I am delighted to say we have appointed Andrew as an independent director and the next chairman of The PPA. Andrew brings great depth of knowledge and experience of Point-to-Pointing, being a past chairman of The Point-to-Point Secretaries’ Association [PPSA], in addition to owning and breeding racehorses with his wife Jean.”
“Point-to-Pointing is one of the grass roots of racing under Rules and makes a significant contribution to it, by providing a stepping stone for up-and-coming talent and by taking in horses who have raced under Rules.
“With that in mind, Andrew joins us at a critical time as we seek a share of funding from the increase in betting revenues that will be distributed via the newly formed Racing Authority. My colleagues and I welcome Andrew as our next chairman as we seek to put Point-to-Pointing on a sustainable footing for the next generation.”
Merriam, who is currently a Jockey Club Deputy Senior Steward and British Horseracing Authority Director, has been actively involved in the sport for many years, most recently as a conduit for a Jockey Club Racecourses and Arena Racing Company initiative that saw coverage of the sport return to the Racing Post Weekender for the 2016/17 season.
Merriam, said: “I have been passionate about Point-to-Pointing throughout my life and have attended hundreds of meetings both as an owner, steward, husband of a trainer, father of a jockey, and in other voluntary guises. I see this opportunity to lead Point-to-Pointing forward during this exciting period as a great honour, and I look forward to serving the sport, and working with the PPA’s stakeholders to ensure our sport thrives. I would like to thank my new colleagues at The PPA for their trust in me, and thank them for the work they have done to progress the sport during an unprecedented economic period.”
The Point-To-Point AuthorityThe Point-to-Point Authority was created in 2008 to handle the administration and promotion of Point-to-Pointing.
Its stakeholders are The Jockey Club, The Masters’ of Foxhounds Association, The Point-to-Point Owners’ & Riders’ Association and The Point-to-Point Secretaries Association
The Point-to-Point Racing Company, a joint initiative between the PPA and Weatherbys Ltd, is the commercial arm of the sport providing essential products and services to participants and organisers.
Existing members of the board are:
• Richard Russell (The Jockey Club)
•Alan Hill (Masters’ of Foxhounds Association)
•Stephen Howlett (Point-to-Point Secretaries Association)
•Robert Killen (Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association)
•Nick Sutton (Independent Member)
•Jeremy Barber (Independent Member)