BEOA Open Meeting for Organisers at Bramham 6th June 2019

BEOA Open Meeting at Bramham 6.6.19
In attendance Joe Weller, Ruth Mousdale, Cheryl & John Gibbons, Jan & Dave Cottam, Nell Mowbray, Tina Walker, Kin Knightley, Hannah Ward, Mandy Hervieu, Vanessa fleming, Anne Barlow, Jane Winter, Abigail & Andrew Turnbull, Joanna Coates, Harry Park, Kate Letchford, Laura de Wesselow plus Sarah Hamlyn (RC) & Cathy Butler (EHOA)

CEO
Progress so far was explained. Concern about the lack of depth of understanding of the sport was backed up by Organisers & this was agreed by Owners’ representative, Cathy Butler

EARS
Jan Cottam gave a short synopsis of the progress of this project.
The BEOA ITTP Working Group has a conference booked in the near future. There is also a meeting with BE, Entries Secretaries & Developers being held. There have been 2 new office based people engaged by BE to work on EARS.
It was agreed – No EARS = No Sport
Harry Parkes was very concerned there is no API (Application Protocol Interface) facility which is integral to his system for Live Scoring but it was agreed that priority must be given to the system, particularly entries, rather than developing Live Scoring. Some Organisers do not use Live Scoring, others are indifferent & some feel it an important part of their event. It was generally felt the most important part of the EARS system to get working smoothly is the process of entering, then event administration & then the ability to score & produce results. Organisers hoped BE would concentrate on developing the system as a matter of urgency. It must be fit for purpose before the start of the 2020 season. Epworth runs at the beginning of March & is concerned the system will be unable to cope.
It was reported that some competitors had given up trying to enter a competition on the BE system, after experiencing difficulties.
Harry Parkes has been invited to Stoneleigh to show the Board his Live Scoring.

Entries
Richmond were concerned as to why their entries were had fallen off this year.
Membership figures received from BE showed an increase of 3.5% for competing members. Day passes are up 15.4% from 2018. It was thought that riders might be making choices about where & when to compete – a luxury they haven’t had over the past couple of years.
Organisers should publicise the good bits of their event. BE should promote the brand better

Refunds
Waiting Lists must be transparent.
The suggestion to always refund a competitor when they are replaced within the same class was initially felt to be ok but there was concern & eventually it was realised that this would not be a fair system for the rider. It was felt that BE sometimes uses a sledge hammer to crack a nut following a concern from a member! Whatever system is used, there must be transparency.

Unaffiliated v Affiliated
The meeting felt that a BE event must stand out as always being a better, safer & more reliable competition. The unaffiliated market should be kept an eye on & BE should address concerns the BE is ‘the event to choose’ over the unaffiliated market. I explained that BE had already held discussions on this topic & the next step was to get Officials together to investigate ensuring standards are maintained.
Jan put to the group the idea of having a Code of Conduct but this was not received favourably as it was felt this would too restrictive & might impact on those depending on unaffiliated as part of their income.
There was as strong feeling this was a non-starter as not workable & would be a waste of time pursuing. Events should speak to each other privately & see if they could agree dates that were compatible to each other.
Many venues held additional fixtures that were run by Pony Clubs & Riding Clubs, some of whom have developed their own scoring systems, including live scoring.

Evaluations
It was agreed that a very important part of Evaluation was Officials talking to Organisers before & during the event. This seemed not to be happening for all. It needed to be face to face, not via a phone call. Pre-event visits are important. Relationships with RC’s need to be improved.
The selection and training of officials (stewards in particular), was considered very important. Organisers would like the opportunity to feedback regarding BE Officials. The forging of relationships between Events & BE Officials was valuable. Changing personel was disruptive to the team but equally a fresh pair of eyes could be beneficial. It was agreed that every 5 events, to have a change of official for one event, would be appropriate.
Some suggested changing the TA every 3 years but the Steward should stay the same. Others felt changing the TA would cause a problem. The chemistry between Organisers & Officials sometimes didn’t work.
In conclusion – the Event Team is important but a fresh pair of eyes for one event can be helpful.

Fixtures
It was felt that the calendar was overloaded. Jan explained the SFP was the first step in addressing this. The importance of the grassroot levels should not be underestimated as these are the life blood of our sport.

Controller
There was some confusion about the requirements for Controllers for 2020. Jan would ask BE to clarify.

Show Jumping Collecting Ring
An email received from Organisers who had experienced rudeness & poor behaviour in the SJ collecting ring, was read out. Everyone agreed the best way was sticking to the timetable, with gaps every 5 competitors, for those requiring to be slotted in.
A situation was described where the behaviour of riders became so bad that the BE Steward stopped the show jumping, declaring that until everyone got a grip, it would not continue & that if this didn’t happen, all further competition would be cancelled. The tactics worked!
Guidelines re collecting ring procedure should be on the event notice board. It was agreed it was really important to get the right person. Two is even better.

Social Media
Organisers felt BE should crack down on derogatory statements & there should be sanctions for those behaving badly. Action needs to be swift. Jan asked Organisers to contact their RC’s or Paul Graham asap if they become aware of any problems with social media.
It was asked what the internal system & sanction was for dealing with these problems. Sarah spoke of an incident that has gone to a disciplinary hearing & ultimately a fine. Jan explained what had happened last weekend when a situation arose where there could have been quite a bit of social media exposure. Organisers were reassured.

Volunteer Car Insurance
The new allowance to produce car details on the morning of event was explained. There was not much interest shown in taking this up.

Medical Cover
Doctors will require Trauma training from 2021
Gaining Paramedic numbers on event are important

Prizes in Kind
It was agreed these are a very important part of the grass root event

Video Evidence
An Organiser spoke of a situation where a video showed it was clear the dressage test sheet referred to a different competitor. What should have happened? Should test sheets have a slot for identification of the competitor – colour of horses etc?
Agreed to take to the Sport Committee.
Jan to ask BE to clarify the Official policy for video evidence during a competition.

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