PRESENT Jan Cottam, Andrew Chadwick, Tina Ure, Josie Brettell, Livy Agnew, Nell Stourton, Pete Collins, Karen Bartlett, Jo Verey, Simon Bates, Kim Knightley, Laura de Wesselow, Helen West

APOLOGIES Heidi Davis, Stuart Buntine, Rachel Faulkner, Lisa Hughes, Diana Bown, Hannah Matthews, Sarah Taylor, Sharon Tovey

Nothing Heard from David Sayer

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING The minutes were approved



BE Central Sponsorship – The vast majority of events were not asked to participate in this survey

Ground Machinery/Starter Trailers – The problems seem to result from problems with the Holders of machinery, so vary from area to area.  BE are sorting out a system to resolve this problem.  JC to chase this up & insist on a more robust plan
A request from a Southern peripheral event for another small aerator to assist coping with 5 courses in a timely manner.  The large machine in the South is only used by Bicton.  It was felt that more machines were needed.
The contents of the Starter Trailers had become muddled.  This has now been sorted.

HQ Staff to attend events as part of their CPD  –  The committee felt it was essential that visits should be to grassroot events.

Appropriate events should be identified & then a programme suggested by the Organiser, who would know the event best & be able to advise on acquiring the widest experience for the BE Staff Member.

Spending time with BE Officials (Steward & TA) was felt not to be of particular value & much more would be experienced if they worked in all the ‘pressure points’ of each discipline (collecting rings, control etc.).

The best learning experience would be to start the day in the secretaries, as the first competitors arrive & then follow on through right to the end of the day.

BE Vouchers for Prizes –  This was thought to be for Training Vouchers 

Health & Safety -  Assessments viewed positively & set to continue.  A meeting with Harry Verney, Ray Hipkin & Chris Farr revealed no dramatic findings following the 2017 assessments.

From 2019 the nominated H&S Officer must be present throughout the event.  This person cannot hold a significant job other job at the event.  The financial impact of this was discussed for those events that currently do not have their H&S Officers present.  Would this mean an additional £1 per competitor to cover the cost of implementation.


Fixtures – JC to go again to BE with queries regarding Fixtures Protocol.  It was felt that there is a lack of consistency with decision making concerning Fixtures.

A meeting is to be held in Kenilworth on February 2nd with about 6 BEOA Committee members & Chris Farr plus other members of BE to discuss Fixtures & any other pressing issues.  JC to set this up with Committee members.

Membership & Horse Registration Costs – Have only risen once in last 7 years.

Equiratings -  This is a very valuable safety system being developed in Ireland.  Currently there are differences in the way scores are recorded that make it difficult for BE to use – Retirements after a fall

Field Staff – Should these be rotated?
Standards need to be unified & Officials need to be singing from the same hymn sheet

Following a meeting with Paul Hodgson, JC wrote to him itemising some of the areas of concern for Organisers.  None of these have been addressed.

BEF – All that can be done now is to observe & await developments.  Paul Hodgson has stated that he will not correspond on this matter in the future.

There was concern about BE Organisers being able to log into BE to obtain Judge details.  JC to investigate

GDPR – This is an exercise in accountability & governance.  Any information held is deemed as data.  Sanctions are enormous.  Consent must be given.

There was concern that BE might push this back to Organisers as their responsibility.  BE must take account of Riders, Members & Owners whilst giving Organisers the tools to deal with Volunteers & Event Officials.
JC to ask BE for guidelines & updates on the situation.  BE need to take the lead in order to safeguard Organisers.

Value for Money – There continues to be concern about this.  Michael Munden is to produce a paper of explanation.  Officials need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

80(T) – This class needs a Strategic Vision.  JC to continue conversations with Jane Peters about this


£3226.58 in the bank to date

Each event pays £12.50 to  BEOA.  Next year there will be 174 events.

Ideas were suggested to use money in the future.

HW to investigate Ground Management Days.  2 or 3 around the country.  KK suggested Bishop Burton may have something to offer on this front.

LdW to talk with Sarah Skillin & Rob Popes about Marketing Workshops as a follow on from the Social Media Workshops previously arranged.


BEOA ITTP Working Group – Prior to the conference call David Holmes had sent out an update which he would go through.  JB asked if the BEOA could ask questions instead.  This was agreed.
A detailed timeline is to be decided by the end of November

Make Positive has said the website will go live by next summer.

Additional costs are still being negotiated.

Organisers will be able to customise their own webpage

The possibility of extending the 2020 mandate was undecided.

Cost of support is high on BE’s radar.  This is currently free for Organisers.  Sue Tomson will be an important part of this work.

It should be possible to import & export files between the new & current systems.  It was felt this should be tested.

The scoring part of EARS does not to be online to use

Merchant Accounts – It was felt Organisers using their own number would present challenges

Payment of money to Organisers.  Currently the BE system is much slower than BDWP.  It is important this remains the same 

BE need to manage the expectations of Organisers about the system

The group asked for better communication, openness & transparency.  David Holes agreed to send any further updates to the group for ‘proof’ reading prior to being published as these are often difficult to understand for the ‘layman’.

A written update will be sent after the November plans have been agreed.

The next call should be before Christmas

ITTPWG to ask at next meeting about

  • Addtional costs
  • An extension of the 2020 mandate
  • The cost of support
  • Ask for tests of transference of files between systems
  • Prompt payment of funds due to Organisers
  • Initially the ITTPWG was set up to be ambassadors of the project to help with a positive transition to the new system.  How can BEOA help to manage the expectations of interested parties

BESVWG & BESDWG – These have been disbanded.  Members will be called upon to join various Projects as & when they are needed.

Where is Our Sport Going Group?” – Entry Fees – It was felt that without the work this group had done, the recent rise would not have been achieved.

SB had been told that the brief of this group was being covered by the BESVWG.  Now that this has been disbanded, this group will consider progressing their meetings.  JC to encourage the group & add the topic to the agenda for the next meeting.


There has been a research project, headed up by Two Circles, to find out about the BE fan base.  This has produced some good marketing information, demographic profiles etc. showing equestrians as affluent, rural based families.

The data/research needs to be cherry picked by smaller events for their use.

Schedules are out too far in advance to be useful for marketing.

A suggestion of a BE App was made

A TV broadcast proposition has not quite worked but the group is looking into livestreaming through social media channels.

A working sub-group has been set up to look at trade stands.

There is to be Commercial Event Forum on January 30th.

The committee had concerns that this project would set up a ‘them & us’ scenario.  Laura will feed back to David Holmes & Rob Pope about smaller , grass root events & how this Commercial Strategy might be perceived.


JB has produced a document about Entries procedure which will be sent to ES’s in due course


Wobbleberries – 1200 participants have raised just under £250,000.  They are continuing next year and moving into the BE90 class

Rider Reps – Guidelines are to be produced.  The committee felt they had a valuable role

BE80(T) – BE asked BEOA to circulate a new proposal to the committee.  Feedback tended not to be positive so they asked JC to send a more descriptive proposal to BE80(T) Organisers.

The committee felt that BE should decide to either keep funding training, which converts into members or cut it loose & take away the training element.

The BE80(T) Championship venue has not been chosen yet

Fixtures – Championship Tendering – This was discussed & BE suggested a 3 year rolling contract with a minimum 12 year period when a re-tendering process could be asked for.  This was felt by the committee that it could result in a reverse impact.  6 years would be a more appropriate period

Championships should be subject to the same Fixtures Protocol as ‘ordinary’ events.

Are Regional Finals allocated for 3 years & then moved or can they just be renewed?

Information needs to be readily available for Organisers & needs to be transparent

This should all be discussed further at the February meeting

LdW spoke about a specific problem with fixtures.  She will give the detail to JC


  • The title ‘Withdrawal Date’ has changed to ‘Event Amendment Date’.  This was felt to be a confusing title
  • Non-Competing Horses & Companion Horses.  The word ‘companion’ horse has been added to this rule.  These horses must wear a number, which has been given to them by the on-event secretary, whenever they are not on their transport.
  • The fact that these must be owned by BE members & must get prior permission form the Organiser is already a rule.  JC to inform Committee of this
  • Rider Falls during Cross Country – There was much discussion about the new rule that anyone falling during their xc round must see a member of the medical team before they can continue.  This was felt to be unworkable in terms of time allowances.  JC to take these comments back to BE


Start Fees – Anthony Ffooks has asked if Start Fees can be rounded up to £20 to avoid difficulties with small change.  The committee felt this was already with the scope of Organisers to arrange.  JC to go back to Anthony Ffooks with BEOA comments

Entry Fees, Prize Money & Social Media – Andrew Chadwick & Jo Verey   It was generally felt that this had been positive and some reasonable points had been raised.  BE seemed to receive more criticism than Organisers

Late adjustments to schedules by BE – Janet Plant has expressed some disgruntlement about this issue.  The committee felt it was a fairly common occurrence.  JC would bring it up with BE

Our Gallery