26th November 2019

PRESENT Simon Bates, Tina Ure, Josie Brettell, Pete Collins, Jan Cottam, Nell Stourton, Jenny Meiklejohn, Kim Knightly, Jo Verey, Simon Bates, David Sayer & Karen Bartlett.
In attendance Robert Sayer
1. APOLOGIES Heidi Davies, Hannah Matthews, Helen West, Sarah Taylor, Andrew Chadwick Niki Hellyer, Laura de Wesselow, Rachel Cory, Diana Bown
2. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING Minutes approved for 6th October 2019


  • Sharon Tovey has resigned from the committee as finding it difficult to get to meetings.  The committee extended thanks to her
  • Horse Ambulances – Proposed change to rules will include a statement – ‘Any horse that leaves the event site in a Horse Ambulance or similar vehicle may not be covered under any relevant insurance policy’. PC asked why ‘may’ not; should it not be ‘will’ not. JC explained that some horse ambulance providers are able to provide this. Rules state that a ‘suitable back-up means of transporting an injured horse should be available.  If not, BE Steward can consider stopping the competition’. Lots of discussion with the committee concluding it is the responsibility of the horse owner to transport their horse off site.
  • Equine Flu –Incorrect info in vet packs has been noted by BE and will be changed.
  • Event Standards – JM has been told by Paul Graham (PG) that Organisers have already signed up to the Event Standards document. JM to ask PG to forward the Event Standards document.  This may be for international events only.  
    It is felt that standards were pivotal to the strategic planning. There should be a minimum standard plus a guidance document for Internationals.  It is believed this is being written by BE & will be shared with a few officials for consultation. The meeting of officials, as recommended by the Unaffiliated/Affiliated Working Group, to discuss how we can progress event standards has not happened, despite JC asking repeatedly.
  • Car Insurance –Events can send a list of car details to Wendy McGowan. At the latest these should be sent the morning of the event. JC asked if this could be done via the supporter’s membership. KB noted this is not a volunteer membership.  Volunteers were disappointed when the category of membership was removed. JC to ask why can’t we have a volunteer membership.
    BE does not seem to be passing on the information regarding volunteers to organisers. JC to speak to BE.
  • Identifying Organisers – Jude Matthews to follow up on identifying Organisers – ?badges/armbands. Nothing heard
  • Dressage Tests – New tests have been written but there is currently a stock worth almost £40,000.  This needs to be used before new printing is done. Is this a cost effective way of producing tests?
    SB could we control other documents like Fence Judge Guidance, Fall Report forms etc by putting ‘Version 1 etc.’ rather than the date.  This would reduce wasted.
    The colour of Novice Dressage tests was changed to align with the colour of xc course flags.  What has happened to the green Novice dressage tests? JC to speak to BE
  • Quality of Dressage Judges – New rule for 2020 – Listed judges must be used wherever possible.  Accredited trainers etc. can be used but only with the RC & BE Steward’s permission
  • Health & Safety -Nothing heard about Ray Hipkin’s re-written protocol for H&S which explains where responsibilities for Organisers & BE lie. TU and JM stated they have not had any feedback from H&S visits. JC to speak to BE
  • Abandonment Insurance –Where full or partial refunds are made, these will be accompanied by the Abandonment Premium in full.  All non-refunded Entry Fees remain insured under the Abandonment insurance.  See Rule 4.12.
    KB – BE should be making a big thing about what the AI gives back as the hike will be a big shock. This is one of the big differences between affiliated and unaffiliated. JM noted some UA events are not insured and riders get a smaller percentage back. BE need to look at different models which Jude Matthews had said was happening.
    There is money known as AI Fund held in one of the BE bank accounts – around £60,000. This does not belong to BE & has arisen from rebates paid by the Insurance company. Historically this has been used when an event cannot get abandonment insurance. What should this be used for? DS – this should be used to cover any surplus monies required by insurers. Should we been involved in communications about how this is to be used. JC to ask BE to publicise the AI hike so that members are warned it is going to happen.
    PC asked the committee to discuss the idea that riders could choose or not to insure & the consequences of this.  He felt it was an unworkable suggestion, which was met with some agreement. Deliberations did not result in a solution.  Agreed we should try to consider alternative arrangements.  JC to put on agenda for next meeting.  JC to ask BE to consider what to do about AI for the future & the detail of the Abandonment Fund.
    Ai fee is now 14.25%, down to 0.5%, as KBIS have restructured the commission to the fixed fee.  
  • Branding – Jude Matthews to follow up on branding – Nothing heard although there was a survey sent to Organisers to find out what branding they each had.
4. Chairman’s Report
  • AGM – About 30 people attended. Quite a bit of feedback saying that the time and day was wrong. Also, the pre-AGM email sent by BE implied that questions were not going to be taken from the floor. JC to ask if there were any emailed questions. Some members of the board came across better than others.
    JC noted she is seldom given enough time to consult BEOA members on opinions for the RM & SC meetings, especially when documents are large and complicated.
    TU stated that some people believe the BEOA Committee does not represent all Organisers. It is hard to do this if Organisers do not share their views.  JC sends emails to all organisers prior to and following meetings, asking for input & comment. Is there more we could do? We cannot represent individual events as BEOA is for all organisers but can advise on process.
    The BE Regional meetings experience a similar problem with some being well supported & others not so.  The meetings held by Jude and Paul were better but not always well attended. PC suggested JC email all organisers to point out their representatives in their regions. Could BEOA representatives pass on information at regional meetings?
  • Affiliation Agreement – will be out before Christmas. JC to ask BE to mark changes and consult prior to the final document being sent out. JC pointed out that the AA does not have to be signed until prior to event.  Many events will not have seen the new EARS system. PC said this should come out at the same time as affiliation fees.  Many have done schedules beforehand. TU – organisers must check the arrangements for being paid entry fees.
5. Treasurer’s
  • £1500 in bank
  • Re-apply to BE for funds in February. There are sufficient funds available for seminars / trouble shooting if needed.
  • TU why does BE have £1m in their cash account. KB – Not all in cash account. There is a forecasted loss of £0.5 million. EARS and website now cost £2.6m plus ongoing costs. There is no information about the license costs. JC to ask BE what the ongoing costs are, how they are split down, what provisions have been made for extra spend for support and how far through the spend are they.
    Will Badminton and Burghley be using the BE Ears system?
    The AGM presentations were difficult to see.  Could BEOA have a link?
  • Entry Fees –JC feels we need to continue to be careful with accounting and note where costs are rising so we can take this forward when discussing entry fee rises next year. JM noted that the email sent out about increase to entry fees was not fair on organisers as suggested we were the ones who didn’t play ball. JC has spoken to Jude about this.  She didn’t feel there was a problem with it.  JC had received several communications from disgruntled Organisers.
    The recent article in the BE magazine was disappointing.  The total money spent by an Organiser to run their event appeared to be 100% of their income.  Nothing left for investment, let alone profit.
  • Prize Money – October 28th, a table of rounded amounts of prize money was sent out to organisers. On October 31st, following comment to Wendy McGowan, from one organiser who felt they would be ‘disadvantaged’ by the rounding up process, a new set of figures was sent out, resulting in the ‘prize pot’ increasing in the total amount.
    The committee felt taking to decimal points would:-
    Disadvantage the competitor when winning a lower place.
    Disadvantage Organisers as the total prize money awarded increased, particularly as awarding to 6th place occurs less frequently when there are smaller sections.
    It is difficult to understand how Organisers would be advantaged in anyway with the latest proposals & disappointing that such a change in method was not put to organisers with time for consideration, before being adopted. Although a small a small amount of money, the Committee felt that it made more sense to use the 1st published table of rounded up numbers.
    Confusion caused by 2 differing tables being sent out & no clear message regarding which to use.  JC to pass this on to BE and ask WMcG to encourage the Organiser that felt disadvantaged to contact the BEOA, in order to be given the opportunity for their view to be understood better.
  • Refunds – Minimum Refund Policy – New & clearer wording for this.  JC commented on the considerable input from the ES group. Committee in favour of changes but would like to add – After Entries Amendment date the acceptance of new entries will be at the Organisers discretion. JC to speak to WM about this.
6. Sports Committee
  • Membership – 15,975 (16,081 in 2018). Full members down 3%. Day Pass members -up 3%. Horses – 10,921 (11,205 in 2018) – Down 2.5%. KB noted that everyone at AGM was talking about increasing membership but nobody explained how this was going to happen. JC to follow up.
    The cost of Pony Club members entering an event was spoken about at AGM. The committee suggested that PC members not paying for Day Tickets for a limited amount of events (suggest 3), as a way of encouraging towards the sport of eventing. JC to speak to BE and say organisers are keen to back initiatives to increase PC members involvement. DS to send JC details of the PC stuff that their event does.
  • Entries –
    Double Entries – To be scrapped
    Pending MERS at ballot will take a low priority at Ballot
    Priority for U18’s at Ballot
    Balloted 4th & 5th horses – Writing a rule for this was thought to be too complicated
    Refund of Late Entry Fee – at Organiser’s discretion by must be stated in refund policy. This will be paid by Organisers rather than BE, unless abandoned.  It was noted schedules had already been set
    Waitlists – Do we want to increase the 15%. No as we can add entries if waitlists drop 
  • Use of Whip – Twice in one incident 
  • Medical Arm Bands – BE to recommend wearing medical cards. All noted that this rule was removed as riders did not keep updated and medical teams do not look at them, as they are dealing with the situation in front of them.
  • Medical Team – Following the 2 tragic deaths in Australia, changes to Medical Rules have been asked for by BE’s new Chief medical Officer – The late presentation of these proposals to the RM & S Committee has meant the cost implication was not part of the Entry Fee negotiations & there has been no time to discuss with the Organisers’ committee.  The recommendations have extensive cost consequences plus a huge concern that many events will find compliance very difficult, if not impossible.  Jude Matthews has said that these changes cannot become mandatory until 2021 as entry fees for 2020 have been set.

Recommended Medical cover for British Dressage or British Show Jumping is a First Aider, for the duration of the competition.  It is interesting that Eventing Dressage & Show Jumping phases seem to carry a fantastically increased level of risk for 2020.
Paramedics are trained to deal with the initial stages of an emergency.  Many event doctors say they would rather work with paramedics than additional doctors.  These recommendations are Doctor heavy, proposing a shift of emphasis. The following points & questions were discussed & have been passed on to BE.

  • Where is the evidence that having just 1 doctor at an event has contributed to an injured rider not being given the best attention? Has 1 doctor ever been insufficient?
  • Is there any evidence that a casualty has been endangered by a doctor not carrying their own equipment?
  • Two doctors will be very difficult for many Organisers to source.
  • There is no relevant data base for Organisers to source appropriately skilled doctors
  • There are new cost implications:-
    • Expectation of Doctors having to attend annual courses.  Trauma course last for 3-4 years.  Annual Moulage (which is a military term the practice of coping with major casualty situations) seems excessive.
    • Paramedics + ambulance to attend the site 30 minutes before the start of dressage.  Where a paramedic is in attendance, there should be a crew available too, in order to enable correct abilities – lifting stretchers etc.
    • Doctor arriving at 8 am, before the show jumping has started.
    • Doctor & Paramedics in attendance at both Show Jumping & Cross Country.  The second doctor & ambulance cover could increase cover from 8 ½ hrs to 11 ½ hrs.  Many Show Jump ambulances currently have a para/tech or tech/tech crew.
    • An additional person to pay.  The rewording of 9.6.5 requires there to be a driver as well as a doctor & paramedic to remain on site 30 minutes after the last horse.
    • Doctors must have their own vehicle
    • Doctors must have their own equipment.  Many already do but for those that don’t, there will be a cost consequence. Much of the suggested equipment changes are standard but any new equipment will carry a cost implication
  • The definition of 4WD Ambulances is restrictive.  A 4WD vehicle can be medically equipped, with the ability to carry a stretcher.
  • Many doctors have no eventing or equine experience and may lack the necessary awareness to drive across a course safely
  • How often will an event have to stop running the minute the doctor &/or paramedic has to leave their designated spot?
  • Will BE Training Clinics follow these new recommendations
  • If these proposals are adopted for 2020, BE will have to subsidise Organisers to cover the increase in expenses.

It was felt that these recommendations would be the end of BE as we know it.  The increased costs would have to be passed onto the members.  Eventing will become unaffordable for the average competitor.  It was thought that Organisers will go unaffiliated & Affiliated Eventing will become a sport for the elite.

JC has communicated with Nigel Taylor and Jude Matthews on 25.11.16.
SB – the important thing is the quality of the doctor.
What will be adopted this year? – medical rules are still in draft format. JC noted that BE seemed to understand her alarm at these proposal & the issue of increased costs.

  • It is understood that a Paramedic + response vehicle with driver, will be required to be in attendance 30 mins before the start of dressage.
  • A doctor & Paramedic must remain in attendance 30 mins after the last horse has completed cross country – the change to Paramedic + ambulance will result in the need for an additional member of the medical team to remain behind as well
  • Additional & updated equipment for ambulances
  • Doctor’s vehicle must be clearly marked as an emergency vehicle & capable of travelling around all areas of the site
  • Doctors are required to carry their own specified equipment

JC & SB have asked their medical providers for comment & estimates of costs
SB noted that the length of time we are expected to have these teams on site is not reasonable.  KB – all should speak to our medical suppliers so that we know the increases in cost prior to entry fee discussions for 2021.
It was agreed it was good to be review medical cover but there should have been more consultation.

Regional Team Challenge – Classes will be allocated to events but these are not on the Fixtures list yet.  Janet Plant to host the final again. BE has loads more to do on this competition. BE have high expectations of this class but seem slow in getting it off the ground.  It was noted that no on-site stabling was available for the final this year.  The need to tick the box of providing the ‘team feel’ was considered.

Special Measures – Affiliation agreement will state ‘One poor evaluation may result in an event being put into special measures.’ SB – are they keeping in the current statement that says two will result in special measures as the use of word ‘may’ does not seem appropriate. All felt that word ‘may’ is not strong enough. PC – what constitutes a poor evaluation?  JC feels officials are sufficiently trained to note an event is poor. JC to take to BE. JC – officials are going to go through event evaluations at meeting.

7. IT Update BE has said they are satisfied with the response to testing.  A few sync issues persist.
The Developer from India is coming to the office for three weeks to sort outstanding issues.
The Entries side of the system is currently being tested.  18th January is the deadline when the first entries open.
Concern that competitors do not realise there will be a different way of entering.  Paul Graham to speak to Paul Harris about putting something on the BDWP ‘website’ in 2020. KB –  very little awareness from riders who need to be told. She felt that riders need will a lot of support. JC to pass on concerns
At the AGM, BE reported that BE was happy with the BE Entry System & payments were now ‘seamless’.  JC asked if this is the general consensus. It was felt that it was not.  JC spoke to Miranda Collett who took entries for Bicton for both the Spring & Autumn fixtures.  She felt payment issues had improved but there were still problems.  In addition, she felt in October:-

  • There was a reluctance from competitors to use the BE entries system
  • It was hard to enter international events for foreign riders
  • Refunds are not straight forward.

Only Miranda and Sue Thomson have worked with the BE entries system. There were a few reports of events where testing did not go well, particularly with syncing.
Miranda is bringing her live scoring up to date as a back-up. TU commented that there were still issues with payment.
JB will be attending training on 11th December and will ask ES to share their thoughts following this & report back to the committee. JM will take these concerns to her training on 19th December. If not satisfied BEOA will need to take action


Ongoing Costs – Licence JC to ask for more detail about these.  How are they split?  What is the term length?  What provision has been made for funding for the extra support.  How far have we gone through the spend?

8. Controllers Controller group to be known as Controller Advisory Group.
All Controllers must have attended a training course in 2020 & must attend CPD every 2 years
Controllers will be invited to the Officials’ conference as now considered to be the 4th official
There will be a rule which states there must be a minimum of 3 in the control team. Two must be on the BE List & can be at discretion of BE Steward.  JC to go back to PG as wording of proposed rules does not clarify this.
9. Fixtures
  • SFP Review – Much to discuss on this and running out of time so will put on agenda for next meeting.  There was a general view that the Review was critical of the process which was considered contentious.
    There was concern about aspirational events never being able to achieve their goals if  a rolling 3 year contract was approved.
  • Fixtures Process & Protocol – concern not fully understood by those at BE.  The Sport Committee is not involved with this.  JC to clarify
    It is always important to stick to agreed processes & protocol
10. Entries Secretary Event Entries Services Co-Ordinator – WM reported  ‘The intention is that there will be some later evening support available but until BE recruit this person, the exact details are not confirmed. Once in place will be able to put a detailed proposal together for organisers to consider should they be looking to move from their current entry secretary services. They will liaise with organisers on ballot etc. Current plan is to charge £1 per entry which is the ‘going rate.  I envisage that this is something which may develop over time as we currently have little idea about how many organisers may be wishing to utilise the service. If demand is such we may need to add further resource.’
PC – this is dangerous as BE will be controlling Organisers. JC – they are not correct on the going rate.  Ranges from £1.25 – £1.50 – per section.  It was felt a shame that Organisers were not consulted about this role.  JC to monitor
Date of Next Meeting & Open Meetings
  • PG says BE is going to have three regional meetings to start the 2021 fixtures calendar process and collaboration, plus one more meeting?
  • Agreed to hold Open meetings – Badminton, Bramham and Blenheim
  • Date of Next Meeting 11th February 2020  Venue to be organised
  • Code of Conduct – All considered BE’s strong reaction to some of those thought not to have complied with the CofC was not always a positive approach.  There was a strong view that protecting Office staff was sometimes in conflict to supporting the membership.  It was a very difficult path to tread but there needed to be some improvement with managing these situations.
    All agreed BE was in a much better place than this time last year.
  • Machinery – It was thought that no investment had been made in machinery for some years.  JM – this was discussed at International meeting. There had been a meeting early in 2019 where many suggestions were made & a plan of care, maintenance & renewal was discussed & required needs agreed.   At the AGM, Tim HR said there was no money available for machinery. PC – this is not good enough. The committee felt footing is what sets BE apart from the unaffiliated market. Two years ago, BE agreed this would be better managed. JC to discuss.
  • International Meetings – A recent meeting had been held.  JM and HW to liaise about who is going to the International Meeting and report back to BEOA
  • Rider Working Groups – meeting next week (grassroots) and week after (novice and above). Will be interesting to get feedback from these.
  • Unrecorded Sections – Could members enter a limited number of events where the results are not recorded or published on the internet. JC take forward to next meeting.

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