28th January 2020
Farmers Fayre

PRESENT Karen Bartlett, Simon Bates, Andrew Chadwick, Josie Brettell, Pete Collins, Rachael Cory, Jan Cottam, Nicky Hellyer, Jenny Meiklejohn, David Sayer, Nell Stourton, Sarah Taylor, Tina Ure, Jo Verey, Helen West
In attendance Robert Sayer, James Hellyer
1. APOLOGIES Rachael Faulkner, Kim Knightley, Hannah Matthews, Laura de Wesselow, Jude Matthews
Not heard from Shelley Bacon, Diana Bown, Heidi Davies
2. PREVIOUS MINUTES Minutes approved for 26th November 2019
Item 11 KM should be JM


  • Volunteer Membership and Car Insurance – JC asked why there is no longer a volunteer membership. Jude Matthews stated that BE are looking at membership restructure effective from 2021.  Volunteers will be considered as part of that. Take up on volunteer membership was low historically, so need to make sure to find the right offerings for all stakeholders.  Car insurance as part of membership for volunteers may not achieve the outcome which is intended as we would need to find a solution which covered all volunteers.  Would the BEOA be satisfied that only those volunteers who are paid up members would be insured on event?
    SB noted this would depend on fee for membership being comparable to the cost of car insurance. BEOA want volunteer’s cars to be insured but the current process is too complicated. BEOA would like to pursue an improved method. We would like the Volunteer membership to include the car insurance.The BEOA can promote this membership. KB – Volunteers want to be valued as Volunteers not Supporter’s. They want the recognition. JC to take back to BE
  • BE passing on information with regards to Volunteers - Jude Matthews will speak to the team to find out what the current process is for passing on details.  There is the ability in the new system for organisers to list volunteer opportunities for their events.
    JC also asked about Volunteer awards etc., which seem to have disappeared. Jude Matthews said she wouldspeak to the internal team & agreed that it is key to recognise the value of volunteers.

  • Dressage Tests – JC contacted BE regarding the remaining green Novice dressage tests and surplus stock. JC to ask this again. KB asked if this was a Rosette Directs issue as not shown in BE books?
  • Sustainability Group – WMcG – Held a call with the BEOA representatives last August to discuss a number of initiatives BEOA had proposed and heard other ideas from Organisers. No proposals were felt suitable to take forward at this time. Many Organisers are already using recyclable cups and mugs etc. on event. JC to ask BE to encourage rule book downloads rather than sending printing Rules / Members Handbook, in plastic envelope. Could members get a discounted membership if they download their handbooks? SB requested that rule book can be downloaded in a PDF format as currently cannot search.
  • AGM – Emailed questions are available at the end of the AGM minutes  https://res.cloudinary.com/britisheventing/raw/upload/v1576147445/files/2019-12/AGM%20Minutes%2024.11.19%20FINAL.pdf . Presentation was difficult to see. Jude Matthews will send a copy of the presentation for sharing. JC not received yet. Concern was expressed about the low turnout. Suggested that this was related to timing. JC to feedback.
  • EARS – Will Badminton and Burghley be using?Wendy McGowan – “Badminton will not but the others have not advised us that they will not be so we assume yes.”
    The question was asked if Burghley and Badminton allowed to run BE80 and grassroots championships on different systems. Is this not setting a precedent?
  • Prize Money – Discussion regarding rounding up or using decimal points for prize money. Confusion caused by 2 differing tables being sent out & no clear message regarding which to use. JC spoke with Bruno Brenninkmeyer who explained that over the last 10 years, the rounding formula has resulted in a rise of 60% in Prize Money against a 28% rise in Entry Fees.   Bruno agrees that the latest set of figures sent by WMcG using decimal points disadvantages Organisers, as now does WMcG. It had been agreed to leave as original rounded up figures & discuss again with BE in February 2020, with a view to setting a formula for 2021. It was agreed that going to decimal points, in alignment with Entry Fees, from 2021 seems the best & most correct way forward.
    ST – why can we not see the prize money table earlier in the year, if it is linked to the entry fees then it should be ready to be seen to in July.
  • Membership – How are BE intending on increasing membership. Jude Matthews stated there werelikely to be a number of different initiatives.  The key thing is to highlight the value that BE gives, so communications will be first step, with close monitoring to take further action as and when necessary.   The summer deal BE did last year helped but Jude felt it important not to create a culture where no-one will pay full price as they know there will be another offer soon!
    TU – at the Burghley meeting, we were told the restriction of 4 day pass membership was going to be removed. This is still there. JC to ask about this as it is discouraging & restrictive. Could the spend on 4 tickets be put in the ‘BE bank’ for a full membership.
  • Marketing – Concern that Marketing for membership recruitment does not promote the sport. People join BE to compete. The recent Recruitment Poster sent with the latest Organiser’s Marketing Tool highlights membership benefits – rule book, discounts for training, BE pavilion, big events etc. There is nothing about Quality or Standards of the sport. RC noted that the data being used is from 2015.   This is embarrassing and does not help to sell ourselves to sponsors.
    RC felt the tool kit was static and boring. RS has been asking for a PDF advert so that they can advertise BE at UA. ST has done some videos for Swacliffe. It was agreed that Organisers need to take things forward themselves & work together to develop something that is stronger. AC – we should follow ST’s actions and get the ball rolling. KB – we all know digital is the way forward. Some organisers are more adept at technology then others. Some guidance from BE would be helpful. BE marketing department must engage more with the organisers. RC offered to come up with some helpful tips and share. We could be using the BE Brand Ambassadors to assist event social media. ST to go to the Grass Roots Working Group and ask for their help. JC to ask permission to do this.
    RC has been chasing up BE branding. Anything above the signs on entry and exit will have to be paid for as these are only for larger events.
    There is reference to free admission up to & including 2*. Surely this should be the new FEI 3*? This is a reduction in benefits to membership. JC to speak to BE
  • Regional Team Challenge – Regional Co-ordinators agreed is was disappointing there was no onsite stabling at the Final. This occurred as offered to run despite no guarantee of full section
  • Special Measures – Use of the word ‘may’ was not felt strong enough. Subsequently there have been changes to the Special Measures document but is still felt to be ‘woolly’. Committee felt that the wording needed firming up as unsure what ‘minimum’ meant. JC – officials are going to go through event evaluations at meeting.
4. Chairman’s Report Meetings with Jude Matthews

ST and JC (3.12.19) Swalcliffe The purpose was to discuss ways to improve relations between BE & Organisers. JM agreed there was a lack of unity between BE HQ & Organisers.   Suggestions to improve this – Team Building, Face to Face Meetings, Workshops
Jude said lots of Organisers claim not to know who the BEOA are & feel they are not properly represented, leading to additional work for the office. KB – there is not a good feeling towards organisers in the office. It was suggested that Jude bring along the key players at BE, to find out what the issues are and how we can turn these around. TU -Office seem to have problems with members, coaches etc. whereas PC does not have a problem with anyone in the office.

Other matters covered at the Swalcliffe meeting were the Event Entries role, prize money, volunteers & medical matters

M40 – AC, JC, JM & Alec Lochore (23.12.19) This meeting had been asked for by a few Organisers very concerned about the direction BE was heading in & the lack of communication with Organisers.   Discussion points sent ahead concentrated on trying to improve relationships between BE & Organisers.   Suggested solutions the meeting came up with were:-

  • Jude attendance at meetings
  • AC & JM to come up with a Traffic Light list for decision making process. Identify what is important, prioritising concerns. Dates and time frames need to be attached to more important items, whilst the less important one do not need as much, if any involvement.

There was plenty of discussion, raising many issues & airing views. Outcome was to agree to work hard at working together.

Communication – Concern about poor communication. Decisions from BE, concerning Organisers are often not shared until finalised.   We were told the Affiliation Agreement would be emailed but not about the DocuSign process. This is a great concept but caused significant concern from some Organisers. A more sensitive & considerate approach prior to sending this out would have reduced much of the panic & batting backwards & forwards of emails. It would have been reassuring for some to have been told simply – ‘no worries, we’ll post it to you.’
BE has made changes to Event’s classes but not spoken to Organisers & just removed from the schedule.
If the usual Event Officials are changed, RC’s should speak to both the Official & the Organiser to explain their thinking & offer an opportunity for discussion.
It is currently felt by BE that the BEOA/Organisers are making work for the office. ST suggested we come up with a clearer protocol of who to contact in the office. Should it come via RC’s? KB noted that we are not engaging with the people in the office who are actually there.
An Organiser was sent a sponsorship document – 71 pages! Really??!!

International Organiser Meetings
– It was felt BEOA should have more involvement. JM sent JC minutes from last meeting. JM & HW will report back to committee. AC asked if International could be added as an agenda item.
BE sent a guide of running an international event. RC not received this. JC will let RC’s know not everyone has received.

Health & Safety – Still no response about the confusion regarding responsibility for H&S in Field of Play. AC – very frustrating & needs clarity. Some BE H&S documents are dated 2009. Content is fine but need updating. Events that have had H&S assessments have received no feedback.
FEI ran a safety seminar. Disappointment that AC/BEOA representative was not invited. HW attended & commented there was a good presentation by the British Horse Racing Association on public perception of racing. As an industry we must recognise how we are perceived by the public and take early action to change views. HW to share the presentation.

Code of Conduct Form – Organisers Feedback. Jude Matthews is happy to promote a clearer whistleblowing process but would like to know what we thought was the best route should be. It had been agreed at the RC’s meeting that Paul Graham should receive these matters but due to his resignation, this would not now be possible. JC to go back to JM to clarify the process for this feedback.

RC’s Meeting 15th January – attended by TU, HW, AC, JC and SB.
Event Standards – Some confusion as more recent work done on standards was specifically for tendering documents for the SFP Events.
Original Event Standards were produced & circulated 2017.   BEOA made comment but did not ‘sign these off’. They have not been circulated since. BE have agreed to update. All committee members asked to look at this & let JC know asap if any changes absolutely needed for this year, in order that Officials can be briefed.   None received. NS said it should be noted there is now an opportunity to feedback on event evaluation.

5. Treasurer’s Accounts – BEOA subscription is based on the number of events in the calendar. 2019 expenditure is higher due to paying more travel expenses plus increased cost for meetings, badminton food bill etc. £1892 in bank. General feeling that this is as it should be but we may need to consider raising subscription, which has been the same for the last 20 years.  The 2019 Accounts were adopted. Proposed – AC. Seconded – HW

Abandonment Insurance – JC asked BE to publicise the value of AI so membership are ready for hike when it happens. Jude has said that this has been covered in the entry fee comms but would cover again pre-season. JC asked BE to consider what to do about AI for the future & the detail of the Abandonment Fund.Jude Matthews stated the problem was finding the underwriters to the polic. Ultimately need to find a company prepared to accept the risk of costs they may incur settling the policy, for the income received from premiums.  Less underwriters willing to take the risk, which drives up cost.
There is an AI Fund of around £60,000 which is members’ money.

6. Fixtures SFP Review – AC found that the principle of second process better but is longwinded. It was recognised there was a problem with the RC’s communication. If this system is going to be used, RC’s will need additional hours and therefore funding. JC asked if RC’s were the right people to lead this – they wear so many hats. The report has highlighted issues which will continue to be reviewed. Evaluations have to be meaningful and robust, as part of the consideration. This led to the need for organisers having an input to produce a balanced document. AC was a very useful process. KB felt that from initial process it was far too BE led & needed more independence.

Poor Communication re Fixtures – Classes, Officials. Agreed at the RC’s meeting, the Sport Committee should not be involved with fixtures unless involving a change of rule.

Fixtures Team no longer exists. Now Regional Coordinators. Applications for changes (classes, dates etc.) must be made in time for the RC’s meeting. The Fixtures Protocol is with the AA.

Douglas Weymouth presented a well written email with thoughts on unaffiliated events etc. All read but a variety of opinions. We cannot prevent organisers from running UA at the same time another event runs affiliated.

Unrecorded Entries – Many riders want the opportunity to participate in a BE event without their horse’s performance being recorded. It was agreed this would be a positive move but could not be used as an MER. CPR must be recorded & would be actioned if needed by the office. JC to take this to ERA for their consideration.

7. EARS & Website Entries & Training – Initial training dates before Christmas cancelled as problems with functionality. Now, on the whole, resolved. Some positive feedback but not all are convinced. Issues include
Problems when same class run on 2 separate days.
Refunds – temporary fix is working & will be handled to ES’s asap.
Printing – Organisers, ES’s & Scorers will have access to the programme to enable early printing. A log of who did what is automatically kept.  Various bits will be locked, according to user need.
Format for Programmes has not yet been organised but is top of the list.
There remain problems with the website holding schedule data.

There is an ability to sort several fields – age, locality etc. . plus extract contact details – rider emails for bulk mailing. This is to be shared to ES’s by BE.
Entry Amendment Date can be set for charges after this for COH etc.  Lists of what is owing can be accessed.
It is not possible to hold start times, results etc on event’s own websites to avoid corruption but can be accessed through links
Hours available for support – although currently agreed are intended to be very flexible & will react to what is needed. JC to send out contact details again for ES & Organiser support evententries@britisheventing.com.
Portal Training Document – not available yet.
Jude Matthews will continue to stress to competitors about the new entry system.

IT Finances – Wendy McGowan stated that the total project cost is forecasted at £2.6M. £2.4M has been spent to date. Provision for extra spend is covered in the budget for this year and future. Table from AGM shows how far through the spend we are. There is an annual licence with Salesforce. The licence is broken down into a number of components depending on users, sandboxes etc. This years’ licence cost is £68K.
Provision for an additional support head is to be added to the team in the 2020 budget.

8. Regional Meetings & Communication Regional Meetings – Everything we can do which shows us all working together and joined up in our communications can only help. BEOA to provide a slide as part of the RC presentation & get a member of the BEOA committee at each meeting.
Jude Matthews believes many organisers do not think the BEOA does anything. Stopping automatic membership of BEOA following signing the AA, has apparently been considered by BE for a long time. JC – committee should take more responsibility for pushing ourselves and what we do at Regional meetings. JB – we should identify organisers that do not attend regional meetings and committee members should contact them. JC to do a list of what events are in each region
9. Affiliation Agreement Receiving the AA 4 days before Christmas for BEOA ratification, was too late for properly considered consultation.
PC has spoken with Michael Munden.   There is concern we are liable for having agreed the AA. Over the years the AA has evolved as a legal document. BEOA should advise organisers that they should satisfy themselves that they are legally happy with what they are signing for their own particular circumstances. BEOA have raised various issues most of which have been answered and dealt with but some have been left until next year as time was pressing.

As previously stated, the AA was issued via a DocuSign format. Although a very popular move for many Organisers, this was not received well by all. There was some confusion within BE about how best to support those struggling. The AA can be printed from Docusign & T&C’s state that a printed version of the AA can be posted for a fee.
Some of supporting documents were not available – Rule Book, Event Standards, Portal Training Guide with Refund info etc.

Clause 2.6 – This is the clause in the AA that agreeing to the AA confers automatic membership to BEOA. This was missing from the AA sent for ratification.   After discussion, it was agreed by BE to reinstate & review for 2021. BE has asked BEOA to ensure they are truly representative to justify the clause.
BEOA is to propose a framework of items which BE can expect to be dealt with by:-
a) the BEOA rep at Risk & Sport Committee
b) the BEOA Committee
c) all organisers.
Jude Matthews – “This table should show who could be expected to make what decision, and how widely BE need to consult/ inform on what matters will really help this – both us in terms of knowing what to send to how, and the BEOA in terms of what they then know then need to disseminate further and consult on. This should help decision making and for all organisers to understand who is capable of making which decision. BE remain happy to work with the BEOA, but the relationship needs to work for all organisers – no other stakeholder group has a mandated membership via BE.”
JC asked Jude Matthews about the “many” Organisers who have shown anxiety concerning the effectiveness of the BEOA.  Jude was not prepared to break confidences and give names.   She stated “it has been a common there throughout the year – we [BE HQ] have discussed this several times, and it is not a reflection on the great work you do, but I think stems from no-one being clear what information should go to who, and when.  Hopefully this will be resolved with the production of the table above, and everyone will be clear about what they can expect, and from whom. I do not want to ‘name and shame’ and think it’s inappropriate that I do so.  I would rather focus on a solution to help get us into a better place.  We could spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards with me saying things I’d be told, and the BEOA Committee arguing about whether it’s right or fair or not.  We all know that there are many people who simply like the opportunity to grumble if they can – particularly if they do not like the direction something is going in.  This may very well be the case for some of those who have spoken to me.  If we can focus on how we can improve I think we can make really good progress really quickly.”.

Abandonment - Notification of event abandonment made first be made by BE. This may not always work for many reasons. It was felt it was wrong not to serve the membership by letting them know as soon as possible. JC to ask is this correct could they clarify.

10. Medical Changes to Medical Cover –JC has communicated with Nigel Taylor (nothing heard) and Jude Matthews on 25.11.16. This year late changes were brought in by the new BE Chief Medical Officer. BEOA argued that these would incur extra expense for Organisers plus they were an unnecessary over regulation. BE has required the following changes for 2020 as follows:-

  • The change to the ambulance description will result in the need for an additional member of the medical team to remain behind at the end of the day, in order to operate a stretcher.
  • Additional & updated equipment for ambulances
  • Doctor’s vehicle must be capable of travelling around all areas of the site
  • Doctors are required to carry their own specified equipment
  • Any other attractions that are happening at the same location as the horse trials, will require additional first aid provision.

BE is saying that the following changes will be mandatory for 2021

  • A Paramedic + response vehicle with driver, will be required to be in attendance 30 mins before the start of dressage.
  • A Doctor must be in attendance at the start of Dressage
  • Moulage Training – From 2021 all doctors will be required to have undertaken a Moulage Training Course on an annual basis.

A considerable amount of concern was expressed about these proposed changes. It is hard enough to get available doctors, without expecting them all to have taken additional training. Day Before Dressage will be too expensive to run for some competitions. There will be additional expenses not only for the medical cover eg. extended hire of PA equipment.
The Medical Equestrian Association will provide some free moulage training. This will involve doctors travelling, taking time off work etc. The MES will not be able to provide sufficient courses in suitable locations for free. Many Doctors will choose not to sign up for these additional courses. A&E doctors do moulage training every 3 to 4 years but BE are requesting every year.
AC – paramedics take the lead in incidents but BE do not see that. Committee all agree that this is overregulation. JC has asked for evidence this is necessary but has received nothing back from BE. JH noted Scottish events have one doctor that does all events. If they lose that doctor they are in big trouble. RC – should we not be aiming for the best we reasonably can? Doctors cannot or do not want to afford this. SB – danger is that we have something that is strongly recommended so if we do not do it, how does it look? What happens if your doctor suddenly can’t do it? Would we be insured?
Agreed that all should raise this at their Regional Meetings
JC to ask for clarity on 9.6.4 Can BE look into insurance if we are let down at the last moment

Organisers are asked to report H&S rates as these are believed to have increased

11. Machinery BEOA asked for a Repair & Renewal programme with a clear process for delivery/collection, plus investment in new machinery. BE response – PG has met with T Holderness-Roddam. Machinery keepers have been asked to ensure all machines in good working order. Organisers asked to report any deficiencies asap.

HW hires from outside as cost is fairly similar. JC to keep pressure up as not felt to be a satisfactory response from BE

12. Unrecorded Sections Unrecorded classes – Competing with unrecorded results has long been talked about as an attraction to unaffiliated events. It was agreed this would be a popular facility for members. Due to responsibilities of BE, there will be a need to keep a record but not show results. All felt this should be looked at as we are missing an opportunity. MER’s could not be obtained but CPD’s would be monitored & acted on. KB need to get ERA behind this. Organisers want this as will mean riders will bring more horses. JC to contact ERA.
Date of Next Meeting & Open Meetings AGM – to be held at Badminton by kind permission of Jane Tuckwell. BE offered BE Pavilion but it was felt to be too small. Voltaire have kindly offered their larger, lakeside marquee. HTSG are happy to let us use their marquee for our committee meeting beforehand.

10.3.20   London

7.5.20   Badminton

21.7.20   Wellington

29.9.20   London

17.11.20 Edgecote

  • HTSG – Keen to work together at events. Have kindly offered reduced cost wristlets for HTSG Marquee at Badminton. JC to circulate HTSG adverts to be included in programs if event wishes.
  • Stopwatches – NM ran out of stopwatches at her event. Advised to speak with RC.
  • Controller Insurance – JV – What is meant by being the 4th Official. This is apparently a reflection of the 4th official on a football pitch. JM if controllers are paid how does that work with insurance? JC to investigate.
  • Pony Club Classes – DS – Number of grass root entries are falling. Could BE consider a reduced cost to PC members for entering. JM said that the relationship between BE and PC is much improved. Some concern about presenting the same product to people at different prices. It may encourage BE members who are PC members not to join up. Should BE look at Riding Clubs too?


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