PRESENT Jan Cottam, Andrew Chadwick, Lisa Hughes, Tina Ure, Josie Brettell, Diana Bown, Livy Agnew, Nell Stourton

APOLOGIES Heidi Davis, Stuart Buntine, Simon Bates, Kim Knightley, Laura de Wesselow, Rachel Faulkner, Pete Collins, David Sayer, Karen Bartlett, Jo Verey

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING Collecting ‘ring’ procedures amended on first page and NS name spelt wrong and appears twice!

The minutes were approved.


BE Central Sponsorship – Organisers are not happy to share sponsorship until an explanation of what is to be done with this information is given.  Will there be a reciprocal benefit?

Ground Machinery/Starter Trailers – JC contacted BE regarding concerns about the status of BE owned Ground Care Machinery & Starter Trailers.

It was felt these were not being maintained properly, leading to problems for organisers with some equipment not operational & some, from the starter trailers, missing.

David Holmes fed back that this occurs because the machines are going from event to event and therefore it is not possible to ascertain the condition in between hires. He requested specific feedback so that issues can be identified. DH stated he was not aware of any kit being missing from the Starter Trailers.  If this is the case, Chris Farr should be made aware.

The committee felt that a system should be created where equipment is checked in/out after each use with someone taking responsibility for this.

TU suggested that all kit to go to Stoneleigh at the end of the season for inspection.

JC to follow up on this

Staff Contact details – The website link has been circulated

Mobile Card Machines – Not currently possible as there are issues with merchant account numbers.

BE Vouchers for Prizes – DH informed JC that BE are already suppling to U.A events with vouchers, although as AC and TU did not receive those promised from BE.


JC was asked to produce papers presented for the Sports Committee ref Programmes, Entry Fees & 80(T). The committee felt that this was a lot to ask of an unpaid volunteer.

Health & Safety – Harry Verney and Ray Hipkin are conducting Event assessments.  Both highly experienced.  15 events are being assessed in 2017 from Aswanley in northern Scotland to Eridge in East Sussex.  9 completed to date.  All reports submitted to BE within 4 to 5 days & then shared with the RC and subsequently the Organiser and officials.  21 assessments are planned for 201.  More if budget is available.

The process will be reviewed, including the assessment, reporting etc. with Harry and Ray after the end of the 2017 season.

All completed assessments have been very well received by Organisers/H&S Stewards and BE Officials.

JB asked if common problems would be recognised and made known to Organisers.  JC to enquire.

It was felt there should be training for H & S Stewards organised by BE.

BE AGM – Very regimented with little interaction. It was felt this management style did not reflect the membership organisation.

Still not well attended, although better than in the past.  Very few riders.

The BE ‘Meet the Board’ session, prior to the AGM was not well attended.

Data Protection Meeting – BE informed Organisers via a meeting at Stoneleigh that there will be significant changes in data protection in May 2018. More information will be circulated as soon as it is received.

Training & Education Job (Director) – TU reportedthere was a feeling that this job had been designated prior to the interview process

BEOA IT Working Group –

Release 1  CRM system (memberships) now live

Release 2 (EARS) still a problem. There are essential reports which cannot be produced. Currently there is a standoff as BE and Make Positive decide who has financial responsibility for this ‘additional’ work.

Concerns that the new system will be more limiting than the current ones

Overspend is £90k.

Field Testing will start with JAS.

Release 3 (Risk Management, Sport, Training & Education, H&S) All TA’s are now trained to input data but this cannot be done off-line, which is causing delays.

Release 4 (Website) Currently on hold whilst user scope document is agreed with Make Positive

BE feel that developing technology will result in connectivity not being a problem in a few years  time and therefore we should learn to cope until this situation is resolved.

Next ITTP conference call is in five weeks to keep abreast of what is happening

Janet Plant raised concerns on the testing that was done at her event saying that it is not fit for purpose.  Sectioning had to be abandoned.

LA felt it was important to minute our concerns and would like these fed back via the working group. JC will forward Janet’s email to the working group.

Suggested that there will be no development grants next year due to the ITTP overspend.

Viability Working Group – JB producing an Entries Secretary Best Practice document, aiming to improve communication between different partners of an event.  Suggested that downloads on events homepage would be useful. TU thought that the new system may not allow you to attach downloads.  ITTP WG to check this.

Development Working Group– Double clear rosettes BE say will cost £250 per day. Committee felt this was very expensive & not particularly popular.   It should be up to each event to choose to run special prizes.

AC said meetings are very structured so difficult to introduce new topics.

BE80 remains a concern. AC gave DH feedback at Burghley.

Looks unlikely that 3 meetings a year will be achieved for Viability & Development groups.  Last meeting did not allow enough time.  JC to address with DH



Entry Fees – Initial request for 5% was not accepted by the Sports Committee & reduced to 3.5%, with an increased window for start fees.  Following discussion at the Open meeting at Burghley, DH contacted the Board, recommending 5%, which was agreed, with the start fee window unchanged .

AC is concerned that Organisers might end up as ‘whipping boy’.  BE has asked Organisers to highlight increased costs for BE to share with/placate members

BE suggested that different levels of events could ask different fees (Bruno’s classification of events).  The committee have reservations about this.

JC asked BE about reducing fees to organisers but this was not accepted as possible.

There are additional staff at Stoneleigh.  JC to enquire about the costs of staff

BE are considering that events running on more than two days should have reduced support due to the reduced costs of these additional days.
JC will ask BE for evidence why it will cost less.
Security of finances with BDWP was questioned by BE.  The Committee are confident that money is safe as held in merchant accounts.  Additionally, there are Trustees that can run BDWP if something happened to Paul.

Programmes -Rule now states ‘or printed matter’ & is as requested by BE.

Affiliation Agreement – Concern remains high regarding the running of UA events using the BE brand. Douglas Weymouth wrote to JC highlighting

Concerns about unaffiliated events passing off as affiliated.  He suggested BE look to ensure, through the general affiliation agreement that Members actually agree to avoid such misrepresentation.  BE are proposing restricting any venue that holds a BE event from holding an unaffiliated horse trial that would clash with the BE calendar, using the same criteria that is described in the Fixtures policy. The committee felt that this was a bad idea and could create splinter groups.  JC to report back to BE
Championships/Fixtures – It was agreed that the Scottish Championships should be put up to tender for 2019. This decision was appealed by BE Scotland, stressing the philosophy that ‘All Roads Lead to Blair’.  In addition, there is a ‘Blair Legacy’ which needs protecting.

Although no tendering process took place or any discussion with Hendersyde (the current Championship venue) the Championships have gone to Blair for 2018.

The committee expressed deep concern about the manner in which this matter had been handled.

Currently Sports Committee deal with Championships and there is no process for appeal. TU noted that according to BE policy, Championships should go out to tender every 5 years. AC noted that BE may be in breach of the ‘Sports and Recreation Alliance’ governance rules that demand transparency. There was no confidence in the process through which this decision was made & which has resulted in Organisers feeling vulnerable that BE could just pull the plug on any event, at any moment, without notice.

JC suggested that BE should offer all Events some security – 3-5 years, with an 18 month break clause process.

JB suggested that championships should be considered by the fixtures committee & not the Sports Committee.

International Events do not seem to go out to tender. Alnwick Ford was given a 1* in its 1st year.

JC to take all these concerns back to BE

Blue Badge Protocol – PC has produced disabled access map which is a good example of best practice. AC noted that if the Blue Badge was printed on the reverse of the map it would be visible to all if placed on the windscreen

Archant Publishing – Archant are considering a new magazine format.  In particular, putting the schedule into a separate booklet.  The committee all expressed a disinterest in the magazine, rarely reading it.  It was thought Archant ran the risk of the magazine becoming something nobody looked at, eventually leading to a loss of advertising revenue & therefore ultimately becoming a cost to BE.

The committee felt that BE should be asking the members what they want.

The committee requested a shorter time to provide proof for the event schedule

JC to report back to BE

80(T) – The future development of this class was ongoing.  JC has reported back to BE all the views expressed by BEOA Members.

VOLUNTEERS – Need to be treated well to keep them coming to help

RULE BOOKS – BE will provide dressage stewards with rule books following an organisers request. Could RC’s bring a supply to Regional Meetings?

Wobbleberry – TU noted her concerns of the standard of those competing.

BD and BS rarely offer classes on grass.



  1. Organisers can ask BE for additional rule books for use by helpers such as their Dressage Stewards.  JC to suggest these are bought to Regional Meetings
  2. Difficulty finding Volunteers – It was felt that volunteers will vote with their feet & will not return to events where they do not feel valued
  3. The balance of the calendar, especially for Intermediate & Advanced classes needs to be addressed – It was felt that this is currently being undertaken but will take a long time to address to complete satisfaction
  4. Events that do not pay their bills – It was felt this was not really a matter BEOA should be  involved with.   Contractors should be advised to speak to BE.
  5. Jane Starkey asked if Organisers could notify competitors of the length of their cross country course in the magazine course description  The committee felt this was difficult to predict as there were so many variables before a course was finally set.  JC to report back to Alex Bright

Value for Money – This was discussed

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