8th October 2019
London Canal Museum

PRESENT Tina Ure, Josie Brettell, Andrew Chadwick, Pete Collins (Left early), Jan Cottam, Nell Stourton (Left early), Jenny Meiklejohn, Niki Hellyer, Laura de Wesselow (Left early), Rachel Cory & David Sayer. In attendance Jude Matthews (arrived 1140) & Robert Sayer.
1. APOLOGIES Karen Bartlett, Kim Knightly, Heidi Davies, Hannah Matthews, Rachel Faulkner, Helen West, Jo Verey, Simon Bates & Sarah TaylorNot heard from Shelley Bacon, Diana Bown, Sharon Tovey, Helen West
2. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING Jenny Meiklejohn was not present at the meeting in JuneMinutes approved for 25th June 2019
  • Ambulances – Wording to be changed to any ‘vehicle capable of carrying a stretcher’.
  • Horse Ambulances – no conclusion yet but the BHA do not insure for horses travelling off site. Most likely path is looking to put responsibility on the rider/owner. JC to clarify that a 2nd Horse Ambulance / Vehicle is not needed.
  • Changing Officials – BE Officials being asked to attend Events from further away, requiring the Organiser to pay for accommodation. WMcG -There is no provision for accommodation to be paid for Officials by BE
  • Equine Flu –Vaccine policy to mirror FEI policy from 2020. JMi noted Vets pack had incorrect information. JMi has brought this up with WMcG.  JC to follow up.
  • Board Meeting Representation – SB attended + Huw Lloyd from EHOA but no Rider Rep.
    SB thought this was a constructive meeting. The Board seemed to want a session with  points thrown at them.

Tendering process – SB explained we were (mostly) happy with the process.  Better the second time.

SB – Surprised there was not a 1* tender process.  Board explained the 3 venues chosen are one peripheral, one green field, one more professional.  JM noted one of the venues have been told that it is only for one year.  JC stated that the fixtures process was not followed. SB reported the Board had said theintention was to learn from the trial. JM understood dates have been awarded for a 3 year period.  If successful, further dates will be tendered for in 2021.
Concern re MERs for 1* as 105’s a bit thin on the ground.

Quality of events – with support from EHOA, agreed that price is not the biggest factor.  Event Evaluations rarely indicate “quality”.  Ground, courses and attitude are all important.  Discussion of the “Broad Church” of Organisers and the need for all to be supported and maintained.   Confirmed that BEOA is represented on committee by all types of organiser.  This makes BEOA opinion a majority view rather than unanimous.  SB thinks we should continue to push the concept that we can give a representative view for all organisers but….. organisers have to buy in not circumnavigate to put forward a niche view. JC – We will continue to communicate everything that is passed onto us.
Unaffiliated – SB – The Board seemed aware that putting something anti-competitive practice into the Affiliation Agreement will lead to significant concern.
SB & HL said money is not the main factor.  Paying more for a better product is not a difficult concept to sell.
Following the meeting generated by the Sport Committee of a working group to discuss Unaffiliated and Affiliated events a conclusion was reached that it was necessary to strengthen standards.  It had been agreed to start with a working group of officials but this has still not been actioned.  JC to continue to press for this.
“How to help struggling events” – SB thoughts were look at ground, tracks and date first.  Agreement riders want a variety of events. If paying membership & registration would prefer a different affiliated event than back to the same unaffiliated but quality needs to be there.
Rider only working group – Discussed the possible dangers of a rider only group.
Social media – BE are offering social media support to organisers.

EARS – SB quite blunt that we need a system that works in January, and there needs to be some form of backup to take entries.  JM is confident this in hand but appreciated the need for a competent backup, should there be any risk of failure.  SB felt it is hard to push a point harder when the answer is “it is fine, it is in hand”
BE80 – stagnating a little.  Perhaps there is an opportunity for a straight class, or even a 90T.
Membership – There was talk of an announcement soon of a membership package for less frequent or less specialist riders, for whom £200 to event is too much
SB’s Conclusion – Seemed useful & ended happily with a willingness to continue with engagement. JM Happy for BEOA representation at Board meetings to continue.

  • Fixtures Calendar – Suggestion re week numbers reverting to calendar weeks was not approved by Sports Committee.  BE considers the current format avoids confusion. JC went back to argue this but to no avail.
  • Signing off Field of Play Areas –Ray Hipkin informed JC that he has re-written the protocol & it is now much clearer where the responsibilities of the Organiser & BE lie. To be revealed in due course. JC to follow this up.
    AC – The result of the inquest following recent deaths in Australia have brought to the fore some points that will need looking at.
  • Controllers – JC questioned the wording of the new rule changes. This was led by Sean Maxwell. JC asked for further clarification at the recent RM & SC meeting.   Paul Graham promised to take this further.  JC to follow this up.  To be included in the 2020 rule book. SB stated the level of event being run will dictate the makeup of the team. As of next year, it will be mandatory to use controllers from the BE list. AC asked if there were enough controllers to make this mandatory
  • Event Standards – Recommended Officials group has still not met despite being promised.  Already am Action point for JC to follow up.
  • Car Insurance – now able to inform BE Office, details of volunteer cars on morning of event.  JC to find out the method of communication. This cannot be included in volunteer membership as there is no longer this sort of category.
  • Height Change in SJ at Regional Finals – It had been agreed a change of course was not realistic.  The possibility of two courses in SJ arena & 20×60 dressage arenas were discussed but felt to be impracticable.
    JC noted there is a case to be made for making a RF more special.  Some committee members already use long arenas.  Science Supplements only started their sponsorship of RF’s at end of August.  Organisers that have met them are really happy with them. 
    Chloe Ford is the new commercial person at BE.
  • Evaluations – Comment about this can be found in the Evaluations section
  • ERA – JC asked what is happening with ERA. JM was unsure.
  • Electric Bikes – Individual policy is up to Organisers
4. Chairman’s Report Open/Regional Meetings – Last one was to be at Blenheim but BE held Regional Meetings which were very successful. JC thanked all those that attended & reported back.
A useful exercise for both Organisers & BE, forging a better understanding & enabling an opportunity to express concerns, ideas etc. from both sides AC – It was good to extend out to other people.
5. Treasurer’s
  • Entry Fee Increase – JC this had not been an easy process, in part due to both JM and Paul Graham, as being new to their role, not understanding the timeline and historical process. Board agreed to go with the CPI Formula as originally suggested by BEOA awarding 1.98%.   2% had been suggested by the SC.  Start Fees included and to show the exact percentage. As this will increase by pence, it is unlikely organisers will collect until the figure is rounded up but a precedent has been set.
  • Abandonment Insurance – This has increased by 14.75%. There is a rolling two-year agreement to allow the amount to be decided in good time, when the EF’s are set. This avoids any knee jerk response from underwriters. SB asked about stats for the percentage of events (or entries) that are abandoned to compare this to the 14.75% insurance “risk” rate.  It would give an interesting rough estimate of the value of this policy. Should the abandonment fund be looked at again?  Should a limit be looked at (?lowering entry fee and raising start fee).  Perhaps a 3 strikes rule for soggy events would be a more effective risk management strategy. PC felt cancellations rarely fill this pattern.  Unaffiliated Events roll entries onto the next event where possible. Single events cannot do this.
    AC asked what are we insuring against – loss of money or loss of profit. This problem is not going to go away. TU – could members have an option of self-insuring. JM to take this forward looking at different insurance options.
    JC to find out what happens to the Abandonment Insurance when refunded following withdrawal
    NOTE – JM has spoken with Guy Prest who says the issues here relate to the complexities about the sale of insurance when it is opt in.  Currently the abandonment insurance is mandatory, so we do not have to provide as much information, nor have the safeguards to ensure that a member knows what they are opting in/ out of.  Whilst nothing is impossible, this would be a significant change in the way BE would have to ‘sell’ insurance and brings with it a range other complexities

Following the meeting, PC asked for the following to be considered  -  If riders were given the choice to insure or not, what would be the advantage, if they can get a run by entering a few days before the event.  Members would want to reduce their exposure to risk and would therefore enter as late as possible. Would Organisers be happy with a ?50% reduction in entries until a few days before the event.  If it rained heavily 2 weeks prior to the event, the 50% do not enter and the event organiser is sat there with financial commitments that he cannot cover at all.  Organisers need to cover committed costs.  Would the Organisers want to take the same risk again? The current insurance policy spreads the risk between all of us.  Unaffiliated events seem to retain £10 from each entry following cancellation.
SB made the following comment - If riders chose not to insure, exposure falls to the organiser.  Riders will expect & be entitled to a refund.  Organisers could look at a lower level of cover (ie less than 100% of entry fees).  It will probably result in slightly lower level of abandonment.  It would cost organisers more to abandon but it could keep the premium manageable.  BE will hold members money between entry and event.  BE could refund members and then pay events from abandonment (rather than events keeping entries and members getting abandonment money)

  • Prizes – Prizes to be awarded for every six starters and not as it currently, with an automatic prize for the first three places.
  • Refunds – A question was asked by an Organiser about the perceived unfairness of a refund being made to a Competitor when they are replaced with somebody within the same Class.  “It strikes me that once the timetable has been completed it may be difficult and not desirable to slot in a Combination from another Class on the same day”. It was understood this to mean that even if a space was available, no changes are made, thus denying the opportunity of a refund to a member that has withdrawn.  The committee felt this was out of line with normal practice.  JC stated many events have their own idiosyncrasies but rules must be kept & members should not be disadvantaged.  LDW – the new EARS system should ensure there is a common practice throughout.
    Wendy McGowan is trying to reword the Refund rule to make it clearer. ALL need to consider changes to the wording and ways where we can help the membership. This could be a video or some FAQ on website.LDW asked where does the AI go for people that withdraw but are not refunded?  JC/JM/JB to follow up
  • Membership –JC reported the following
    Membership down from 15,863 to 15,826

Competitors up from 11, 810 to 12,128
Owners 7% higher
Biggest increase is Syndicate membership up to 49%
Horses – 10,871 down from 11,131
There have been all sorts of suggestions concerning a simpler Day Ticket system &
horse registration are being considered.
There is a reduced membership for BE80 competitors.

  • Development Fund 2020 –  What is the level for next year going to be?  The budget is going through approval so there should be an answer for this in a couple of weeks
  • Stats & Entries – As of July 19 number of entries were at 71K. RT asked how BE feel about the drop?  JM responded they are not happy but need to prioritise concerns.
  • Scoring is being trialled.  Full testing to take place every weekend until the end of the season, to ensure that full feedback can be looked into.  Some issues have arisen from the first lot of testing, but this was expected.
    Report from a Scorer  “It did feel clunky but I’m so used to BDWP that it was really because my brain had to stop my fingers from making their usual actions and retrain them to type slightly differently.  For example, when entering dressage scores on BDWP one types 1375 but on BE it’s 137.5. By the end of the day I was getting faster as the movements came more natural.
    The main problem was with the sync (save) which, although you could set a length of time in Settings mode, failed to act.  I accidentally closed the program & lost data.
    We put together copious feedback notes of issues plus facilities that would be desirable.  I have no experience of the timings programme.
    I feel that, until some major additions and improvements are in place, it is really match practice at events that will be of most use.”
  • Entries Secretaries will be receiving training over winter months.
  • Training sessions are being held at Stoneleigh for Organisers
  • Contractual Arrangement with BE  – Organisers have yet to be informed of any detailed provision of service by BE for 2020 and onwards.  At present there is no agreement in place or proposal of any contractual arrangement for the sales agenting and administration of entries for our events.  Organisers need to see what is proposed in terms of fees, cashflow payments and provisions covering errors or omissions etc.
    Wendy McGowan has stated that:-
    The charge for entries will continue to be paid by the competitor at the point that they make their entry, via a booking fee.
    The organisers’ charge has not yet been signed off.  WMcG can confirm that based on the information that the majority of events pay £200-250 for the use of the scoring system, the fee to BE will be below that. KK has stated that her concern about the BE entries system for next year is definitely growing. Her horse trial is early in the season & she really does not want to be a crash test dummy!
  • A number of Website/Entries concerns have been raised & responded to by BE.  It is important that any issues continue to be raised in order to fix any bugs prior to the 2020 season.
    It was disappointing that some concerns raised at the start of the year have still not been addressed.  EG The link for Entries Secretaries & Organisers on some of the pages, goes to their BE results rather than their contact details.
    Directions can be vitally important but they cannot always be easily displayed

JC noted that a response of ‘being worked on’ is not all that helpful. JM noted that queries need to be filtered to the right person.

JMi asked if the BE system be able to provide the correct information to utilise TicketServ?  JB To ask about TicketServ data

  • Organisers would like lots more branding in the form of placards, boards, flags etc.  Could BE negotiate a discounted service for branded clothing etc.  JM to follow up on this
  • Could there be some method of identifying the Organiser on event – ? a badge
7. Sports Committee
  • Lists of Vets & Doctors –Vet insurance details currently not required to be collected by BE.  NM said that her medical fees will be going up again next season.
  • Some poles & flagposts are splintering snapping as plastic deteriorate.  Being investigated.
  • All weather surfaces – Up to 50% of a xc course can be on a surface but only when there are adverse conditions. Times will be adjusted.
  • Some new dressage tests have been written but only Intermediate to be used for 2020.  The rest will be phased in as stationary supplies allow
  • MIMS Clips require further testing but can continue to be used at the moment.  There is to be a FEI Risk Management Meeting at Aintree in January 2020 & a Risk Management Symposium at Osberton 2020 for doctors, medical teams, vets, stewards & H&S Officers
  • Scotland has 5 show jump sets.  These are owned by BS.  BE uses 2 of these & the trailers need replacing.  BS is happy to give the fences to BE who would then be responsible for maintenance & storage.  JMi noted these SJ’s are not in good condition. BE is in conversation with BE.
  • 80 (T) Class – Discussed   A suggestion to scrap the training element in the 80 class. If 80(T) continues, can BE

o   Help market trainers in the run up (2-3 months) to an event?

o   Push more training at venues with the trainer who will be at the event – article/profile/interview in BE publications/media/linked to individual event pages.  ?short video – who they are, what they do, how they can help.

Paul Graham has said that ‘BE80 (T) is definitely on the radar. With the additional hype around qualifying for Burghley there will no doubt be some more interest in this area. Can share back to the organisers that we would be grateful if they could share with the marketing team any interesting stories they have regarding their events in relation to coaches etc… The more relatable the content we produce the better.’
TU felt this is a changing class.  People are becoming more professional so we will lose the T as riders try to qualify for Burghley.

8. Evaluations
  • These are being looked at & to be presented to Officials at their conference.  JC concerned that Officials are not involved in shaping these very useful tools. JM realises their importance and the need to be clearer about the process.
  • The importance of discussion of evaluation with Officials and Organisers was discussed.   LDW – felt it very important the RC discusses the evaluation with you and doesn’t just email it. JM to feedback regarding this. It was felt that it is sometimes hard for RCs to communicate with Organisers as they have a special/divided relationship with them.
  • Evaluations of International Events was discussed at the RM & SC meeting.  Should BE consider Evaluations of International Events?  They are our flagship. Paul Graham has responded –  ‘As part of the SFC process, all internationals are now measured against the set of standards that were presented in the tender document. They are therefore reviewed albeit in a slightly different way to national BE events.’  JC asked who will do the measuring & was told this had yet to be decided.
  • Should Evaluations should be used as part of Fixtures Tendering / Appeal.  PG – ‘Yes they should, but as we have discussed we have some work to do to make sure that they are usable. In some cases the event is not documented it it was on the day, which makes the evaluation unusable when it comes to a tender process. This will be the focus of both the officials wash-ups and the officials training in the spring. We need to get better at this.’
  • There is no question on the Evaluation about the standard of the SJ Judge team or an opportunity for gathering any feedback from them.
  • If there are changes to the Evaluation process both Organisers & Officials should be involved.  JC to bring up with JM
8. Rider Working Groups Concern there is no Organiser involved in these groups –  PG – ‘They are rider working groups and want the riders to feels they can speak freely and feedback to BE.’
Will riders be realistic and have an understanding of the restrictions, limitations etc. faced by an organiser? PG responded – He will chair these meetings in order to keep them ‘within territory’.
Concern that these groups will reach very ill-informed conclusions.  PG ‘Groups will not be making decisions in isolation. Ideas will be discussed with other stakeholder groups.’ 
9. Social Media PG is keen for Organisers to ‘get with it’ in terms of social media. He feels that the success or failure of an event can be dictated by an Organiser’s use of SM. JM noted that the Marketing team is in the process of producing a tool kit to help with Marketing events.
10 Fixtures
  • 7 Events have been lost and will not being replaced for 2020.  Some existing events will be moved to better dates. Badminton has had to move due to a clash with VE Day and associated TV production pressures.  Little Downham (2) CCI3S will not be running.  This has been allocated to Bicton – without retendering.
    BE has asked for any suggestions of how to ‘thin’ the calendar. AC noted that the default to being culled would be just to run unaffiliated.
    The 2020 Fixtures calendar will be ready for 1st November. JC felt the effect of the fixtures process will probably not be seen until the end of next season.
    TU – Organisers used to speak to each other about dates. PC said when this had happened in the past, it was not successful as full attendance was imperative.  In addition, there problems where events outside the ‘area’ were not taken into account, despite having a direct impact on the events being discussed.  These meetings were short lived.  JM – BE do want to do something and will consult with organisers so that all preferences or restrictions are brought to attention. TU feels the Fixtures Team panel is very clunky. JM acknowledged this.
    The SFP Review going to board on 15th.
    NH -In Scotland there are events running 3 weeks in a row, which is not fair on organisers or riders. Running 1 event every 2 weeks would encourage far more entries.
  • JC asked who appraises RC’s?  This is now done by JM.
  • Bruno Brenninkmeijer asked if all events understood the mapping sent to events. Many on committee not receiving or hadn’t realised that there was data beyond the map.
  • Talk of two Code of Conducts in Affiliation Agreement .
    1. At the RM & S Meeting WMcG reported that work was being done on the affiliation agreements.  These would include a code of conduct for organisers and some revised branding terms.
    2. In terms of Organisers working together to avoid clashes with unaffiliated events -  There seems little appetite for this as it would be impossible to enforce.  Everyone’s circumstances are different.  BB feels there is ‘no reason why the affiliation agreement cannot be utilised to stem Unaffiliated Events that are using venues where BE events are run, from attracting Members from Affiliated Event.  Utilising the words “BE course” or using BE stationary should not be allowed in conjunction with Unaffiliated Events.’
    Most felt it would be difficult to enforce restrictions when Unaffiliated events coulod be run but strongly felt events using BE stationary etc should be penalised.  Use of wordage like ‘BE course’ should not be allowed.  JM – need to strengthen the BE brands.
  • Fixtures team is to ask for expressions of Interest for BE90 3DE
  • 1*  Comment has already been made that this Pilot Class has been awarded to 3 events, without Tendering.  Disappointment regarding not following the SFP has been made known to BE
  • There are quite a few Fixtures issues going on at the moment.
Date of Next Meeting & Open Meetings HM &HD have asked if we can change to November date to the 19th.  Nothing has been heard from Edgecote, so we have agreed to stick to 26th NovemberJC to do Doddle poll with limited dates limited day option

If BE continue to hold Regional Meetings, Open meetings will no longer be needed.  It was agreed we should continue to have an open meeting at Badminton for our AGM. JM offered the BE tent on a quieter day.

  • Quality of Dressage Judges – TU said the Medium (BD) / Advanced (BE) rider rule had been brought in due to a shortage of dressage judges.  BD have more judges on their lists now.  It was proposed that Accredited Coaches & trainee judges could be used but only in exceptional circumstances & when approved by the BE Officials. JC to put to SC.
  • Video Evidence and Dressage – BB suggested judges should not be given a rider list or horse name & should just enter the number on their sheet. Scorers would then put identification on. The committee felt this was not a good idea.
  • Show Jumping Warm Up – Some organisers finding this phase hard to run by the recommended protocol. They suggested one method for everyone, as some allow multiples to jump all at once. Committee felt there were a number of ways an event could help.

Sign at secretaries explaining event SJ collecting ring policy.  Always allow for change if needed.
Col Ring Stewards need to know the timetable to stop riders running out of section & to ask for help (need radio) if people are being rude.  This to be backed up by BE Officials.
It was acknowledged that different methods work better for different events.

  • Accident Book – AC – This is part of H & S at work. Best practice is to have one. It is more important for the member of public who is injured. Organisers should ask Medics / H&S person to tell them so that it can be recorded.There is no problem with writing in the accident book, so better to be safe than sorry.  RIDORS not needed for a basic sports related activity.

Our Gallery