‘My frustration at trying and failing on numerous occasions to use the ‘New’ BE website to enter your event has lead me to write this email.’ so says a competitor hoping to enter Warwick Hall last week. There have been other similar views communicated to us in recent times although many are as much to do with being new to eventing as wishing to make a point about BE’s website. Taking a broad view we wonder whether it is simply too hard to get into the sport at the affiliated level rather than just sticking with some second rate, down at heal, poorly serviced unaffiliated event. But here lies a worrying trend. When the Frenchfield Horse Trials ran at the end of April competitors looking elsewhere were spoilt for choice principally because not one but two BE Affiloated events which had run the week before chose to run ‘Open’ Unaffiliated horse trials the same weekend, with similarly named classes, dressage sheets, rules and presumably fences and judges. Both events were selling the same experience for half the price of competing affiliated. When this was put to a BE Board director at one of their Q&A sessions it was rightly met with exasperation not least because organisers are not only shooting themselces in the foot but taking down their neighbours too. So what can be done we asked to protect the affiliated status of our events and the minimum standards that we all abide by? Jane Peters rightly concluded the standardised agreement all organisers have with BE needs to be tghtened to protect the BE values we all sign up to.
We gather the ear, email and general social media bashing British Eventing is currently facing for what looks like a multitude of reasons caused such indignation, the new interim BE CEO Jude Matthews felt it necessary last week to issue a reminder to Members of the need to behave appropriately when it comes to making social media comment. Our own experience of adverse opinion is usually limited to one or two individuals who feel it necessary to inform the world of their views – more often than not, on what others have done, written or said, rather than of their own original thinking – and of course very rarely do they contact us directly for any explanation. We usually put such keyboard warriors down as having one glass of vino too many in an evening.
Last updated: 4th May 2019