As February approaches and with just 8 weeks to go before the BE season is likely to start at its earliest, we are patiently planning for our 5 events.
At this time of year we like to confirm all our professional contractors, equipment suppliers, trade stands, and complete various insurance and affilation agreements. It is also time to reaffirm some crucial committments from our sponsors and we are very hopeful for on going support for all our fixtures. It is difficult of course to know the level of returning BE Members and the level of new horse registrations. Last year’s partial season saw around 8000 active competitors riding 11,000 horses 0ver 33,000 entries. How many will be keping their full membership going or will place horses onto day passes? The levels of uncertainty in relatively declining field may make for a cautious approach. The stength of the organising network across the sport is remarkable and whilst entry numbers may be unpredictable they may also be bouyed by latent demand where cancellations become inevitable as the season is delayed for any extended lockdown or on going tier restrictions.
The sport is undoubtedly at a cross roads requiring some clear decision making over how best to seize the potential for a post pandemic decade of opportunity and growth, driven hopefully by innovation and a focus on what is essential within the sport to draw greater numbers of competitors back to enjoy it.
In the meantime, there is work to be done and horses to get fit.