2nd May 2019
Danco Marquee, Badminton

PRESENT Tina Ure, Josie Brettell, Rachel Cory, Jo Verey, Sharon Norrish, Andrew Chadwick, Heidi Davies, Hannah Matthews, Pete Collins, Diana Bown, Simon Bates, Shelly Bacon, Sarah Taylor, David Sayer, Rachel Faulkner, Helen West, Jan & Dave Cottam, Nell Mowbery, Robert Sayer, Michael Munden, Anne Jones, Peter & Penny Comley, Jenny Nolan, Lucy Fielding-Johnston, Richard Mitford-Slade, Bruce Haskell, Bruno Brenninkmeijer, Suzanne Sharp, Alec Lochore, John & Janet Plant, Sarah Weatherlake, Mike Yarrow, Jenny Meiklejohn, Shelley Bacon, Nicky Townsend, Lucy Cunliffe, Tim Barling, Polly Lochore, Kirsty Fontaine, Danny Anholt, Jo Hayley, Hayley Newman, Pattie Biden, Jane Winter, Tissie Reason, Tracey Sexton, Alan & Audrey Thacker, Laura de Wesselow, David Sheerin, Tracey Sexton,
1. APOLOGIES Karen Bartlett, Kim Knightly, Nicky & James Helyer, Livy Agnew, Stuart Buntine, Gardie Grissell, Bridget Parker, Lloyd Hunt, Lucinda & Douglas Weymouth, Mandy Hervieu
2. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING Minutes were approved
Proposed Andrew Chadwick   Seconded   Helen West
3. MATTERS ARISING  There were no matters arising
4. REAFFIRMATION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS JC thanked all the committee for their valued contributions throughout the year & in particular, Livy Agnew & Lisa Hughes who were standing down.
The whole committee was reaffirmed
Proposed David Sheerin   Seconded   Tissie Reason
5. Chairman’s Report Jan thanked Danco for allowing the BEOA to use their marquee for the 2019 AGM & also Voltaire for allowing the BEOA to use their marquee for a committee meeting prior to the AGM.

Jan also expressed enormous gratitude to Hugh Thomas for enabling the very generous offer of tickets to Badminton for all BE Organisers, for which we are all enormously grateful.

This past year hasn’t been easy but with the new British Eventing Chair & CEO, there seems to be a new willingness to engage with all stakeholders.   British Eventing has recognised the need to improve communications with members. BE is clearly reaching out & making itself available at events to speak to members. Recently there was a Q&A session with BE via a video link.

There is a long awaited acknowledgement from BE of the membership’s unease, disappointment & frustration. I firmly believe that BE are wanting to work with us & create a working team of all stakeholders. They are prepared to use the knowledge & experience of stakeholders to improve the current position & the sport as a whole.

They are learning a great deal about what we all want but equally, this openness & transparency is helping members to understand more about BE.

Over this last year I have had conference calls with the BE Chair & CEO (both past & present). Also participating on these calls have been the chairs of ERA & EHOA.   The upshot of this has been that Riders, Owners & Organisers have forged a really good working relationship.   We communicate often by phone or email & there is certainly a very supportive & collaborative feel about our relationship.

The other group made up of BEOA committee members,               that has spoken fairly regularly with BE is the BEOA ITTP Working Group. This Organiser’s team has been constantly pushing for updates, reassurance, timelines etc. on both the Website & EARS project. We were all obviously very disappointed with the website following its launch. We are all aware of the issues surrounding the website, particularly the frustrations with schedules. From now on, we feel that the EARS project must take precedence. Without an Entries, Admin, Scoring & Results system – there will be no sport.

The group last spoke with BE in early April. We have been promised a meeting with those who will actually be using the system (Entries Secretaries etc.) plus a further conference call with the BEOA ITTP Working Group. Both of these should be happening soon & we will be putting pressure on to make sure this is the case.

Every year, in July, Entry Fees are decided.           This involves a proposal from BEOA which is considered by the Sport Committee & then,     when there is a decision, this is taken to the Board for ratification at their August meeting.

Last July, BE came up with a Formula to be used to decide on the level of the rise of entry fees. This proposal was welcomed by BEOA as it would simplify the process be much easier to justify. However, the BEOA did not agree with the categorisations or indices used by BE.   The committee worked on an amended Formula which is much simpler and, most importantly, comes up with the same result. The formula will form the basis for discussion on Entry Fees. If there are additional factors, for example an increase in costs for dressage judges, this can be added into the workings.

We have also asked that:-

  • Any increase is applied to both Entry Fees & Start Fees
  • Entry Fees will never go down in value even if the indices show a negative
  • Entry Fees will be published by 1st September
  • BE would be unable to impose any additional requirements that would impact on Organiser costs after Entry Fees had been agreed
  • The Entry fee Formula would be kept under review

We are hoping to have all this approved at the July Sport Committee meeting

Our Facebook pages for both Organisers & Entries Secretaries are working well. They can help with problems such as finding photographers, doctors, selling Christmas Trees etc.

The Entries Secretaries Facebook page has been used for things like discussing Ballot protocol.

The BEOA committee has also discussed Sustainability. We’ve not come up with any magic answers but a few ideas, which we have shared with you. We will keep this on our agenda to ensure it stays in the forefront of our minds.

The BEOA held a Networking Day in Cheshire at Sommerford Park. This was attended by riders, sponsors & organisers. We all left with ideas which hopefully are now being put into practice. Thank you to Sarah, Shelley & Josie for organising this

The BEOA held 3 Open Meetings last year. These gave everyone an opportunity to meet, exchange ideas & share opinions. These were held at Badminton, Bramham & Blenheim. The Blenheim meeting was held in conjunction with a Ground Care day, put on by BE. Those attending found this to be really interesting & useful.

The Strategic Fixtures Plan came to fruition at the end of 2018, with 60 applicants for 30 International dates. Obviously, there was always going to be disappointment for those whose applications were unsuccessful. All concerns raised to me were fed back to the Fixtures Team. I have been assured that the BEOA will be included in any developments with the process, which will be bound to happen for future tenders.   We will push for involvement in the review of the whole process too.

This season, when there were less worries about the wet than last year we’ve had to struggle with Equine Flu. This topic will be discussed in the Sport Committee meeting next week     but I am told the current outbreak shows no signs of abating.

Finally. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart my loyal & very supportive committee.

6. Adoption of Accounts There were no questions concerning the accounts, which were approved
Proposed Diana Bown     Seconded Jo Verey
7. AOB A question was raised about the cost to Organisers for using the new BE Entries System. JC stated that we had been assured by BE this would not increase. The point was made that there seemed to be different prices for each Organiser


Bruce Haskill from ERA addressed Organisers. He spoke of Social Media stating that we had to accept that we can’t get away from it.

He asked Organisers to become more engaged & use this medium to improve their profiles. The result would be to become better valued.
Bruce asked Organisers to consider a Code of Good Practice – beyond the rule book.

He encouraged us to reassert our roles as stakeholders, reminding us that everyone’s opinion is valuable, whether negative or positive.

Sarah Taylor asked if it was felt we needed to become more competitive – relating to paying for membership & registration.

Jan Cottam spoke of the current consideration being given to Unaffiliated v Affiliated competition, which would be presented to the next Sport Committee. There was a strong feeling from the group that had discussed this topic that Affiliated events had to be ‘spot on’. They must be aspirational.

Tina Ure asked if members were aware how much it cost to run an event. It was felt there was very little understanding. There was a suggestion to use a Bullet Point explanation to assist this. JC suggested there was a reluctance on the side of Organisers to share the details of their finances as the competitor has high costs too.

Laura de Wesselow suggested a Social Media campaign to raise the profile of Organising, urging for us all to be open & transparent.

There being no other business, the meeting was closed.