We've been somewhat overwhelmed by the level of support that the Australia Day Fundraiser has received with standard tickets selling out in under 48hrs!
Due to the increased level of demand we have added a second session from 5pm - 8.30pm. The second session will replicate the content of the afternoon event, so don't worry if you've already booked!
The remaining VIP Passes for the afternoon session and the newly released evening session tickets are available to book here
New Riders Announced
We are delighted to announce two additional riders to our celebrity line up:
Piggy French - eventing's queen of 2019 has stepped up the plate and pledged her support of this eventing. Piggy French set a new record in 2019 for the number of international events won in a single season by a rider. Will she reveal her winning exercise on the 26th? You'll have to wait and see.
Alex Bragg - multiple 4* winner, ERM leg winner and key GBR rider, Alex, rode Zagreb to the top of the British Eventing rankings in 2019. He's got some great ideas for our Australia Day event so he'll certainly be one to watch!
Stay tuned for more announcements over the next few days.
Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund launched to support the Australian equestrian community affected by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires.
The world has looked on while Australia burns. The donations have poured in to support the volunteer firefighters but we now look to the longer term consequences. Following an extensive drought, forage and feed for livestock and horses was already in short supply. That supply is now, quite literally, in ashes. Members of the equestrian community have watched their lives burn in front of them, with little they could do to help.
There are numerous Australian Equestrians, in particular Eventing Riders who now live outside of Australia in order to further their professional Eventing careers. They, along with the wider International Equestrian community, have a huge desire to support their fellow Equestrian community in Australia who may have been affected by the fire disaster currently unfolding.
The Equestrian Fire Relief Australia (EFRA) fund has been launched with the purpose of supporting the Australian Equestrian community to return to equestrian sports participation, through the coordination of international and national donations to bushfire relief efforts.
ERA supports this new EFRA fund. For more information on this fund please visit www.equestrianfirerelief.com.au
ERA also supports other Australian Charities that we believe work in a way to support the Australian Equestrian (and rural) community:
To kick start the fundraising efforts we thought we'd have a little bit of fun this Australia Day! With MULTIPLE celebrity lecture demos, a social afternoon and a traditional Australian Sausage Sizzle, COME ALONG and help us raise funds to support our friends and colleagues in Australia.
On Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th December 2019, British Eventing’s two new Rider Working Groups met for the first time at the BE head office in Warwickshire. We welcomed on the first day the Working Group representing riders at BE80(T) to BE105 level, and on day two the rider representatives from Novice to Advanced level came together.
The Working Groups have been recently formed, in conjunction with the Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain (ERA of GB), in order to strengthen the connection of the membership to the strategic direction of the sport. The groups will help identify and assess areas of potential development and improvement of the sport.
Chief Sport Office Paul Graham said “I am delighted with the level of enthusiasm, passion and engagement that the Working Groups brought to the table. With such a diverse group of people making up the Working Groups we are pleased to have widespread representation from across the sport”.
The agenda included an overview of British Eventing’s structure, a presentation of results from the 2018 Annual Survey, a discussion around social media, the proposed new look Team Challenge, an introduction from the President of the Event Riders Association as well as several group activities.
The groups discussed development of the sport and how the overall experience for members could be improved, plus how feedback will be gathered in a meaningful and quantifiable way.
Key areas discussed by both groups included:
Moving forwards, the groups have been tasked to look at three key topics ahead of the next meeting:
In addition, a sport-specific survey will be put together in conjunction with the Working Groups and will be released to members in the New Year. The aim of this survey is to drill deeper into the above listed topics; to find out what new competition opportunities members at all levels would like to see, how BE can improve existing competition formats and much more. This survey will be conducted as an addition to the Annual Survey.
The working group commented “We thank those of you who have taken the time to contact us already. Please be assured that your comments have been logged, and the group will be working through them to put forward for consideration. We will endeavour to get actions and/or responses where possible and will make sure we provide regular updates and communications.
“We would all like to remain accessible to receiving your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve our sport, so if you have something you would like raised, please feel free to contact any of the representatives.”
Contact Rider Working Groups
The next Rider Working Group meetings are due to take place in late January/Early February ahead of the next BE Sport Committee meeting.
Contact members of the Working Groups and view the Terms of Reference HERE.
The minutes from British Eventing's Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 24th November 2019 are now online.
The minutes from BE's 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) are available to view online HERE. Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting.
Following the announcement of the International and Championships Classes in April 2019, BE commissioned an independent review of the Strategic Fixtures Calendar 2020-2025 (SFC 2020), which allocated UK based international events and BE Championships classes for 2020 onwards.
The first step saw organisers applying to hosting international fixtures for the period 2020-2025. If there were multiple organisers applying for the same week, a scoring system was applied to each application. A stakeholder panel then considered the results of the scoring for each week and made a recommendation where each fixture should be allocated. Where there was an appeal by an organiser, this was heard by an appeals panel, which comprised different individuals to the original stakeholder panel, and after which the results of the tendering process were announced.
When the original outcomes were announced in April there was concern from many organisers and members that the outcome of the re-application process was not fully aligned with expectations in that the allocation was not well balanced. Those organisers who were not successful in re-application for their current international fixtures were understandably disappointed. As a result of the feedback received, the Chair of BE commissioned an independent review of the process undertaken by a group of individuals who could represent the stakeholders, referred to as the Review Group. BE committed to communicate the results to you, and that is the purpose of this letter.
The Reviewing Group (“RG”) was asked to consider the following points:
New venue awarded 2020 international fixture
British Eventing is delighted to announce that Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire has been awarded the week five international fixture from 2020, following the loss of Belton International.
The final part of the fixtures process saw four selected venues present to a Stakeholder Panel yesterday (Wednesday 26 June) and the organising team of BEDE Events allocated the fixture.
The Stakeholder Panel was made up of the following:
“The key focus has been to ensure the sport selected the best possible venue to deliver such an important early season International. All of the final four applicants could have delivered this, but we are delighted to award this fixture to Thoresby Park and the BEDE team.
“It was a very difficult decision and we fully appreciate that Bicton, Weston Park and Frickley Park will be disappointed. As a sport we, and our members, are incredibly lucky to have such fabulous venues that host affiliated competition and I’d like to thank all the organisers who applied for this fixture.”
Helen Eshelby, Outdoor Events Manager at Thoresby Park, commented; “Thoresby Park are thrilled to have been chosen as the new home for the spring two, three and four star event. We look forward to welcoming the international riders in April 2020 and working with Stuart, Anna and the BEDE Events team on the horse trials for many years to come.”
Stuart Buntine, Director of BEDE, commented; “We are thrilled to have ‘Belton’ back and look forward to taking it to further heights at Thoresby. We thank British Eventing for their confidence in the BEDE team and are well into planning mode for this great new venue.”
About the process
Following the announcement in April that the National Trust at Belton Park would no longer be hosting a horse trial, all organisers were invited to express their interest in hosting the replacement fixture. Seven venues applied for the fixture and from those, four venues were selected for a site visit by a Venue Assessment Panel, made up of Yogi Breisner, Paul Graham and Bruce Haskell. The four organisers were then invited to present to the Stakeholder Panel, who made the final decision.
Some of the key considerations which led to Thoresby Park being awarded the fixture were:
Malcolm Wharton – Independent Chairman
Malcolm has spent 39 years in the Land Based and Sports Education industry, and 22 years as principal at Hartpury College. He was instrumental in the development of the equestrian academy and facilities at Hartpury, including the introduction of the successful International event that runs annually in August. Malcolm has been a Director of the RFU since 2013.
Paul represents the Event Riders Association. An Australian International Event Rider, Paul has been based in the UK since 1999 and competed at every level of the sport all across Great Britain and Europe. He won Badminton Horse Trials in 2010 on Inonothing and went on to represent Australia at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.
Jan is the Chairman of the British Event Organisers Association, Organiser of Goring Heath Horse Trials in Oxfordshire, a BE Steward, FEI Steward and FEI Ground Jury Level 2.
Mark is on the Board of the Event Horse Owners Association. Along with competing up to 3* level, Mark is a BE Accredited Coach and Under 18 Coach for the South East and currently sits on the BE Sport Committee.
Senior Eventing Selector, former 5* competitor and coach, Sarah represents the Senior Performance Team.
Update on the Strategic Fixtures Process Review
The review of the Strategic Fixtures Process is ongoing and the next meeting of the Review panel is 1st July. More information will be released about the Review, and any outcomes in due course.
The following is the response from the British Eventing Board of Directors to specific concerns that were raised in relation to the Strategic Fixtures Calendar 2020 and British Eventing (BE) communications.
This process, and the invitation to attend the board meeting, was seen as a very positive initiative by the BE board to address publicly raised issues by key sections of the BE membership that feel they are currently being overlooked. The session allowed a frank and open discussion and was an opportunity for the BE board to hear the views presented to ERA of GB, by BE members.
The intention of the meeting was to seek an indication from the BE board as to what their overall future policy may look like in reaction to member dissatisfaction, as well as highlighting obvious deficiencies at all levels in the BE sanctioned FEI calendar beyond 2019.
The response from the BE board as outlined below shows an acceptance that change is required and that BE is taking the views of the wider membership very seriously. Recent online engagement activity and open availability of BE board members at regional events also shows that a much-needed cultural change to “listen to members” is being undertaken.
While more detail is required as to how the issues surrounding the Strategic Fixtures Calendar 2020 and BE communications will be resolved, we must accept that open acknowledgment of the problem by BE is a huge step in the right direction.
It is very clear from all involved in BE that there is a willingness to change across many areas and as members we must continue to be involved in the process.
Chairman of the Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain.
British Eventing Board of Directors response:
Strategic Fixtures Calendar 2020
British Eventing Website
After a valued partnership of 15 years with Bede Events, we can confirm that the International Horse Trials will no longer be hosted at Belton House.
The growth in scale of the event is unfortunately now at odds with the conservation management of the Grade 1 listed parkland we care for; preventing risks to the historic earthworks and buried archaeology through compaction and erosion, to the parkland wildlife, and to veteran trees and their root systems.
“We recognise the significance of the Horse Trials and their place in Belton’s recent history, and have therefore not come to this decision lightly” said Ian Cooper, General Manager for the National Trust Belton House. “The core purpose of the National Trust is to protect this historic place for future generations, and we must honour that commitment.”
Additional Frequently Asked Questions can be found at
20190429 Internal FAQs Horse Trials - FINAL.pdf
Statement from The Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain (ERA of GB)
For many years’ riders have been requesting a review of the UK based FEI calendar to better suit the needs of the members. We have identified 3 main groups of British Eventing (BE) FEI competitors and have had the balance of each present or future group in mind when approached by BE to participate in decision making.
Those 3 groups are:
1. Aspirational FEI eventers who want to compete at lower level FEI events as “something special” to aim for but not entering the qualification matrix.
2. Lower level FEI competitors. Those including pony riders, under 18, under 21 young riders and non-categorised seniors who wish to use the FEI MER matrix to progress
3. Senior riders with an FEI category.
ERA of GB was approached in 2018 by BE to provide an experienced candidate to participate in the selection of future FEI events in GB based on a set of criteria. ERA of GB was not given access to those specific criteria or asked to participate in the creation of the criteria, however we 100% backed the intention and direction that BE was taking to create a more balanced calendar. The ERA of GB representative chosen is an extremely well rounded and experienced individual who actively competes at multiple levels in BE and FEI competitions.
We understand that there has been a tremendous amount of work undertaken by BE staff and numerous volunteers to create the final list. We also understand that change creates un-rest and un-certainty for all stakeholders but back BE that some changes are necessary.
This is the first time the FEI International Fixtures review process has taken place in this method and we acknowledge that not everything in either method, process or outcome will be perfect. It is however, extremely positive to see new venues events listed throughout Great Britain on the BE FEI fixtures list and specifically events in the North given FEI status.
Following the release of the British Eventing 2020-2025 International calendar ERA of GB feels there are many favourable changes but would actively encourage the BE board to review the outcome specifically in relation to our riders in group 1 & 2.
As the FEI (and BE) MER matrix forces competitors to enter a qualification network to progress up the FEI grades and allows senior BE FEI riders to bypass lower levels it creates an uneven balance whereby riders will either be forced to travel to FEI events further than they used to or simply not enter.
Groups 1 & 2 BE riders need events that are locally accessible to them. To all riders and owners extra days off work, additional travel, accommodation, finding home care or stable cover, extra on site stabling as well as entries and start fees all add up to extra cost and may influence the decision to enter a UK based FEI event. Group 3 riders may simple not enter an event at distance due to cost to themselves or owners or number of horses they can physically compete.
Compressing two different levels of FEI stared events at one location i.e. 2&3*short will increase the number of competitors which is great for the organisers, but it will split dressage over 2 days and most likely put SJ and XC on different days. The knock on for all owners and riders could easily be 3 days extra stabling, 3 days leave from work, 3 days stable or home cover plus diesel, food and accommodation.
ERA of GB appreciates the process of review undertaken by British Eventing but as highlighted by direct contact from effected BE members, there are significant gaps in the South West and South East of England as well obvious FEI calendar clashes which fail to meet the needs of these members.
Therefore, ERA of GB would ask the BE board to reconsider some of the decisions that have been made and view that the re-instatement of Nunney onto the calendar indicates they have an open mind to the views of owners and riding members.
Chairman of the Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain.
British Eventing announces International and BE Championship calendar for 2020-2025
As a result of the Strategic Fixtures Calendar Review, British Eventing (BE) is pleased to announce the 2020-2025 fixtures list for International and BE Championship classes.
Why did we undertake the review?
The overriding objective was to provide a balanced fixtures calendar, giving the greatest opportunities for members to compete and reflecting the changing needs of the sport. In addition, key considerations included sustainability, financial viability and geographical spread.
What did we do?
A robust process was carried out during 2018/2019 to which all organisers were invited to participate, the key stages were:
· Invited tenders and received 60 applications
· Scored and evaluated the applications
· A stakeholder panel allocated the fixtures
· Conducted an appeal process
Please find full details of the process can be found on the British Eventing website
In order to respect the organisers and the sensitivity of the information provided, BE have kept the details of this process confidential.
Fiona O’Hara, Chair of the British Eventing Board commented; “I would like to thank all the organisers and their teams for taking the time to apply to host international and BE Championships fixtures. We were delighted to have received so many high-quality submissions.
“As a result of a final review, we identified a geographical gap in the South West, and have therefore taken the decision to rectify this for the benefit of our members by an adding one additional fixture in this region.
“The fixtures calendar will remain under constant review in order to ensure that we continue to maximise the opportunities for our members to compete.
“We are really excited by the calendar and the introduction of new international and championships venues. This gives our members the unique opportunity to compete at a choice of familiar and much-loved venues along with some exciting new additions.”
The setting of the National Fixtures is an integral part of the Strategic Planning Process; with the International and Championship classes now set, work now continues on the National fixtures which will be announced later in the year.