Entry fees are to increase by five per cent for British Eventing (BE) events next season – while prize money is to go up by the same proportion.

BE announced this week (2 November) that “following consultation with British Eventing stakeholders, including the British Event Organisers Association (BEOA)”, the rise will come into effect in 2018.

A BEOA proposal set out areas in which events’ running costs had increased in recent years, “out of line with the rate of entry fee increases”.

This includes the sharp increase in business rates suffered by many venues and other equestrian businesses, which came into effect this April.

BEOA chairman Jan Cottam said: “Over the past few years our sport has been costing more and more.

“On the whole, organisers have absorbed their increases but this year we have seen a dramatic rise which has impacted on the ability to deliver the safest and best value competition.

“Worldwide, BE has an enviable reputation which it is essential to maintain. In order to uphold these high standards, our sport must be sustainable. We cannot achieve this with a diminishing budget.

“Organisers are conscious of the cost for members, but to compromise on safety and top-rate competition would be a retrograde step that will not be taken”.

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A BE spokesman said the governing body “recognises the growth in demand from stakeholders to regulate events to the highest standard, along with the operational costs identified above which have contributed to the BE Board approving a five percent increase for entry fees at all levels for 2018”.

Start fees will not increase next year, and thanks to a KBIS renegotiation on abandonment insurance, this premium will drop by 0.75%.

“The net effect is that the total amount payable for each entry will increase by 4.3%,” the BE spokesman said.

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