British Showjumping (BS) is reminding riders that if they compete in affiliated classes after their membership has elapsed they are not insured by public liability cover and will be fined by the association.

Competitors have contacted H&H to complain that they were fined when their membership had elapsed for just 48hr.

But BS said it sends out renewal reminders three weeks before membership is due and feels justified fining riders and removing any points accrued if they compete when unregistered.

“We fine people who compete without being members for two reasons,” said BS spokesman Maria Clayton.

“Firstly, lots of riders wait until they get a double clear at a show and then join once they do, which is not allowed.

“But more importantly, the membership ensures they have public liability cover.

“They aren’t actually insured unless their membership subscription is up-to-date.

“It’s a very small fine — usually around £6 just to deter them from doing it again.”

Ms Clayton refuted suggestions that competitors were unaware that their membership was due.

“Not only do we send out renewal reminders three weeks before their membership lapses, but riders are also required to produce their membership cards when they make their entry at a show,” she said.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (7 April, 2011)