Cressida Clague-Reading has announced she will appeal against her disqualification as novice champion at last year’s Doubleprint Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park (1-3 August 2003).
Cressida won the championship on the 10-year-old James, but it was subsequently found that he was not eligible for the event.
Last autumn, after a hearing by the judiciary committee, Peter Durrant, BE chief executive, made the decision that Cressida should lose the championship and give back the prize money (£1,000), but that no further action would be taken against her.
“I thought it was the best way forward,” he says. “But Cressida chose not to accept the decision, her lawyers prepared a defence and she has lodged a full appeal in accordance with BE complaints procedures.”
Durrant hopes that the matter will be dealt with by early June.
Since the circumstances surrounding the Doubleprint Festival, BE’s entries system is under review. Since entries secretaries are volunteers, Durrant explains that the association is working to eliminate any scope for ambiguity, confusion or misrepresentation without the need for secretaries to perform lengthy checks.
Among procedures being implemented, a rule has been made that any entry form incorrectly filled in will be returned — no matter whether the entry date for the event is missed.
“At the end of the day it is the rider, [with whom] full responsibility lies,” he says.