Cressida Clague-Reading and British Eventing (BE) have reached agreement in the dispute over Cressida’s winning of the Novice Championship at Gatcombe last year.
Both parties have acknowledged that the entry for James, Cressida’s ride in the championships, should not have been accepted as the horse had one point more than the qualifying criteria and so was not eligible.
While the rider admits that James was not eligible, she insists that she was not aware of this at the time, having received the standard notification letter. BE accepts that it was an entirely innocent mistake.
Cressida has given up the championship title and handed back the £1,000 prize money in favour of Chris King and Capaduce, who had been second. BE accepts that his was the appropriate way to deal with the issue under the circumstances, and the rider’s disciplinary record remains unblemished.
The organisation has recently reviewed its procedures, making some changes to improve the system for the benefit of all, taking into account the facts of this case in doing so. BE stresses however, that is it the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that they are qualified to enter a National Area Final or Championship event.
“I’m happy that it’s all been sorted,” says Cressida. “I just hope that as a result of this case the system will improve and everyone will benefit.”
Cressida and James will be going back to Gatcombe this year to compete in the intermediate championships.
“And if he wins that, I’ll be very happy,” Cressida says.