Tweseldown will cease running affiliated events this year, if disagreements with British Eventing (BE) cannot be resolved. Brynley Powell, who runs events at Tweseldown, Hampshire, feels let down by BE after the Fixtures Committee poured cold water on his plans to run a CIC* in conjunction with the CCI** (24-28 May).
In the latest Tweseldown programme Powell wrote: “I feel badly let down by BE’s decision not to allow me to run the CIC* class alongside the new CCI** we’ve been asked to run in May and the total lack of support, with a few notable exceptions, I have been given.
“I have spent a lot of hours considering whether BE is more concerned with single interest groups rather than running the sport for its members, and therefore if it’s something I want to be involved with… I will honour Tweseldown’s calendar commitments for this year but in the atmosphere that currently exists, will not be running any BE fixtures in 2007.”
Powell was approached by BE last year and asked to run a CCI** as a replacement for the competition formerly held at Windsor Horse Trials. “Even a permanent facility will have some extra cost when staging an international three-day event. After taking into account the £20,000 sum BE has always been prepared to write off on this particular competition, and pruning the budget as much as possible, I was still anticipating a £12,000 shortfall,” Powell told HHO. In order to raise more capital he opted to run a CIC* event alongside the FEI competition — a plan which was turned down by BE’s Fixtures Committee.
“I decided to run a one-star as riders constantly complain that during a five-day competition they get stuck with nothing to do,” Powell explained. “So I got a budget together but was then informed by the Fixtures Committee that it upset too many other organisers – I didn’t even receive a written explanation.” Powell was told that a CIC* would conflict with other competitions, a view he cannot understand. “I don’t mind if other competitions take place on the same date as mine,” he said. “If you put on a good event then people will come.”
At the same time BE has still not offered more than £20,000 for the expanded competition. “They are expecting me to wear a £10,000 loss, I can’t come to terms with that,” said Powell. But he is determined not to let competitors down and will continue running BE events until the end of the year. “BE is only a small part of Tweseldown’s income,” he explained.
In a bid to recuperate some of the loss, Powell has today announced he will run an unaffiliated CIC* alongside the FEI competition. A £3,000 prize fund and new course designed by Mike Etherington-Smith will no doubt entice riders to Hampshire. Schedules will be available shortly from email@example.com