Eventers reminded to read their rule books after event receives ‘unpleasant’ emails

British Eventing (BE) members have been reminded to read their rule books – and not to be “unpleasant”.

Interim BE chief executive Jude Matthews emailed members this week to draw their attention to the rules on balloting, after organisers of Upton House said they will not run in future if they continue to get “unnecessary” emails.

Upton announced on 13 June that it had received the messages in response to having to ballot the BE100 class on 10 July. It is a BE rule that if there are too many entries, the lowest level classes are balloted first.

“One email accused us of doing it because the intermediates make more money then the 100s,” the event’s statement read. “Upton runs solely for charity and the organisers do not get paid for running it. The last two years we have run at a loss due to watering to make the going as good as we can for competitors. This has made the ground as good as it can be in the dry summers we have experienced.”

The statement added that as riders know Upton makes a “huge effort” with its ground, more people now enter than can be accommodated.

“We do not get enough to run three days as we’d need at least 200 more than we get,” said the statement, adding that the venue is also a private home, and three days of competition takes its toll.

“And please remember we run it for you and the only thing we get from it is that we enjoy running it and make nothing from it for ourselves.

“If we continue to get unpleasant emails and social media posts this will be the last year Upton will run.”

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In her email to members, Ms Matthews said it was obvious “some members are not taking the time to read and understand the BE rules and members’ handbook”.

“We are also receiving significant queries into the office which have highlighted that members are not always reading the rules before contacting us,” she said.

“I have also been extremely saddened to see some inappropriate behaviour on social media recently from some of our members, and I would like to strongly remind all members that our rules include those specifically relating to the use of social media, and a breach of these is subject to the disciplinary sanctions.

“Our rules form the fundamental foundation of our sport and do not just relate to the day of competition itself but are in place to ensure that our sport is safe, fair and equal for everyone involved, maintaining a culture of mutual respect at all times.”

Ms Matthews included the wording of the rule, and the sanctions possible for those who break them. She signed off by saying: “I hope that you are having a good season, and take this opportunity to wish you the best of luck for the remainder.”

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