Eventing prize money rules will undergo the first of a two-part rejig in 2022, as the sport continues with its push for change.
A table of minimum percentages for section winners replaces the upper and lower limits for placed competitors at British Eventing (BE) fixtures from this season.
The new rules mean in all sections where prize money is offered, the winner will always take home at least the entry and start fee (before VAT). At BE80 to BE100, first place will be at least 100% of the entry and start fee, less VAT, rising to 140% at novice, 150% at intermediate and 200% at advanced. Prize money will also now be allocated on a new ratio system, which changes depending on the level of competition – money will trickle further down the placings at higher levels, compared to the lower levels.
The upper cap has also been scrapped, opening the door to the potential for big money prizes if investment is found. Prizes in kind in lieu of money will also be scrapped at all levels from 2023.
Eventing Riders Association (ERA) of Great Britain chairman Bruce Haskell told H&H this has been a collaborative compromise, and balances the need for the top-placed competitors to be properly rewarded and the demands on organisers.
“There is scope there which means if you get a generous organiser with a good sponsor, the potential return over and above that [minimum] point could be quite exciting,” said Bruce, also adding that prizes in kind in lieu of money was also an “outdated method of reward to lower levels”.
The 2022 rulebook featured several changes the sport was already aware of, such as the new tiered membership structure, reduced entry fees and scrapping of abandonment insurance. BE is also enhancing its concussion protocols this year, building on past rules but with added emphasis on those involved in a rider’s care being the ones to provide reports or discharge summaries, plus involvement of the chief medical officer. ERA and BE, through one of its shared rider working groups, have also surveyed grassroots riders for views on restricted sections at BE80 to BE100 levels.
Bruce added that the work and changes in recent months show an “an overall shift towards recognising that the riders and owners are the customers and putting them first” as the sport looks forwards to an “exciting period of time”.
Events are also looking to the future following BE’s decision to get rid of its abandonment insurance, which was paid for by riders on each entry.
Abandonment insurance latest
Kirriemuir Horse Trials in Scotland (10 April) has announced it has secured abandonment insurance for its 2022 event, provided through Shearwater.
The fixture is well prepared for all kinds of weather, including running through the wettest day on record in October 2020 where no vehicles had to be towed on or off the site.
“But that isn’t to say that we are complacent,” joint-organiser Nicky Helyer told H&H, adding that without competitors’ support, they “don’t have an event”, so felt it was important to give people assurances.
“We have done it for people’s peace of mind, both for us as organisers, and for riders and owners.”
A Shearwater spokesman told H&H it has been able to secure an event abandonment and cancellation policy available “to all events, on an individual basis”.
“Shearwater has a long history with the sport of eventing and when approached by seniors within the sport, along with organisers, we were only too pleased to assist with searching the market for an appropriate facility,” he said.
“We’ve seen a number of events already take up the cover and we hope that this will help protect the financial future for event venues and give peace of mind to riders when entering these fixtures, that cover is in place to issue refunds should an event be forced to abandon or cancel.”
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