Extra events added and membership credit introduced as sports restart *H&H Plus*

  • Governing bodies are acting in response to demand to support riders and venues as sport gets underway. H&H speaks to British Eventing, British Dressage and British Showjumping for their latest news to ensure sport remains viable...

    Replacement and additional dates, classes and championships – and extended or discounted registration – are among measures being taken by governing bodies as sport gets under way again.

    British Dressage (BD), British Eventing (BE) and British Showjumping (BS) are looking at how they can support members and venues, while keeping a viable sport going.

    BE is offering a 50% discount on full horse registrations and 10% on membership in 2021, for those who held these during a set period this year.

    In competition, extra days at Tweseldown and Aston-le-Walls were given the nod after huge demand, while some championships and international classes have been rescheduled.

    “We’ve said to our membership that where we can put extra days and dates in, we will look to do so,” BE chief executive Jude Matthews told H&H.

    “From our point of view, it’s great so many people have been ready to get out, and the appetite to compete is still there, because of course you don’t know until you open entries,” she said. “We’re trying to be as flexible as we can to deliver competition opportunities for members, balancing that with viability for venues.”

    Ms Matthews said she was “so pleased” to be able to offer the discounts.

    “It’s a thank you to those who have remained loyal while it’s been difficult for everyone,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to give something back.”

    BD is offering two-month extensions to those who maintained horse registrations while competition was off. CEO Jason Brautigam said this would cost a “significant six-figure sum”.

    A BD spokesman told H&H: “We promised from the outset that we would do anything we could to help, and the board has worked as hard as they could to stick to that.

    “We felt the two months was a good and fair reward that left us in a respectable financial position.”

    The spokesman added that a “phenomenal” amount of work has been carried out, also on supporting venues.

    “We’re trying to help everyone in the best way possible that still puts the sport in a good position financially,” she said. “The response has been really positive, with people even saying not to give them the free two months, which is lovely.”

    BS CEO Iain Graham said BS, the first sport to be up and running, is focusing on supporting venues financially, to enable them to run under current restrictions.

    “We’re spending money on helping them, such as masks for officials and not charging affiliation fees,” he said. “We’re also looking at whether we can put in place shows to replace those that have been lost.”

    Mr Graham added that the board has agreed to look at BS’s financial position at the end of the year, to see whether something on registrations can be put in place.

    “We’d like to do something similar to BD if we can but we’re aware of preparation for a possible second wave, and there may not be a furlough scheme then,” he said. “The board’s feeling was that we need to be prudent and see what the end of the year brings.”

    You may also be interested in…