The BSJA is to propose that everyone who assists riders in a practice area at affiliated competitions must be a member. The association is to ask for members’ feedback on the idea.
The prospective new rule will state that: “Anyone assisting a competitor in any way, including grooms, in a practice area must be a member. Grooms’ membership fees to be the same as for officials.”
Under current rules, judges, course-builders and show secretaries must become members and pay the officials’ membership fee of £20, compared with that for a full jumping member, which is £95.
The proposed rule would apply to friends or family helping in the collecting ring or practice area at an affiliated show by, for instance, putting up jumps or holding horses.
Jacky Knightley of the BSJA explains: “It’s partly a public liability insurance consideration — BSJA members are covered by our policy and at the moment non-members helping in the collecting ring are not. It’s also to do with discipline in the collecting ring.
“If a non-member infringes rules in the collecting ring, the only way to discipline them at the moment is through the members they are helping. The potential for problems or accidents in the collecting ring is far greater than in the main arena, so it is important that the area is made as safe as possible.”
Members’ feedback will be discussed at an executive board meeting in early December before a decision is made.