Low BE entries - what’s up with that?

Kat

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 January 2008
Messages
12,827
Location
Derbyshire
Eland's 50 ode is really popular, I wish they would add a 60. I feel a bit shit entering a 50 against kids barely off the lead rein but the 70 has a couple of fences that have quite a big brush top and I'm a wuss!

I like a pick a height class, a couple of years ago a venue near me did a pick a height hunter trial (alongside the 60 and 80 class) it was brilliant and really popular. It was good to be able to jump the simple fences from the bigger course but swap to the smaller ones for tricky combinations or if you had a stop.

A small riding club here do clear round training days where you can enter right up to the night before and pick which fences you jump as you go around. You can jump any height, miss a fence or pop one a couple of times. Really popular and the fences range from about 50cm upto about 95cm.

For me being able to enter close to the actual date is important, I like to be able to decide when I know how the ground is looking and how my horse is feeling.
 

Bernster

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 August 2011
Messages
6,955
Location
London
Around the south east there are a few really popular smaller xc and odes at 50 and 60. I realise that for a lot of people that’s a tiny height unless you’re on a lead rein, but it works for me. Am doing a 60 have a go xc tmrw. im hoping it will seem very small but it’s the first outing with Bertie so I’d like to reduce the things I get to stress about!
 

LEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 July 2005
Messages
9,421
See this might be a very unpopular view but I have a real issue with 50cm and 60cm xc. They are incredibly difficult to build for and complex unless done in one field for small kids on ponies who are just off the lead rein. I have actually run some 50/60cm ODE and they are not terribly well supported vs 80/90cm. I am surprised BRC doesn’t do 70cm but they are jam packed at champs so doesn’t surprise me either.
Cotswold cup does a few 70cm now and the courses were lovely and very encouraging. I personally think this is what people should be aiming for.
 

L&M

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 March 2008
Messages
6,066
Location
up a hill
Weston Park just advertised on fb, saying they will be pulling their Oct event if no more entries, what a shame and has always been so popular up until now......
 

LEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 July 2005
Messages
9,421
I come across disechanted riders regularly. They put in all the effort and training but their wonderhorse (absolutely blinding xc and sj but was born with four left hooves when it comes to dressage. You kind of loose heart when you see a dressae3 horse which can just about make it round a 100 course beats your game jump anything horse.
so you have two options - train better or move up a level. On the whole mine are very mediocre doing dressage so I don’t bother aiming for stuff like Badminton GR as accept they won’t get anywhere so tend to educate and move them up a level. I have one at moment who has scored 27, 25 and 26 in last 3 outings. It’s not a special horse in the slightest. It’s a heavy lump but she gives away absolutely no marks as so consistent and correct. She is so far from a dressage horse. Her sister has complete charisma and is a bloody useless xc horse even naughty and bucking 5 times will score a 30 which is ridiculous. She also won’t go very far. Novice if I work hard and get her to stop being so suspicious.
 

Bob notacob

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 February 2018
Messages
1,076
so you have two options - train better or move up a level. On the whole mine are very mediocre doing dressage so I don’t bother aiming for stuff like Badminton GR as accept they won’t get anywhere so tend to educate and move them up a level. I have one at moment who has scored 27, 25 and 26 in last 3 outings. It’s not a special horse in the slightest. It’s a heavy lump but she gives away absolutely no marks as so consistent and correct. She is so far from a dressage horse. Her sister has complete charisma and is a bloody useless xc horse even naughty and bucking 5 times will score a 30 which is ridiculous. She also won’t go very far. Novice if I work hard and get her to stop being so suspicious.
In a cold clinical way you are correct .However what gets riders to enter and what disenchants riders are entirely another matter. I think grass roots has been the best thing for eventing since sliced bread. However the distance one might have to travel to a "regional" is ridiculous . It nearly put off one of my disenchated crew .Fortunately she did go and now has her second entry for grass roots having lost last years entry (a bitter blow as the pony isnt gettin any yougner). I will get more satisfaction wathching that pony tackle the 100 than any of the stars in the main event.
 

Fools Motto

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 June 2011
Messages
6,388
I haven't competed in years, but helped a friend enter a hunter trial... the entry fee has put me right off. What I used to pay BE years ago is now the same for the unaffiliated ht! I gave up BE because of the cost....
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
See this might be a very unpopular view but I have a real issue with 50cm and 60cm xc. They are incredibly difficult to build for and complex unless done in one field for small kids on ponies who are just off the lead rein. I have actually run some 50/60cm ODE and they are not terribly well supported vs 80/90cm. I am surprised BRC doesn’t do 70cm but they are jam packed at champs so doesn’t surprise me either.
Cotswold cup does a few 70cm now and the courses were lovely and very encouraging. I personally think this is what people should be aiming for.
Ditto - 50/60 courses being tripped over, dangerously quick, by large horses, always worries me. 70cm really is an adequate starting height for anything other than kids and ponies. Shoot me down, but I'm not sure why anyone wants to compete at 50/60 rather than just continue to train.

Solution for me is probably 70/80/90 BE 'club' levels with much cheaper membership, integrated training offerings and a clear stepping stone up to the 'proper' grassroots and then onwards to the Novice+ stuff beyond that - so three tiers, with increasing costs. Because from Novice upwards you're generally a total addict and will willingly pay anything (at least, I think that's where my head is at!!)
 

LEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 July 2005
Messages
9,421
Ditto - 50/60 courses being tripped over, dangerously quick, by large horses, always worries me. 70cm really is an adequate starting height for anything other than kids and ponies. Shoot me down, but I'm not sure why anyone wants to compete at 50/60 rather than just continue to train.

Solution for me is probably 70/80/90 BE 'club' levels with much cheaper membership, integrated training offerings and a clear stepping stone up to the 'proper' grassroots and then onwards to the Novice+ stuff beyond that - so three tiers, with increasing costs. Because from Novice upwards you're generally a total addict and will willingly pay anything (at least, I think that's where my head is at!!)
I was told the other day they are going to reduce BE GR membership costs. It will annoy me a lot if I move the horse to novice and get taxed for it.

On an aside I was at Cotswold Cup yesterday and winners of 80/90/100 got £1k cash plus juniors are separate. Amazing really. The 80 was won by a 5* eventer but the rules allow it and with that kind of cash and a chance to train with Harry Meade…
 

Bernster

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 August 2011
Messages
6,955
Location
London
As someone who does 60s, I’m not sure why it should bother anyone else what height I’m doing. Great for those who do bigger heights, good for them, but I don’t do those and I’m enjoying myself at the lower heights. Maybe I will go up in height in time but that’s my choice. I’m happy there are events that cater for a wide range.
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
I was told the other day they are going to reduce BE GR membership costs. It will annoy me a lot if I move the horse to novice and get taxed for it.

On an aside I was at Cotswold Cup yesterday and winners of 80/90/100 got £1k cash plus juniors are separate. Amazing really. The 80 was won by a 5* eventer but the rules allow it and with that kind of cash and a chance to train with Harry Meade…
I honestly don't mind being taxed for.competing at the "higher" levels - I fully understand the courses I want to jump are longer, take more construction and are not supported by the same volumes of competitors. And there's no alternative cheaper option anyway.

The Cotswold Cup money just seems like serious errors have been made in not attracting that sponsorship into the core sport. Also, quite frankly laughable that a 5* rider is winning the 80. At BE they would have to ride HC. I still don't believe there is any justifiable place for unaffiliated eventing - that's not me slating people who choose to do it, because it absolutely makes financial sense. It just doesn't make sense to me from a 'for the good of the sport'/'for the good of the horse' perspective... (I know my view is unpopular etc etc etc)
 

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
6,287
I agree with you RF. I think unaffiliated eventing over BE courses is killing off BE. A lot of my friends have switched to unaff and are competing for the Brigante cup. Pretty much the only ones I personally know still out BE are the kids doing the U18s. There was a discussion about this at a recent training camp and I was raising the risks set out in your previous post on this but I was a lone voice . The overwhelming perception was that the Unaff comps at BE events ‘proved’ that BE was a complete rip off and overpriced as ‘if they can run it so cheap unaff then clearly the BE prices are ridiculous’ not recognising that the UA comps are benefitting from the costs BE have already absorbed.

I don’t know what the answer is but running 2 identical comps one day after the other, with day 1 prices being necessary for day 2 to safely happen, but with day 2 being half the price of Day 1 is not it!
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
I agree with you RF. I think unaffiliated eventing over BE courses is killing off BE. A lot of my friends have switched to unaff and are competing for the Brigante cup. Pretty much the only ones I personally know still out BE are the kids doing the U18s. There was a discussion about this at a recent training camp and I was raising the risks set out in your previous post on this but I was a lone voice . The overwhelming perception was that the Unaff comps at BE events ‘proved’ that BE was a complete rip off and overpriced as ‘if they can run it so cheap unaff then clearly the BE prices are ridiculous’ not recognising that the UA comps are benefitting from the costs BE have already absorbed.

I don’t know what the answer is but running 2 identical comps one day after the other, with day 1 prices being necessary for day 2 to safely happen, but with day 2 being half the price of Day 1 is not it!
The organisers of Frickley wanted to bring the second day (the Brigante final) fully under the umbrella of BE, to try and bring people into affiliated sport. BE didn't approve them to do this - which I personally think is a shame although i also get some of the reasoning. I think the organisers of the Brigante cup did actually have an ambition to make it a series that underpinned a drive to get people into affiliated sport. But the Cotswold Cup seems to be a slightly more disruptive and separate thing. I could be wrong, but it is the vibe I get from the mega prize money and free-for-all rules.

I am pretty certain that Helen is ready to tackle the low participation head on. It is going to require quite a shake up and i'm sure will upset a few people in the process. Part of the role of a National Governing Body is to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of sport - so it really *is* on BE to bring people into the fold and not allow a (at surface level) cheaper and easier option to exist, disconnected but in parallel.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
38,774
I think unaffiliated eventing over BE courses is killing off BE.

They always knew it would, that's why back when I started no unaffiliated event could be run over a BE course. But then they started chasing venues for lower heights for the membership revenues it would bring, first PN/BE100, then BE90, Now BE 80, and this muddle is where we end up.
.
 

Roxylola

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 March 2016
Messages
3,954
The organisers of Frickley wanted to bring the second day (the Brigante final) fully under the umbrella of BE, to try and bring people into affiliated sport. BE didn't approve them to do this - which I personally think is a shame although i also get some of the reasoning. I think the organisers of the Brigante cup did actually have an ambition to make it a series that underpinned a drive to get people into affiliated sport. But the Cotswold Cup seems to be a slightly more disruptive and separate thing. I could be wrong, but it is the vibe I get from the mega prize money and free-for-all rules.

I am pretty certain that Helen is ready to tackle the low participation head on. It is going to require quite a shake up and i'm sure will upset a few people in the process. Part of the role of a National Governing Body is to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of sport - so it really *is* on BE to bring people into the fold and not allow a (at surface level) cheaper and easier option to exist, disconnected but in parallel.
The not allowing the brigante to be brought in to the BE highlights an attitude for me that BE feel they are untouchable and that people will cough up a lot of money just because its BE.
I'm conflicted personally because I sort of like the whole having an official record thing (even if mine is made up of 2 clear but unplaced BE events). However, I equally don't feel like I'm "really" eventing yet. My goal for now is a 100 eventually - which was prenovice in the days I started out. When I get there maybe I'll feel like an eventer.
Tbh, I'd not object to good club stuff with some sort "affiliated" step up towards BE, maybe a bit like trailblazers. But it would have to be good, proper length solid fences etc. I'd be happy to pay more in membership for lower entry fees as well.
 

TPO

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 November 2008
Messages
6,802
Location
A ray of sunshine 🌞
So isthe problem not BE rather than the people spending their money on unaff?

There's been discussions about how BE is run since this forum started before 90s/intros I think and definitely before 80s.

Doesn't BRC have to shoulder some responsibility too? The infrastructure for developing and training to get people ready for affiliated doesn't appear to be there [in every club]. I remember the dark old days when to get onto a team was a hard earned honour but now RCs seems to scrape to make a team and if you want to take part regardless of ability then you get a spot.

Thats obviously a numbers issue too so why aren't people attracted to RC?

Again harking back to days of yonder but all the older people (friends of my mum) who affiliated were all well established riders who did all the training and got experience RC/HT so we're more than ready to go out at novice. Now "the masses" appear to demand that everything is made easier because its only fair that they are catered to and should have the option.

#bekind and "people should be supportive" seems to be replacing common sense & straight talking. The have a go attitude seems to have replaced the need for serious homework to be done before hand.

Competing affiliated was something to be earned almost and now it's a given as most horses can get around an 80/90. I've seen comments on FB from people wanting BE to introduce even smaller courses too.

That then appears to result in what is often seen at lower level BE; unfit horses, unfit riders, horse out of control, riders who can't stay with their horses over a fence, people jumping wildly out of any stride and having no influence over their horse/gait/stride/direction. Blair aside I haven't been at a BE event in over 3yrs but all that was a common sight and I still see it when people post their pictures and videos to the Internet.

Surely if BE want to eradicate/reduce the need for unaff then they need to work alongside BRC to build a training and development pathway and they have to be stricter regarding unfit (fitness and ability) pairings on the day.
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
The not allowing the brigante to be brought in to the BE highlights an attitude for me that BE feel they are untouchable and that people will cough up a lot of money just because its BE.
I'm conflicted personally because I sort of like the whole having an official record thing (even if mine is made up of 2 clear but unplaced BE events). However, I equally don't feel like I'm "really" eventing yet. My goal for now is a 100 eventually - which was prenovice in the days I started out. When I get there maybe I'll feel like an eventer.
Tbh, I'd not object to good club stuff with some sort "affiliated" step up towards BE, maybe a bit like trailblazers. But it would have to be good, proper length solid fences etc. I'd be happy to pay more in membership for lower entry fees as well.
I think the logic around not allowing it was about upsetting BE members who would feel like the unaff Brigante lot were getting something for nothing. Which they kind of would have been, but I do think it would have shown a better unified picture to bring them together.

I think having an affiliated system which runs all the way from the smallest to the largest events and has a logical progression system throughout it, is the most 'inclusive' a sport can be, and also ensures that you are "really" eventing, even if it is at the starting rungs of that ladder rather than the top rungs. Because you can see the rungs above you and understand the process of how you would get there.
 

milliepops

Wears headscarf aggressively
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
24,937
The BRC thing is a tricky one, is it the chicken or the egg that has made those dwindle in disciplines like eventing...? I can't see how they can rebuild tbh, they need the membership for the ££, the demand and the volunteers, but without the offering already available it's not an attractive prospect. I rejoined a local RC a couple of years ago but there is nothing for me so I let it lapse again. it used to be the THING that everyone did when I was younger. and there was a kudos to affiliated sport because it was different to what unaff had to offer. (and was simply harder so you had to prove your ability really in order to do it)
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
So isthe problem not BE rather than the people spending their money on unaff?

There's been discussions about how BE is run since this forum started before 90s/intros I think and definitely before 80s.

Doesn't BRC have to shoulder some responsibility too? The infrastructure for developing and training to get people ready for affiliated doesn't appear to be there [in every club]. I remember the dark old days when to get onto a team was a hard earned honour but now RCs seems to scrape to make a team and if you want to take part regardless of ability then you get a spot.

Thats obviously a numbers issue too so why aren't people attracted to RC?

Again harking back to days of yonder but all the older people (friends of my mum) who affiliated were all well established riders who did all the training and got experience RC/HT so we're more than ready to go out at novice. Now "the masses" appear to demand that everything is made easier because its only fair that they are catered to and should have the option.

#bekind and "people should be supportive" seems to be replacing common sense & straight talking. The have a go attitude seems to have replaced the need for serious homework to be done before hand.

Competing affiliated was something to be earned almost and now it's a given as most horses can get around an 80/90. I've seen comments on FB from people wanting BE to introduce even smaller courses too.

That then appears to result in what is often seen at lower level BE; unfit horses, unfit riders, horse out of control, riders who can't stay with their horses over a fence, people jumping wildly out of any stride and having no influence over their horse/gait/stride/direction. Blair aside I haven't been at a BE event in over 3yrs but all that was a common sight and I still see it when people post their pictures and videos to the Internet.

Surely if BE want to eradicate/reduce the need for unaff then they need to work alongside BRC to build a training and development pathway and they have to be stricter regarding unfit (fitness and ability) pairings on the day.

I completely agree with you TPO on most points - I think there has to be some kind of integrated training offering that runs alongside starting out a competition. And that used to be delivered by PC and RC, but does seem to have faded away in many places. BE did start to step into the training space, but then stepped back out of it - which was a shame, I actually really enjoyed the group training sessions that were run around the East of England when I was there.

I don't agree that 'competing affiliated' is what needs to be earned - I think competing FULL STOP is what needs to be earned. Don't go out competing without doing the neccessary training and preparation. Affiliated, unaffiliated, whatever, wherever.

I think this is where there's a rock/hard-place situation - lots of people saying they don't like BE because they don't like "some stuck up steward telling them that they were riding dangerously" or that they don't like the continued performance requirements and think they have a right to enter/do whatever they like. But a responsible NGB can't just let people be dangerous and compromise welfare of horses. I would personally like to see a stricter take on competence and welfare, but I know it wouldn't be popular.
 

TPO

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 November 2008
Messages
6,802
Location
A ray of sunshine 🌞
I don't agree that 'competing affiliated' is what needs to be earned - I think competing FULL STOP is what needs to be earned. Don't go out competing without doing the neccessary training and preparation. Affiliated, unaffiliated, whatever, wherever.
Ah yes, I agree. It blows my, admittedly small, mind that people will happily spend £££ to go BE when clearly it would have been better invested in training.

It was always drilled into me to be training a level above at home to the one that you are competing at. That really doesn't seem to be the case for a lot of pairings and not just BE/xc.

To an outsider there seems to be a rush to get out competing over everything else.
 

Roxylola

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 March 2016
Messages
3,954
I think perhaps all affiliated organisations in the UK at least could potentially offer better and more accredited training. I'm incredibly lucky to have access to some awesome facilities within a couple of hours drive and follow at least a couple of trainers who offer clinics at those facilities. But approaching them for the first time is hard. If I could have subscribed to BE and got access to clinics and coaches who are give training dates and info I'd 100% have been happy to pay a full membership rate for that alone. Especially if you can then book with that person regularly (as far as time money etc allows). I have one coach I see maybe 6 times a year, but its enough that I can ask for and trust her opinion about competing.
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
A lot of the centres run unaffiliated to be able to fund the affiliated. BE makes venues pay for the upkeep of the courses etc., they can't make enough money just doing that via BE competitions, they have to run unaffiliated to make up the money.
I see this point being made a lot. But i'm not so sure that the only solution is running identikit unaffiliated versions of affiliated events. I'm pretty sure that money could also be made from offering clear round jumping, course hire, training events, clinics etc. I know it is trickier at the sites which are one-offs and not an equestrian centre year-round.
 

shortstuff99

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2008
Messages
4,415
Location
Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
I see this point being made a lot. But i'm not so sure that the only solution is running identikit unaffiliated versions of affiliated events. I'm pretty sure that money could also be made from offering clear round jumping, course hire, training events, clinics etc. I know it is trickier at the sites which are one-offs and not an equestrian centre year-round.
Not really, most of those events barely cover the cost of running them. You need events where you're going to get a few hundred entries, that only really works at eventing or other big shows. Trying to cover costs now is almost impossible. I have had to double entry fees for my hunter trial and hope I get at least 100 entries or I can't even run. I know people are going to complain at the price and if they do well I can't run anymore.
 

RachelFerd

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
NW
Not really, most of those events barely cover the cost of running them. You need events where you're going to get a few hundred entries, that only really works at eventing or other big shows. Trying to cover costs now is almost impossible. I have had to double entry fees for my hunter trial and hope I get at least 100 entries or I can't even run. I know people are going to complain at the price and if they do well I can't run anymore.
Whenever i'm at Somerford I marvel at how effectively they've monetised the entire site. They rarely run any competitions, because clearly there is far more income to be made from well prepared and thought out training opportunities than there are from running comps.
 

shortstuff99

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2008
Messages
4,415
Location
Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
Whenever i'm at Somerford I marvel at how effectively they've monetised the entire site. They rarely run any competitions, because clearly there is far more income to be made from well prepared and thought out training opportunities than there are from running comps.
They also have lots of other things that fund Somerford not just training.
 

shortstuff99

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2008
Messages
4,415
Location
Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
Yes - they've monetised every last corner. I'm there nearly once a week at the moment for various things - they get lots of my money one way or another!
Unfortunately that is just not possible in a lot of places, and I think if BE venues are not allowed to run unaffiliated then many will close and there will be even less BE.
 

coblets

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 July 2018
Messages
181
Anyone else noticing an increase of people who affiliate sticking to BS rather than BE? Quite a few friends stopped BE due to worries about injuries and the cost, and now just showjump.
 
Top