Low BE entries - what’s up with that?

Roxylola

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I was discussing this at the weekend (with there just having been a horse fall team chasing and the horse stayed down- was ok in the end). I think most of the unaffiliated I have done (all at places that also ran BE) didn't have a doctor but did have the rest on site. I'd be interested in others experiences.
Belvoir? I did the fun class, we'd gone by that time but heard about it. Everywhere I've been un or aff for one days has all had vets and some medical support on sight. I don't recall a farrier at eland last year but I might just not have seen one. Less so with arena eventing but that's been at kelsall and I think they have a lot just based on site anyway
 

RachelFerd

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Belvoir? I did the fun class, we'd gone by that time but heard about it. Everywhere I've been un or aff for one days has all had vets and some medical support on sight. I don't recall a farrier at eland last year but I might just not have seen one. Less so with arena eventing but that's been at kelsall and I think they have a lot just based on site anyway
Pretty much every time i've been teamchasing there has been a massive delay waiting for an air ambulance to come in. I mean, I love *doing* teamchasing, but the risk to horse and human life is preeeeety high, probably unjustiably so/?? But one of the people on my team worked in fundraising for the air ambulance for the region, so at least she was giving with one hand whilst taking away with the other!!!
 

ester

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Belvoir? I did the fun class, we'd gone by that time but heard about it. Everywhere I've been un or aff for one days has all had vets and some medical support on sight. I don't recall a farrier at eland last year but I might just not have seen one. Less so with arena eventing but that's been at kelsall and I think they have a lot just based on site anyway
Yup :) 5/6 vehicles ended up with it (not sure who was who particuarly) and they got screens up very quick. I wasn't sure they would actually have them.
 

Roxylola

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Yup :) 5/6 vehicles ended up with it (not sure who was who particuarly) and they got screens up very quick. I wasn't sure they would actually have them.
My friends were very impressed how it was handled.
@RachelFerd I don't think I could in good conscience ask a horse to do more than a novice competitively, it was a fantastic day but its so fast and challenging all round, of the inter we saw it seemed less than half the teams completed with 4 riders. At least one horse looked pretty sore after clambering through a hedge - Rider was clearly pulling up but even the walk looked ouchy
 

teapot

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All BE events have Vets, Horse Ambulances, Doctors, Paramedics and Ambulances on site. It is this level of support/care provision that increases the cost of affiliated eventing. BE does take an affiliation fee from entries but that is small when provision of temporary infrastructure is taken into account. However the Doctors and Vets get paid a very small amount aka they are subsidised volunteers. Paramedics are paid considerably more than highly qualified Doctors!!!! I have no knowledge about Horse ambulance costs.

Blenheim is an event I know very very well as I have volunteered there for many years my, OH was a Doctor there as well. On XC day there are 4 sectors each has a BE Steward, Doctor with resuscitation kit + necessary drugs, Paramedic staffed Ambulance, Vet with all their necessary drugs and a Horse Ambulance. There is also separate spectator first aid and Doctor provision. If a competitor/spectator needs to go to A&E the local ambulance service is called in via 999.

It was this level of care/support that led me to affiliated eventing many years ago having been to many rather dodgy hunter trials. I was also working in the NHS as a radiographer so was acutely aware of horse related nasty injuries!!
Are the paramedic costs higher because a lot of the time the cover is provided by private companies?
 

LEC

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@RachelFerd I don't think I could in good conscience ask a horse to do more than a novice competitively, it was a fantastic day but its so fast and challenging all round, of the inter we saw it seemed less than half the teams completed with 4 riders. At least one horse looked pretty sore after clambering through a hedge - Rider was clearly pulling up but even the walk looked ouchy[/QUOTE]

Team chasing does have an attrition rate but as its low key and not affiliated, nor are numbers kept about falls etc then its stays on the low. I will go round Intermediates at bogey speed but I would have to have a specialist horse for opens who truly loved the game.
 

RachelFerd

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Team chasing does have an attrition rate but as its low key and not affiliated, nor are numbers kept about falls etc then its stays on the low. I will go round Intermediates at bogey speed but I would have to have a specialist horse for opens who truly loved the game.
I'd say it isn't really technically unaffilaited, as all the events are run under the ausprices of the MFHA as a governing body. But since the MFHA isn't a member body of British Equestrian, and has no dotted line to the FEI, it is 'affiliated' in the absolute loosest term.

I've ridden round intermediate teamchases on my lovely event horse, who always gave me a very safe feeling as he was a careful and educated jumper and neither of us were major risk takers! I rode in a team with a bunch of people who were adequately prepared on equally suitable horses. It is however the world of the worst type of "have a go" riders, which are the "have a go riders, without any fear" - these are the truly dangerous lot. The attrition rate in teamchasing would probably relate more to the absence of any qualifying regime or MER process. It is 'ok' so long as it bubbles away in the background and stays on the low. Mass participation in teamchasing would result in it having to change quite drastically!
 

abb123

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As an outsider, who is a keen attendee to the larger events, has a perfectly capable horse, and who's instructors (eventers) keep trying to get to have a go but doesn't want to ..I thought my thoughts might be relevant.

Normally, I can never understand why events are always balloted and yet not enough events seem to be on. Seems to be a constant gripe by eventers. To me this seems to suggest a big problem is the calendar itself - clashes, not spread out enough etc. Added to this year by covid and weather last minute cancellations and difficulties in getting money back - I would be reluctant to book myself in too!

For the newbie it is very daunting. I didn't come from a horsey family (most eventers seem to to me?) and didn't really have a clue where to start so never got into it. If you have a smart pony and a supportive mum that has evented then it is much more approachable. If you have never done it before then it is totally overwhelming.

The 80 is too big for me as a starting point, especially with the brush fences that are super scary. I'm perfectly capable of showjumping 1m+ but for some reason the xc jumps scare me more (I can canter down a hill by the way..).

It is a lot of money and time to commit to. I'm affiliated in dressage and showjumping but there is always something on, always something reasonably local, and always can get enough outings to make affiliation worthwhile. Also I can do it quite reasonably on my own - it always seems like you need a team of helpers for eventing but again that might be because I do not have a clue.

Put that all together and i think you have to be really committed to it in order to make affiliating worthwhile in a way that a lot of people just can't these days. It is easier to just do the farm rides or the xc at camps, or a local unaffiliated event/HT..

I quite like the arena eventing that Kelsall does all summer - course of showjumps and xc jumps so you can do a good course and you can hire it out easily. They start at 70cm, so a bit less scary. You never know - if I can enjoy going round that I might actually take the plunge one day!
 

ester

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I'd say it isn't really technically unaffilaited, as all the events are run under the ausprices of the MFHA as a governing body. But since the MFHA isn't a member body of British Equestrian, and has no dotted line to the FEI, it is 'affiliated' in the absolute loosest term.

I've ridden round intermediate teamchases on my lovely event horse, who always gave me a very safe feeling as he was a careful and educated jumper and neither of us were major risk takers! I rode in a team with a bunch of people who were adequately prepared on equally suitable horses. It is however the world of the worst type of "have a go" riders, which are the "have a go riders, without any fear" - these are the truly dangerous lot. The attrition rate in teamchasing would probably relate more to the absence of any qualifying regime or MER process. It is 'ok' so long as it bubbles away in the background and stays on the low. Mass participation in teamchasing would result in it having to change quite drastically!
You forgot to mention the pre-match alcohol intake in order to reduce said fear ;)
 

spacefaer

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Not entirely sure it was my OH who told me that. Most of the paramedics working for the private companies are moonlighting on their days off!!
I was secretary for our local point to point and it was a nightmare getting medical cover. It's expensive - think a couple of thousand for the day - and we had to book a private company who provided all the medical cover. Two ambulances, doctors, paramedics etc.
Our main issue was that the doctors were all hospital doctors and had to have done a specialist trauma course - which not all doctors have done - and they need to be off duty on the day of the meeting. With shift changes etc it was impossible to know until a few days before who would be available, and they had to be approved by the BHA.
A bit of a nightmare!
 

Velcrobum

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I was secretary for our local point to point and it was a nightmare getting medical cover. It's expensive - think a couple of thousand for the day - and we had to book a private company who provided all the medical cover. Two ambulances, doctors, paramedics etc.
Our main issue was that the doctors were all hospital doctors and had to have done a specialist trauma course - which not all doctors have done - and they need to be off duty on the day of the meeting. With shift changes etc it was impossible to know until a few days before who would be available, and they had to be approved by the BHA.
A bit of a nightmare!
My OH when asked to cover point to points was an Anaesthetics/ITU senior consultant and had done an intensive specialist trauma course but the P2P governing body deemed him unsuitable! He was not asking to be paid just fed and watered and was providing the "required resus equipment and drugs" his only requirement was being reimbursed for any drugs and disposables he used.
 

RachelFerd

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Not sure if anyone has seen the press release from BS about competing in unsanctioned events. Someone had posted that BS had said unaffiliated could only go up to 100cm. Wondered how that impacted riding club and pony club or trailblazers that go above 100cm.
I've seen keysoe's references to it, but not the release itself. Do you have a link?
 

sportsmansB

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I am a grassroots amateur but EI rather than BE
We don't run 80's over here except at a few venues which already have suitable small jumps in place
I do 90's and 100's on an ex int horse. It is my choice to stay at those heights, I almost moved up to novice a few years ago with another horse but lost her before I ahd the chance. I have no notion of doing that now. HOWEVER I'd like to think that if someone saw me from a distance while I was on course that I wouldn't look that different to other competent people in higher classes. I work hard to make sure both me and my horse are fit enough and ready for the test in front of us.

I don't think 80 should be a BE height to be honest. Affiliated competition used to be something which people aspired to, and you would always have been competing unaff a height higher than you would go out aff (in both SJ and eventing). It is like offering a walk trot test at BD- do they do that?

I don't compete unaff as I like the comfort of knowing there is an ambulance, that the course has been built by someone accredited, that the portables are all correctly secured, etc. My horse also doesn't like thrown together fences, he's used to proper ones and it makes him super spooky...
We don't have enough people over here for there to be a big unaff alternative in terms of full events- there are a lot of 2 phase (SJ & XC) and Derby type things. My heart is in my mouth watching some of the combinations at these though they are good for getting going and getting a mini xc experience. I use them at the start of the season to get going but wouldn't risk my horse on chancy ground at them just for fun.
Are there many 2 phases in England? Maybe thats a way of the BE venues being able to offer something to boost their revenues but not in direct competition.
 

teapot

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I don't think 80 should be a BE height to be honest. Affiliated competition used to be something which people aspired to, and you would always have been competing unaff a height higher than you would go out aff (in both SJ and eventing). It is like offering a walk trot test at BD- do they do that?
Yup they do - called Intro and only three available tests currently.
 

milliepops

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in fairness Intro is highly restrictive, there's no championships and you can very quickly ride yourself out of eligibility if you have any ambition at other levels at all.
 

teapot

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There is nothing really aspirational about that is there. Its a shame. I don't know if dressage ireland do that too.
I think its great to get a baby horse out to a small local venue, don't get me wrong, but I don't see that its a good addition to aff competition
They do: https://www.dressageireland.ie/regions/dressage-ireland-tests/intro-tests

Interesting, Intro C includes canter.

As MP says, Intro is somewhat limited at BD, and with only three tests it can get dull very quickly. I can understand why someone would take their youngster out to BD for a walk & trot when it means (or should do) better surfaces, slightly more organisation, and less carnage than some local unaffiliated venues...

I used the Intro tests in an old job for clients, got a BD judge in, and clients soon asked for prelim as an option. They found some of them easier!
 
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DabDab

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I am a grassroots amateur but EI rather than BE
We don't run 80's over here except at a few venues which already have suitable small jumps in place
I do 90's and 100's on an ex int horse. It is my choice to stay at those heights, I almost moved up to novice a few years ago with another horse but lost her before I ahd the chance. I have no notion of doing that now. HOWEVER I'd like to think that if someone saw me from a distance while I was on course that I wouldn't look that different to other competent people in higher classes. I work hard to make sure both me and my horse are fit enough and ready for the test in front of us.

I don't think 80 should be a BE height to be honest. Affiliated competition used to be something which people aspired to, and you would always have been competing unaff a height higher than you would go out aff (in both SJ and eventing). It is like offering a walk trot test at BD- do they do that?

I don't compete unaff as I like the comfort of knowing there is an ambulance, that the course has been built by someone accredited, that the portables are all correctly secured, etc. My horse also doesn't like thrown together fences, he's used to proper ones and it makes him super spooky...
We don't have enough people over here for there to be a big unaff alternative in terms of full events- there are a lot of 2 phase (SJ & XC) and Derby type things. My heart is in my mouth watching some of the combinations at these though they are good for getting going and getting a mini xc experience. I use them at the start of the season to get going but wouldn't risk my horse on chancy ground at them just for fun.
Are there many 2 phases in England? Maybe thats a way of the BE venues being able to offer something to boost their revenues but not in direct competition.
A lot of unaffiliated events are very well run now. Certainly the ones that I help out at have horse ambulance, human ambulance and well built xc course.

This is the problem, and the reason a lot of people are choosing UA over affiliated.
 

RachelFerd

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Affiliated competition used to be something which people aspired to,
This is where I really disagree - competition is something that people should aspire to, and if affiliated competition is the safest and best environment, why not make all competition as good and safe, at every level? There's no need it for it to be aspirational.
 

sportsmansB

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This is where I really disagree - competition is something that people should aspire to, and if affiliated competition is the safest and best environment, why not make all competition as good and safe, at every level? There's no need it for it to be aspirational.
I mean more in terms of versus the small local competitions, which were seen as a stepping stone, not an alternative.

FWIW I agree, I think everyone should train until they are fit and safe and competent enough to go around a reasonable level of competition.
The problem is that the current attitude of everyone wanting to be able to do everything and it being seen as discriminatory in some way if they can't, means that won't happen. It'll be discrimination against people who can't afford lessons, and everyone should be able to potentially wreck themselves for the sake of political correctness and 'fairness'
 

TPO

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This is where I really disagree - competition is something that people should aspire to, and if affiliated competition is the safest and best environment, why not make all competition as good and safe, at every level? There's no need it for it to be aspirational.
Aspire is probably the right and wrong word. Maybe attain? As in affiliated was a standard to be attained through putting the work in?

Although that way of thinking seems to hard back to the rose tinted days when there was a structure in place via RC to work up the lower levels to end up at a standard* to compete at an affiliated level.

*by standard I guess I mean safe and capable.

Whereas now BE isn't the pinnacle, so to speak, because they themselves have lowered their entry requirements to 80cm. Even still there are often complaints about fences being too difficult in an 80/90 course.

The main driver for unaff appears to be cost. So really BE have to be looking at a tiered system BUT on the other hand to provide the necessary support/coaching/stewarding would probably mean that 80/90 would cost more. Its more likely to be those heights that need more supervision?

Borrowing slightly from the French system I do think some sort of stamped card to ok you to compete BE would be a good idea. The uphill/downhill riding would be the second stage after showing in a school that they could ride all paces, control strides between 2 poles and jump a small short course on the flat demonstrating control of pace/the off and that the rider can sit in balance on the flat and over a fence.

As an observer I'm really sick seeing horses back teeth pulled out (usually while their mouth is tied shut) while the rider is a county behind the horse over a fence.

I do understand why RC is unappealing (cliques!) and why being an "eventer" is very appealing but I don't think it should be a right. As in I want to event so I'm going BE end off

Admittedly having one governing body from sticks on the ground to 5* would make that easier to police. That would require BE to work with current organisers as they don't always seem to make a good job of that?

Do BE even want to do away with unaff??
 

RachelFerd

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Do BE even want to do away with unaff??
Well, I suspect they don't when it provides a useful pipeline of people to enter into the sport. But given that the recent development seems to have provided a more extensive pipeline to keep people out of the affiliated sport, I think their view may be evolving.

But this definitely isn't *just* a BE thing, it seems like there is stuff bubbling away on the BS side too. Funnily enough, BD seems to be the more stable one. But then it does genuinely provide opportunities for all to qualify for lots of different things.
 
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