Unaffiliated or affiliated?

littlelessbloom

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21 January 2021
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57
I am thinking of taking a step up with my horse after a successful season of doing 70cm one day events. But I am on the fence as to whether or not to just do unaffiliated, take the leap and do affiliated or do half and half?

Dressage is the same level as we have been doing in our previous one day events and out at dressage competitions. We are training at Novice so realistically should be “easy”

Show jumping we are jumping at 80-85cm comfortably. I will obviously do show jumping practise and more competitions before the season starts anyway.

Cross country - we can make the time (but time isn’t important to me at this point, I just want to make sure we are capable and get round safely. Double clear and inside the time is a huge bonus). It’s just obviously the cross country fences themselves. Again, we will obviously go cross country schooling again before the season starts but we haven’t really done any arena eventing or schooling over winter.

What are the pros and cons of both (besides the obvious outlay of membership fees)? And if affiliated, which membership would you recommend?
 

Roxylola

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15 March 2016
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4,229
I've done a mix of both, the course builders want to get you home safely so there isn't anything terrifying at either for that level. I like doing at least some affiliated for the record personally
 

RachelFerd

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I am thinking of taking a step up with my horse after a successful season of doing 70cm one day events. But I am on the fence as to whether or not to just do unaffiliated, take the leap and do affiliated or do half and half?

Dressage is the same level as we have been doing in our previous one day events and out at dressage competitions. We are training at Novice so realistically should be “easy”

Show jumping we are jumping at 80-85cm comfortably. I will obviously do show jumping practise and more competitions before the season starts anyway.

Cross country - we can make the time (but time isn’t important to me at this point, I just want to make sure we are capable and get round safely. Double clear and inside the time is a huge bonus). It’s just obviously the cross country fences themselves. Again, we will obviously go cross country schooling again before the season starts but we haven’t really done any arena eventing or schooling over winter.

What are the pros and cons of both (besides the obvious outlay of membership fees)? And if affiliated, which membership would you recommend?

Where you are in the country impacts whether there is much unaffiliated available or not. But I'd always recommend affiliating in order to get the gold standard in terms of safety and organisation, *and* to participate in a nationally organised structure that gives you opportunity to progress in a structured way. I know there's often a lack of sympathy for BE, but it is a national governing body, so it makes sense to support it if you actually like the sport.

The new PAYG membership I think works out best value if you're competing up to about 8-10 times in a season. Its £30 for horse registration and £30 for rider registration, plus £15 PAYG top-up membership for each event. You could then aim to get BE80 double clears to qualify for one of the Area Festivals later on in the year (with ultimately a pathway to qualifying for champs at Bramham 2023)

The BE80 tracks are consistently kind and inviting - but obviously some are more first time friendly than others. It is worth sitting down with calendar and making a bit of plan.
 

littlelessbloom

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21 January 2021
Messages
57
Thanks both. I am in the midlands so I can travel to Solihull, Eland, Shelford, Aston, Somerford and any close.

I definitely would like my horse to have a record in case I ever sell him. I do also think the PAYG membership would suit us especially if we won’t be going to a great deal this season.

Where do people think are the most inviting BE80s around where I’ve just mentioned?
 

RachelFerd

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24 April 2005
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2,273
Location
NW
Thanks both. I am in the midlands so I can travel to Solihull, Eland, Shelford, Aston, Somerford and any close.

I definitely would like my horse to have a record in case I ever sell him. I do also think the PAYG membership would suit us especially if we won’t be going to a great deal this season.

Where do people think are the most inviting BE80s around where I’ve just mentioned?
You're really well located in the midlands to have plenty of choice in all directions - I'm North Cheshire base and find it a really good location for having plenty of choice of where to go.

Of the ones you've mentioned I think Aston is generally the most straightforward, flat and inviting. Somerford would probably verge on being a bit more big and imposing - but always jumps very well at all levels. Solihull, Eland, Aston and Somerford will also SJ on a surface if that makes any difference to you. Llanymynech is usually a nice straightforward 80 in Shropshire. Berriewood, Speetley, Offchurch Bury also all nice events. Kelsall is another inviting event at 80 level with SJ on top quality surface.
 

Birker2020

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18 January 2021
Messages
2,298
I am thinking of taking a step up with my horse after a successful season of doing 70cm one day events. But I am on the fence as to whether or not to just do unaffiliated, take the leap and do affiliated or do half and half?

Dressage is the same level as we have been doing in our previous one day events and out at dressage competitions. We are training at Novice so realistically should be “easy”

Show jumping we are jumping at 80-85cm comfortably. I will obviously do show jumping practise and more competitions before the season starts anyway.

Cross country - we can make the time (but time isn’t important to me at this point, I just want to make sure we are capable and get round safely. Double clear and inside the time is a huge bonus). It’s just obviously the cross country fences themselves. Again, we will obviously go cross country schooling again before the season starts but we haven’t really done any arena eventing or schooling over winter.

What are the pros and cons of both (besides the obvious outlay of membership fees)? And if affiliated, which membership would you recommend?
I've done both but was struck by how professional everything seemed at affiliated level, from the way people talked and mixed, to the fences (which looked enormous as they were built to height) to the organisation, everything was different but in a better way.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and won a hundred pounds or so in the short time I did it on the one horse I had. It was nice trying to win money and have something to show for your efforts.
 

littlelessbloom

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21 January 2021
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57
You're really well located in the midlands to have plenty of choice in all directions - I'm North Cheshire base and find it a really good location for having plenty of choice of where to go.

Of the ones you've mentioned I think Aston is generally the most straightforward, flat and inviting. Somerford would probably verge on being a bit more big and imposing - but always jumps very well at all levels. Solihull, Eland, Aston and Somerford will also SJ on a surface if that makes any difference to you. Llanymynech is usually a nice straightforward 80 in Shropshire. Berriewood, Speetley, Offchurch Bury also all nice events. Kelsall is another inviting event at 80 level with SJ on top quality surface.
Oh yes I am very lucky with where I am. I did the 70 at Aston and really liked the venue and a lot of the 80s didn’t look a great deal bigger than the 70s. Thank you for your help, I will look at these venues!
 

Jango

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14 July 2010
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508
I would have a look for events round BE tracks but unaff, the price difference is quite considerable! Then if/when you are doing well, I would do the affiliated ones for a chance to qualify for regionals 😊
 

Birker2020

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18 January 2021
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2,298
Thanks both. I am in the midlands so I can travel to Solihull, Eland, Shelford, Aston, Somerford and any close.

I definitely would like my horse to have a record in case I ever sell him. I do also think the PAYG membership would suit us especially if we won’t be going to a great deal this season.

Where do people think are the most inviting BE80s around where I’ve just mentioned?
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These are the one my horse did, I think most of those are Cheshire way I believe - or at least that's where he was located for a vast period of his life prior to me buying him. But I don't have personal experience of them. The only one I know of BE is Solihull because my partner used to help build there.
 

littlelessbloom

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21 January 2021
Messages
57
Thanks! I know obviously Solihull, Eland and Aston have regular unaff one day events over their BE courses but do any of the others? I might do as ihatework said and do a couple of unaffs early on in the season and then affiliate towards the second half. Unless things go terribly at 80!
 

RachelFerd

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24 April 2005
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2,273
Location
NW
Most unaff is mid season onwards, so if you want a full season it makes more sense to register and get more for your money. If you've already done some 70s and had a nice time then you'll be fine.
 
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