The Thing I Love
The buzz of going cross-country – everything from the 5 second countdown in the start box to the challenging fences and terrain on the course to the feeling when you ride through the finish line. The thrill of completing a tough course or going clear for the first time at a new level is a feeling that I haven’t yet found anything else can compare to. I would love to know how much more enhanced the sense of achievement is when you reach 4* level….
The Thing I’d Change
The refund policy. When entering an event anything up to 5 weeks in advance and with horses being the unpredictable animals that they are, it is almost inevitable that withdrawals will need to be made, sometimes at the last minute. Ballot dates are typically 3 – 4 weeks before the event which leaves a big window for unexpected injuries to occur. If you need to withdraw after the ballot date you will be lucky to get a 50% refund; often no refund at all will be offered. Last year I had to withdraw from a 3 day after my horse picked up an injury at her final run prior to the 3 day and had to fight to get the 50% refund that was stated would be given in the schedule. For the amateur rider operating on a strictly limited budget a 3DE entry including stabling can easily set you back £500 – if you have only accounted for one 3DE in the year and need to withdraw you stand to lose not only financially but also by missing the opportunity to gain valuable MER’s needed to move up a level. I realise many events struggle to make a profit and fork out huge sums of money to hold such events but it would be nice if a higher proportion of the entry fee could be refunded if a veterinary letter can be provided to confirm the reason for withdrawal