Everything Else

Ouch – BE Entries rising again!

So BE has announced that Entries are due to increase by 3% to sit in line with inflation. I double checked and inflation currently sits at 2.7% so I cannot accuse BE of being greedy on this, but it sure does hit the pocket hard, especially when you consider that everything in daily life has risen to that extent but not wages…..

On the other hand BE has decided to increase prize money by 3%. Great, it appears the maelstrom on Twitter about prize money has been listened to.

Except when was the last time you can remember a BE90 or 100 handing out cash? The majority of the events hand out prizes in kind (the best of which I have heard about have been soap, toothpaste and bread). Also £2.01 (3% of current Novice Lower Level ) is not going to aid breaking even when you win a class.

For me, I would have preferred to see it instigated that prize money for the first four placed riders must exceed entries and start fee at the lower level prize money. This seems fair and an easy calculation?

What is particularly annoying for me and my horse with its one shiny point is that every level apart from Grade IV horses have been put up by £5. Honestly, where is the economical sense in that as surely the greatest proportion of horses are in grade IV?  Why not make it fair for everyone? I already find it particularly annoying that I can run round pretty much an identical course which has had the same level of work as a BE100 yet usually pay a higher start fee just because its Novice.

Finally I would like to end with the thought that while money is being taken from my pocket, my biggest complaints about the sport have been left alone for another year, in that I would love a consistent withdrawals and wait list policy for all events. Some events are magnificent but other events are incredibly poor with holding no wait list and not offering a refund to those who are replaced.

About the author


An amateur rider who produces all her own horses. I have competed at novice level and sadly never got further due to bad luck with horses but I am still ambitious to achieve a lot more. I have a riding qualification in UKCC2 and a diploma in NLP. Sports science and particularly the mental game fascinates me. For a day job I work for a large multinational brand.


  • One of the deciding factors in me having a bash at pointing was the ridiculous costs/rewards in BE. Pointing takes more or less the same amount of work for horse and rider (although it is much cheaper to hire gallops than have a dressage lesson 😉 )you still get your adrenaline buzz. Entry fees at the starting level are/were £20 Maximum runners 16/18, First prize usually £120, 2nd = £75 3rd = £25. Plus £10 for plaiting up usually!

  • This shows just how out of touch BE has become with reality and its members. I have been saying for nearly 20 years that BE lacks suitable understanding of its members and this is just yet another example. This current course of action that they did not consult a single member on – is likely to be the final straw for the average hard working amateur I feel. As an instructor who has been teaching for 16 years, I can verify that at least a quarter of my pupils have abandoned eventing this year for other equestrian pursuits as it is already prohibitively expensive.
    This shows a complete lack of judgement on the part of BE management. It also shows how little they listen to members and riders who have been campaigning hard for better prize money.
    I strongly feel that we need a far better run and considerably smaller BE office that is streamlined so has less salaries to pay, and events that are assisted with running as working effective little businesses. Had BE consulted members I feel certain that, particularly at lower levels, people would have taken cuts in what they expect from an event rather than see entry fees go up. We don’t necessarily need flowers at every fence etc etc. It has never been acceptable that BE takes no responsibility for the running of events and instead just resolutely states that how they run things is up to them. We pay our membership fees to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
    There are a great many issues that BE also needs to face up to.
    1 – the inconsistency in withdrawal processes between events – some return monies others do not, with no explanations given.
    2 – the issues around the training of instructors and the ridiculous refusal to recognise BHS instructor qualifications.
    3 – the increasing issues of foreign riders coming to Britain and taking up entry space at events so good hard working Brits who live locally can’t get in despite supporting the event. Either charge the foreign riders a premium especially at the lower levels or don’t admit them at all.

    Wake up BE wake up.

  • What about the cancellation insurance? With the amount of events cancelled at the beginning of the year that is sure to rise too, as if it wasn’t expensive enough already….. I’m pretty sure that it has lead to events cancelling more easily too..
    So, BE, how much is the the abandonment insurance going to rise? With a £15 starting fee in novice becoming commonplace, it does all add up…..

  • Really prize money needs to increase by more than entry fees otherwise there is no change in real terms. All prize winners in every class should at least receive their entry fee back, as per SJ rules, and the prize money is so low anyway that th increase is negligable

  • Very disappointing news. I suspect that this will be the final straw for many competitors. I for one will have to think long & hard about whether i register both of our horses next year. I feel very let down by BE & have not been at all impressed with their attitude towards Grassroots riders.
    My daughter was 3rd in a 100 section at Daunsey on Saturday, her prize was a cheque for £31. It’s a joke & needs addressing.

  • I was 5th at Frickley BE90 and won £40 – events such as this should be thanked and shown as a great example to the others, not all give out dandy brushes as prizes.

    • Sally indeed events that give out prize money full stop below novice should be commended never mind those that award money above lower limits!

      I’ve won a BE90 and come away with a rosette and a £15 (if generous and ignoring the 2 for £25 deal I think it was running at the event on them!) saddle pad. It was disheartening to say the least especially when the BE90open winner got a very smart leather head collar!

  • This year was my first bash at BE and despite only doing 4 events on a ticket the cost has absolutely ruined me and I am still paying for it now! I for one have joined a well run local riding club, and will be looking to attend more unaffiliated events run over decent affiliated courses next year for much less cost. I have no idea how people campaign horses for a whole season!