Information for Anyone Thinking of Organising a Horse Trial
 
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Information for Potential Event Organisers

   

How much land do I need?
The Landowner has said that he would like me to run an event. How does this sort of arrangement operate?
If I can arrange a suitable amount of land and am prepared to take on the organisation myself, what does BE do and what assistance can they offer me?
What do I have to do to become affiliated?
If I am the Organiser of the event myself, do I need a committee?
Are there any Health & Safety implications?
How many people do I need to help me run the event?
Is there any financial assistance available to enable me to get the event going?
Can I expect to make money out of the event once it is going, and if so, how much?
What do I have to insure?
How do I get a sponsor?
 


How much land do I need?

For a Novice and/or Pre-Novice and/or Intro One Day Event, good access for cars and horse boxes, some of which are very large these days, is essential. A suitable car parking area, lorry park and administrative area for tents, caravans and trade stands will occupy, say, three acres. The Dressage arenas and riding-in area will amount to at least two acres of relatively flat ground and the Show Jumping arena, practice arena and collecting ring will require at least another acre. The most difficult part to quantify is the ground required for the cross country course. Sufficient suitable land for a course of 1 - 1.75 miles (1600m - 2800m) is needed. There are a few very good Events fitted into an area with as few as about a hundred acres. An Intermediate or Advanced Event of course requires more land.

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The Landowner has said that he would like me to run an event. How does this sort of arrangement operate?

This is frequently the case. Somewhat naturally the success of it is almost entirely dependent upon a successful relationship being established between the Organiser of the Event and the Landowner. It is strongly recommended that an agreement be drawn up between the two parties from an early stage regardless of how well they knew each other (we provide guidance on this). The financial arrangements are covered later in this leaflet.

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If I can arrange a suitable amount of land and am prepared to take on the organisation myself, what does BE do and what assistance can they offer me?

Once BE is satisfied that there is a potentially suitable organisation and site available for a new Event, it will provide expert advice throughout the planning stages of the event. As soon as the new event is affiliated to BE an extremely comprehensive guide will be sent to the new Organiser called “BE Eventing Guide”. This publication seeks to cover every question a new Organiser can think of! Additionally, BE is responsible for the safe conduct of the event, for enforcing the rules and for resolving objections.
In slightly more detail - there is a Regional Director and the Sport Director at Stoneleigh appoints a Technical Adviser to your new event and between them they advise on the layout of the three phases of the event - Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. You will need to employ a course builder. BE can suggest names from amongst its Accredited Designers and Builders. The Technical Adviser will be responsible for overseeing the building. As the preparations for the event progress and plans evolve, they can advise on every aspect of your event.

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What do I have to do to become affiliated?

If you wish to proceed with the idea of establishing a new Event, the Regional Director will arrange to visit you at the site. During that visit he will establish the suitability of the land for a Event and will discuss with you the proposed organisation of the event.
Assuming that both aspects are potentially satisfactory and that you, after finding out more about what is involved still wish to go ahead, he will try and establish with you the most suitable time of the year, or indeed a specific date when you would like to run the event.
The Regional Director and you now enter into negotiations to try and agree a firm date for the forthcoming season. This can be a very difficult business because whilst you clearly have constraints on dates, to avoid clashing with, say, your local point-to-point or agricultural show, the Events Committee must ensure that there is a balanced programme of events without geographically adjacent clashing fixtures. Because priority is given to existing events, this process can often take some time. Once an acceptable date has been agreed your new Horse Trial is affiliated.
Affiliation to BE is conditional upon acceptance of the BE Rules, a copy of which will be sent to you when your event is affiliated.

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If I am the Organiser of the event myself, do I need a committee?

We advise that you establish a committee to share the financial and collective responsibility for the new event, but you may prefer to run a more autonomous organisation personally, without having a committee as such. Either way, it is absolutely essential to delegate as much as possible. Each of the three phases - Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country - must be delegated to a Steward who is made entirely responsible for that phase. Similarly, you are advised to delegate the Omnibus Schedule and Entries to the Secretary, and you are particularly strongly advised to find a competent treasurer unless of course you are strong in that field yourself. Additionally, publicity and sponsorship should if possible be delegated to someone with good PR attributes. There is frankly, almost no end to the amount of delegation required for a successful event.

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Are there any Health & Safety implications?

Yes, and they are quite far-reaching, but it is all explained in the Rules and Guidelines. Much of it is already covered by the suggested way of running your event and the rest is largely informed common sense.

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How many people do I need to help me run the event?

Remembering that we are talking of a Novice and/or Pre-Novice and/or Intro One Day Event, you should plan on the following people and you may be surprised at how many they add up to! You will need a dressage judge, writer and collecting ring steward for each dressage arena, a chief dressage steward and perhaps a helper - say 18 dressage helpers in all. For show jumping you need judges and timekeepers, an arena party and collecting ring stewards - say 12 helpers. The cross country requires the most people - 2 fence judges per fence, a control and commentary team, radio operators, fence repair team, starters and timekeepers, collecting ring steward and Pony Club or motor bike runners - say 60 to 70 altogether. Additionally, you will need scorers, score collectors, score chasers and scoreboard writers, car park attendants, programme sellers and lunch helpers/distributors etc. - say another 12 to 15 people. All these together with those on the committee and the mandatory officials (doctors, vets, first aid personnel, horse ambulance and so on), will give you in the region of 115 to 130 volunteers as a planning figure.

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Is there any financial assistance available to enable me to get the event going?

Yes - loans may be made, at favourable terms, in order to help you pay for the building of the cross country course. The sums available will not cover the whole cost of the course but they assist and are usually repayable over three years.
BE also has a Development Fund which events can apply to for funding with specific projects, i.e. developing their cross country course.

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Can I expect to make money out of the event once it is going, and if so, how much?

A well organised Novice/BE90/BE100 Event should be able to show a small but reasonable financial return if the capital outlay is written off over, say, three years. Any surplus can be increased through a main sponsor or section sponsors for the prize money and any secondary sponsorship for such items as the cross country fences.

There are many variables to be taken into account when considering the financial implications of a One Day Event; in some cases a rent is paid for the use of the ground, whilst others make a donation to organisations like the local hunt or Riding for the Disabled, for the services they provide. The items of income and expenditure which might apply in your case are listed below.

Income Expenditure
Entries Prize money
Stabling Stabling
Prize money Withdrawal refunds
Fence sponsorship Advertising / publicity
Trade stands/hospitality tents Programme
Programme advertising Car passes
Programme sales Secretarial/administration
Catering Communications
Car park Insurance
Membership BE Affiliation fee and levy
Loans Judges' and officials' expenses
Donations Stands / tents / toilets
Miscellaneous Catering
  Veterinary
  Ambulance  / medical
  PA equipment/commentator
  Directions signs
  Dressage
  Show jumping
  Cross country
  Ground costs
  Badges, flags and whistles
  Capital expenditure
  Loan repayments
  Donations
  Miscellaneous

 



 
 

 
 
 

 

 












 

 

 

  

 

 

 

NB: Some items appear both on the income and expenditure side – i.e. the printing of the programmes is clearly an expense but their sale brings in a return.

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What do I have to insure?

As soon as your event is affiliated, BE insurance covers those working on the course against personal accident, and during the event it covers all your helpers and officials against accident and the event organisers against public liability. The insurance you have to think about is what cover you want if the event is cancelled. BE automatically reimburses the money you must refund to the competitors but you may wish to cover your expenditure on tentage, loos, catering, trophies etc.

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How do I get a sponsor?

Sponsorship can be broken down into overall sponsorship of the prize money for the whole event, or perhaps some sections, and sponsorship for individual things such as cross country fences.
Success in obtaining sponsorship for your event is entirely dependent upon what you have to offer or “sell”. Selling sponsorship is both hard work and time consuming.
It is clearly more difficult with a new event to obtain sponsors because they cannot see what they are “buying” in advance. Once your event is established and has a good reputation amongst riders you may easily find that either the Olympic or World Champion is coming with Novice or Pre-Novice horses and that the paying public begin to attend. Clearly, in this situation sponsorship is far easier to “sell”.
The responsibility for obtaining sponsorship is primarily yours.

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Conclusion

As you can now see, a lot of hard work, time and commitment is involved in getting a new Event going. It is hoped that now you are in a position to weigh up the factors pertaining to your particular circumstances and can decide whether to go on.

Eventing is a sport in which Britain leads the world. The majority of this success is accredited to the magnificent “training ground” which is provided in the form of National competitions plus International One and Three Day Events. Great Britain's Events are the envy of the world and that is why many top foreign riders establish their competition yards in this country.

Organising an Event is an extremely demanding task, but it is a rewarding one. The British Team would not win medals without the first class competitions organised by British Organisers.

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to email us using the form below.

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