CEO update 25/03/20
Read the latest update from Jude Matthews, British Eventing CEO
I’ve tried to strike the right balance with this update, as the situation with COVID-19 is changing so rapidly and is affecting us all.
We are in a position today which seemed inconceivable even this time last week. Our lives have all changed – and rightly so. We all have a social responsibility to do the right thing, to help protect the NHS, and to do our bit to keep each other safe and well.
Yesterday we received the news that the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed – it is truly unprecedented times.
We are working with the BEF and support the advice they have issued in terms of caring and riding your horse. They have also provided some advice for equine businesses. The latest updates are here:
Caring For Your Horse
In terms of eventing itself, we are focused on ensuring we are in a position to get the sport going as soon as we are able to do so. Our Regional Coordinators are speaking to all of our organisers and we are continuously monitoring the situation so that we are in the best position to respond when the restrictions are lifted.
We know that there are many of you who have qualified for our championships, some of which have sadly been cancelled. We know that these are very important for you, and we are discussing alternatives for these and will release more information to you as soon as we can.
We have also been looking at training – with the latest government guidance last night, we will now refund all BE training until the end of April. Whilst we know that many are keen to keep training, we are unable to facilitate training for groups for at least the next three weeks whilst we are ‘locked down’, and we are conscious that many will not be working their horses in the same way and will need time to ramp back up the work again once restrictions are lifted.
The Head office team are now all working remotely. There is a great deal of work done behind the scenes to support the sport, and the team are also using this time to catch up on some of the backlog which has resulted from the pressures of the implementation of the website and then the Entries, Admin, Results & Scoring functionality (EARS).
There is also a lot of work continuing on EARS whilst the sport is on hold. The first few weeks of the season have identified a number of bugs and enhancements which the team are working through on a prioritized basis. The Board met with a group of stakeholders from the sport last Monday, and will be working more closely with that group, in addition to the team currently involved, so that we ensure we are focused on the right priorities to the sport.
As you would expect, we are also looking closely at our cost base, and have taken steps to remove any unnecessary costs from the business. We are in uncertain times we and know that many of you are also facing challenges.
The government is issuing guidance regularly regarding help available to both businesses and those who are self employed, and we will continue to monitor what help is available to help any of us in the sport.
View the latest government updates
In these difficult times I wish you well in the days ahead.