Posted on 16th July 2019

Introduction of new Rider Working Groups – a letter from Paul Graham, Chief Sport Officer

It’s been four months since I returned to BE and just two weeks in my new role. It’s been an interesting period and I have had the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of feedback and observe a number of member reactions to communications. For me all feedback is good regardless of whether it is positive or negative. More often than not it gives you a steer as to what is working well and what the hot topic areas are.


Having worked in other sports, innovation is one area I feel that we need to pay some attention to. The landscape and composition of the membership has changed significantly in the last ten years and as a sport we need to be looking at ways to engage existing and new members. This is not necessarily about creating new formats of the sport, but developing the structures and levels we have to provide greater opportunity and goals for each category of member we cater for, and perhaps identify sectors that we are not currently servicing sufficiently. A review of our championship offering is something that is on the agenda!

The increasing cost of eventing is something that I am hearing a lot. This is always a double edged sword as organisers battle to balance the rising costs of delivering events to the quality expected by BE and the membership against the desire to keep the sport affordable with acceptable entry fees.

Communication, communication, communication…. is the key element to any successful business or organisation and is something that we are committed to improving and getting right. The communication around the recruitment of Thoresby to replace Belton received much praise for the level of transparency it afforded the membership. This level of communication will continue and hopefully will address some of the concerns that were raised earlier in the year.

To get the ball rolling, I’m delighted to announce that in conjunction with the Eventing Riders Association (ERA) we will be introducing two new rider working groups. The first will represent those riders competing at BE80 to BE105 and the second for those at Novice to Advanced. These groups have been initiated following feedback from members at the same time as recognising ERA’s continued work to be representative of all rider groups and increase the engagement and visibility of the ERA rider representatives with the membership. The aim of the groups is primarily to strengthen the connection of the membership to the strategic direction of the sport. These groups will identify and assess areas of potential development and improvement of the sport for our members. Further information and details of how to get in involved in the groups will be shared in early August.

As with anything we have to be realistic and say that change isn’t going to happen in flash, however it is underway and we are gearing up to reach out to a wide variety of people to ensure that all stakeholders have been represented in the next evolution of the sport we all love so much.

Thank you and wishing you the best for the rest of the season.

Paul Graham
Chief Sport Officer