Monday, 12 February 2018 10:24

British Eventing Medical Rule Changes

Many of you will be aware that British Eventing have, in the last few days, changed their rules regarding competitors who fall at an event. These changes have been made in light of ongoing research with regards to concussion and they bring BE in line with the FEI rules which have been in place for the last ten years.

Previously if you toppled off in any phase of your event you could get back on and continue the rest of your day, as long as you were unhurt. With this new rule if you fall that will be the end of your event on that horse, as all riders who fall will be eliminated. The important caveats to this are that if you fall in the warm up you can still compete or if you have more than one horse you will still be able to ride your subsequent horses, provided you get the green light from the event doctor.

If you have been lucky enough to have never suffered a fall at an event an important point to remember is that it is your responsibility to ensure that you are seen by the doctor before heading home. As an event doctor myself I can tell you that hunting for riders in a lorry park is a total nightmare, especially once you take your number bibs off!

I know that some riders are frustrated by these new rules but they stem from recent developments in guidance on managing concussion, and although it often appears mild, concussion is a serious business. We are now much more aware of the risks and long term effects of concussion and although you might think you’ve just bumped your head if not treated properly if can have long term effects on your cognitive functioning. Take the advice of medical staff seriously after even a mild concussion and of course reduce your risk as much as possible by never getting on a horse without a helmet. Ensuring no further head injuries occur, staying well rested, and giving your brain some “off” time (i.e no phones or TV) are ways of helping concussion to recover and avoid more serious long term effects.

Your brain is fragile, protect it and protect yourself.

joae150As it says on the tin, this is a personal blog about the journey Archie and I are taking in discovering the world of eventing. Archie is a 6 year old Irish gelding, and I am a 26 year old horse addict. I didn’t grow up in a family with horses, and Archie was the first horse I ever owned, having loaned for over 20 years. I hope that we can show other riders who perhaps don’t feel that they can achieve their dreams, that anything is possible!


Re-published by kind permission of Journey of an Amateur Eventer|Blog

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British Eventing selectors have announced the squad that will compete at the FEI European Championships in Strzegom, Poland (17 – 20 August 2017).

As the most experienced rider on the team, Tina Cook will be travelling to her eighth Europeans and Rosalind Canter will make her championship debut. Five of the selected horses will make senior championship debuts whilst The Pebbles Syndicate’s Quicklook V will travel to her second consecutive major championship with Gemma Tattersall.

The GB squad (In alphabetical order) :

Rosalind Canter, 31, based in Lincolnshire, with Caroline Moore's and her own Allstar B


Kristina (Tina) Cook, 46, based in West Sussex, with Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red. Tina is also selected with Pip Wates, Ailsa Wates and Equine Aqua Training’s Calvino II as a direct reserve.


Piggy French, 36, based in Leicestershire, with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo (pictured riding Vanir Kamira)


Gemma Tattersall, 32, based in West Sussex, with the Pebbles Syndicate’s Quicklook V


Oliver Townend, 34, based in Shropshire, with Angela Hislop’s Cooley SRS


Nicola Wilson, 40, based in North Yorkshire, with James and Jo Lambert’s Bulana.

Sarah Cohen, 43, based in Leicestershire, with Preci-Spark Ltd and Elizabeth Jones's Treason
Alexander Bragg, 36, based in Somerset, with Sally Ellicot's Zagreb



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The British Eventing Charitable Foundation has announced the awarding of a Sport England Small Grant to be used for the training and education of new competitors and the development of new coaches in the sport of eventing.

The Sport England Small Grant will provide £8,550 to support two large format ‘Try Eventing’ taster days in the South East of the country, followed by a series of follow on sessions, the days will allow riders to hone their skills before taking the step into competing.

In line with Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign, the project will be open to women aged over 26 who are not currently a member of British Eventing and will be priced as affordably as possible to encourage people from all backgrounds to take part.

Hosted at the event site of popular BE fixture Tweseldown, Hampshire, each day will accommodate up to 20 riders and provide the perfect opportunity for combinations looking to take their first steps in to affiliated eventing. 

The Taster Days and follow on sessions will combine training in dressage, show jumping and cross country, focussing on areas like dressage test practice, speed training and how to secure a clear jumping round, all with the support, feedback and advice from experienced BE Accredited Coaches. There will be three follow on sessions available for riders taking part which will include unmounted discussions around fitness, preparation and what equipment you might need. These sessions will aim to help riders prepare for their first BE event, which they will plan with help from the coaches.

“We’re really pleased to be able to give new riders this fantastic opportunity to kick start their journey into eventing. Sport England have given us a real chance to work towards one of the key objectives of the BE Charitable Foundation, which is to encourage more riders into the sport by breaking down barriers to participation. The grant will help us make this training much more affordable, giving more people the chance to get involved.” said Hilary Trahair, the Training & Education Manger for British Eventing.

Taking place in May through to August, exact dates are to be confirmed and published on

The grant will also provide a bursary for two coaches to complete their UKCC Level 2 eventing specific qualification. The UKCC Level 2 is aimed at anyone already coaching grassroots riders and with some competitive experience of the sport of eventing. UKCC Level 2 is one of the requirements to become a BE Development Coach – the first tier of the BE Accredited Coach System.

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Friday, 02 December 2016 09:10

Just briefly: Happenings in the horse world

Germany is to lose its eventing coach from January 2017 with the news that Christopher Bartle has taken up a new role with British Eventing.

Bartle has been confirmed in the newly created role of Performance Coach as part of the World Class eventing Programme. He will be a key component of a wider plan to continue to optimise performance for the upcoming Olympic cycle.

“It’s exciting and yet daunting to be offered the opportunity to train the British team,” Bartle said.

“On the other hand it’s with sadness that I leave behind the German team and all those at the DOKR and the German Federation with whom I have worked over the last 16 years.”

Bartle’s role is part of the British Equestrian Federation and British Eventing’s new coaching structure, and under the new regime Richard Waygood MBE has been appointed as World Class Eventing Performance Manager.

The pair succeed Eventing Performance Manager Yogi Breisner, who has been at the helm since 2000 and announced his intention earlier in the year to retire after the Rio Olympics.

Chris Bartle is based in Yorkshire and was dressage trainer to the British Olympic eventing team for the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. He has been the National Coach to the German Olympic eventing team since 2001. Part of the British dressage team at the Los Angeles Olympics, he was National Dressage champion in 1984 and 1985 and is currently the Managing Director of the Yorkshire Riding Centre... READ MORE

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016 10:26

New fixture extends the British Eventing season

Aston-le-Walls, near Daventry, will host the final BE event of this year on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th November 2016 following a decision made by the Sport Committee, after a request from the Board.

“This is very much a pilot event since normally the season closes the same weekend as the clocks change. This has been the case for many years since the viability of events is significantly affected by the considerably shortened daylight hours. British Eventing will be reviewing the policy about extending the season in the coming months.” said, David Holmes, CEO of British Eventing.

The event will hold Airowear BE80(T), BE90, BE90 Open, BE100 and BE100 Open classes. The entries have now opened and an amended ballot policy will be published on the Aston le Walls webpage on BDWP (



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From the 1st January 2018 British Eventing will no longer permit the use of BETA Level 3 body protectors with the 2000 label.

No garments with the BETA 2000 standard have been produced since 2011 making any body protector with this label a minimum of five years old. Following discussions with the BE Risk Management Committee and advice from BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association), body protectors with this 2000 label will not be allowed for use at BE competitions from 1st January 2018.

Competitors will have until the 1st January 2018 to replace any 2000 label items with a BETA Level 3 body protector made to the 2009 standard or any later revision to the standard.

Claire Williams (Executive Director of BETA) commented;

“I commend British Eventing on giving riders plenty of notice that the rules will be changing. BETA 2000 has served us well since its introduction in 2000 however now there are garments potentially being used that are up to 16 years old, so well past their “use-by” date. General wear and tear over long periods as well as falls can have a detrimental effect on the ability of a garment to offer the protection needed so the change to the BE rules is welcomed.”

More information on BETA safety standards can be found HERE.


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