In a bid to circumvent some of the issues faced in the 2022 British Eventing season, which saw a number of events across the country cancelled in the wake of low entries, BEDE Events will be the first British Eventing fixture to remove the ballot system from their entry policy and instead will accept entries in the order in which they are received.
BEDE, which runs popular events including the Eventing Spring Carnival at Thoresby, the first British four-star of the season, Osberton International Horse Trials, and a roster of national events, will use the new entry policy at its first event of the year, Oasby (1).
Oasby, which takes place from March 9-12 in Lincolnshire, is one of the best-attended early-season fixtures, and as such will serve as an excellent indicative trial run, with terms in place to protect the best interests of riders and encourage a robust field of entries. Running unopposed in the calendar in 2023, it’s guaranteed to be a choice run for professionals and amateurs alike.
The entry system itself will open for full members on Wednesday, February 8th at midday, and entries will be accepted in the order in which they arrive – each class will close when it has reached 90% capacity, with the remaining 10% being taken from the waitlist, rather than relying on a lottery system or ballot stickers. Should space allow, entries will open for PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go — British Eventing’s new version of a day ticket) members, on Wednesday 15th February, at midday. In the event of a shortfall of entries, the system will remain open beyond the closing date, though a late entry surcharge will be applied from 23rd February.
Oasby has long been the season-opening event of choice for many of Britain’s professional event riders, who often have a number of horses to take into consideration at every event. In an effort to accommodate their unique needs, BEDE will waive the substitution fee for horses, allowing riders to confidently enter up to five horses per day for the event and swap their intended mounts at a later date without incurring a financial penalty.
Of the decision, Stuart Buntine says, “Oasby is an event that has always been keen to try new ideas and initiatives, whilst also staying true to its key role of being an early season event that is used by riders to get horses out competing at the start of the season on good going. As the only British Eventing fixture running on this weekend we can foresee a significant entry to an already busy fixture, and would therefore urge riders to enter as soon as entries open.”
“By operating this system, we hope that everybody will have an equal chance of competing at our events. As with any new system there will be some lessons to learn, however we hope that this will enable riders to confidently enter early to ensure they get a run. We aim to be as flexible as possible, and will endeavour to work with riders to ensure we develop a fair and easy system.
For organisers, receiving the entries as early as possible will greatly assist with our financial planning and should reduce the risks of events cancelling, due to lack of financial viability, at the last minute.”