A key fixture in the British Eventing (BE) calendar will be removing the ballot system from its entry policy, with combinations instead accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.

In a bid to circumvent some of the issues faced in the 2022 season, which saw a number of events across the country cancelled in the wake of low entries, BEDE Events will be the first BE organiser to switch from the ballot system and instead accept entries in the order in which they are received.

BEDE runs popular events including the Eventing Spring Carnival at Thoresby, the first British four-star of the season, Osberton International Horse Trials, and a number of national events. It will use the new entry policy at its first event of the year, Oasby (1).

Oasby, which takes place from 9-12 March in Lincolnshire, is a popular early-season fixture, so will serve as an “indicative trial run” of the new system.

The entry system itself will open, for full members, on 8 February at midday, and entries will be accepted in the order in which they arrive – each class will close when it’s 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 BE’s new version of a day ticket) members, on 15 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 23 February.

“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,” said organiser Stuart Buntine. “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.”

Registration for the new Agria Lifetime Equine BE100 League, hosted by BEDE Events, will also open on 6 February. The new league, running across all BEDE BE100 classes and culminating in a new CCI1* at Osberton International Horse Trials is aimed to give grassroots riders an additional aim for the 2023 season and create increased loyalty to BE and BEDE Events.

Lead image of Shelford Horse Trials, which is among the BEDE fixtures

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