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Notice for members

last updated on July 21, 2016 15:01

Notice for members

We understand that a number of members have raised concerns about the balance between the Silver and Gold sections at our Summer Regionals, so we want to reassure you that we are listening to all of your feedback and that we will be taking your views on board as part of our ongoing review process.

When we launched the new competition structure it was anticipated that the Silver section would potentially be very competitive in the first twelve months until members found their right level. Combinations in the wrong section or the wrong level should quickly ride themselves out in the first season under the new system.

This was discussed on a number of occasions during our members roadshow last year, as well as at our members meeting at the Winter Championships in April. As we stated then, we have been monitoring the situation very closely throughout the year to ensure that the Bronze, Silver and Gold sections are working correctly and that we continue to achieve the right balance across each of the levels.

While we do understand and appreciate frustrations when it appears that some riders may be competing in the wrong section, it is important to emphasise that the qualification percentages have not changed (with the sole exception of Prelim) and the ratios remain just as they were under the old system. However, we have found that the quality in both the Silver and Gold section has increased significantly, with fierce competition and high scores now becoming the norm at Regionals and other BD competitions.

Nevertheless, we have been working on simplifying the performance criteria for each section to ensure that the right balance between the Silver and Gold sections is reached, which will mean that combinations are moved up more swiftly based on what they have previously accomplished. In addition, standards continue to go up and this will need to be reflected in our qualification percentages next year. To this end, proposals were discussed at the Rules & Fixtures Committee meeting last month and at Board level last week, to address the issues raised by members.

A more detailed communication will follow in early August on the recommended rule changes for 2017, before our members handbook is published in the autumn. It is important to stress that we do not intend to change these mid-cycle, as it would not be fair to those competing and qualifying under the current rules. It was always intended that the new competition structure should continue to evolve to address some of the anomalies or inconsistencies that may exist, so we do value your ongoing feedback into this process.

In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your views and for your ongoing support of British Dressage.

Jason Brautigam
Chief Executive, British Dressage