To find a solution to the problems faced around abandonment of events in 2023 a comprehensive review of the insurance market has been undertaken. Whilst we have looked as widely as possible at every option, we have been unable to secure a policy premium that we believe would be palatable to our stakeholders. Based on an estimated £1.4m insurance policy, members would have been asked to pay an additional 20% on top of their entry fee which we felt was simply not sustainable.
Therefore, having modelled all different scenarios regarding the risk of abandonment, we will be creating an Abandonment Support Fund. The way it will work is that a contribution of 5% of the entry fee will be made by all entrants throughout the year and paid into the Abandonment Support Fund. We see this as the only way to provide a fair solution for all stakeholders to this issue. In addition to this, organisers who don’t have abandonment insurance, will be contributing 2% of accepted entry fees. To ensure the sustainability of the sport, British Eventing (BE) are opening the fund with £75k and will be delivering the administration of the fund.
It is BE’s job to ensure that we support our organisers in running viable businesses that provide events across a geographical spread through the season for our members no matter what level they compete in. Therefore, we have worked collaboratively with stakeholder groups and have valued their contribution in helping us come up with the best solution we can find.
This solution will benefit both organisers and riders while adding great value to our membership. The abandonment of an event is always disappointing and in a lot of cases costly for the entrant and the organisers. We cannot manage the weather, but we can ensure that participants and organisers are not too disadvantaged due to it.
The Abandonment Support Fund covers abandonment due to extreme and/or adverse weather conditions. Whilst this is not an insurance, it is a solution to an ever-challenging problem that offers a sustainable and fair way forward to secure our sport for both riders and organisers.
For the 2024 season some organisers have been able to secure their own insurance for abandonment, although at a price, and therefore this season is a little more complex than we hope it will be going forward. Those organisers who do not have abandonment insurance will be contributing 2% of the accepted entry fees to the fund.
As you will understand we have had to work with our accountants and lawyers to ensure that all risks to BE & our stakeholders are covered. Therefore, we have linked a document below that we hope sets out the detail required from a legal point of view. You will also understand that any development like this has significant knock-on effects on our Rule Book, and we are working as quickly as possible to ensure the updated Rules and Event Affiliation Agreements are out to you as a matter of urgency. However, this is detailed work that we will need to take our time on.
We fully intend to keep communicating with you and give you the best information we have available as soon as we have it. A webinar has been arranged for Friday 15th December at 3pm to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have in relation to the Abandonment Support Fund and how it will work. Further details will be available shortly.
Further information and a visual on the British Eventing Abandonment Support Fund can be found on the links below: