Last year, Bede Events requested a first-come-first-served entry process for some of their events which were affiliated to British Eventing.
Whilst it may have been aspirational it was not well thought out, served to highlight the technical challenges and brought about a significant technical failure. This included not only the website crashing due to the sheer volume of traffic, duplicate payments and missed information as well as enormous frustration from our members and undue pressure and unacceptable abuse of British Eventing staff.
We have a highly skilled team at British Eventing working on our systems, but it is a limited team and work must be prioritised. As a result, Bede Events were informed months ago and reminded early January that we would not risk trialling a first-come-first-served again this season as the system is not robust enough to cope.
Putting a robust and resilient system in place that will be able to deal with the volume of users takes careful planning and investment from British Eventing. We have already started planning the new system and will be fully testing it later in the year for rollout in season 2025. The new system will be able to be used by all organisers and members.
Rosie Williams, Chief Executive for British Eventing said “We are committed to driving the sport forward and delivering for our members and stakeholders. I wasn’t in place when the decision was made to trial the first-come-first-served entry process last year, but I am fully aware of the havoc that it caused to both our systems and staffing resource as well as the frustrations many of our members incurred.
I would be negligent in my role if I let this roll out again until we know we are able to offer a robust system that has been both tried and tested. I feel disappointed I am having to issue a statement on this matter but cannot let the negativity towards British Eventing as a result of a post that was issued on social media recently by Bede Events go unchallenged.
I would welcome anyone contacting me directly regarding any concerns they may have so that I can give them the facts behind our decision-making process and the plans that we have going forward.”