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18 July 2006

BHDTA Council response to a letter recently published in Carriage Horse Magazine

Recently there has been a lot of criticism directed at the BHDTA and National Event organisers about the level of entry fees.

The only event the BHDTA runs is the National Championships, but the Council understands members' concerns and decided to look at the matter in some detail. Two events made available their accounts over the last seven years to assist our investigation.

A detailed and well thought out criticism was set out in a letter in the recent issue of "Carriage Horse", the main point being that since 1997 entry fees had risen faster than the retail price index. This is correct, however when the two events' finances were closely examined, the reason soon became apparent.

The difference between the suggested entry figures of ?100 to ?120 using the RPI and the higher fees now being charged is down to the loss of sponsorship on a significant scale.

One event enjoyed ?9,728 of sponsorship in 2000, reduced to ?2,850 by 2006. A drop of ?6,878.

The other event showed a drop of over ?5,000 over the same period.

The effect of this fact is that competitors have had to bear a larger part of the cost of events as sponsors have increasingly become difficult to attract.

Finally whilst the above provides an explanation, the Council recognise members' concerns and detailed work is at present being undertaken to see if some of the Nationals could be run with fewer of the facilities that have come to be expected and possibly over two days instead of three, to meet members' wishes of less expensive events, both in terms of money and time.

BHDTA Council