What are ballot numbers and how does balloting work?

What is the Ballot?

Each event in the BE fixtures calendar has an Event Date (the day the event takes place), an Entry Open Date and a Ballot Date. At midday of the Ballot Date the entries secretary will stop taking any more entries to the event and at this point, if the event has too many entries, your entry will either be accepted, put on a waitlist or you will be balloted out of the event. 

Therefore, at the point of making your entry, it has not been accepted until after the ballot date. 

Is there a priority of who gets accepted?

Entries from Full Members riding horses with season tickets using a Ballot Sticker with their entry will take priority over those who do not, and Full Members will take priority over Day Pass and Supporter Members.

Is priority taken for the different levels or classes?

There are several rules around the priority of entries based on the level or class type, below are a few of the key ones, a full list can be found under rule 4.4 of the BE Rules and Members’ Handbook: 

  • Where an event is running an Advanced or Intermediate class, as many entries from these classes will be accepted. If there is no way to accept all the Advanced or Intermediate entries, then riders with multiple horses will be balloted in order of their preference stated when making the entry. 
  • If an event is running International classes, then they will take precedence over National classes 
  • If an event is running a Regional Final, these entries will take priority, so there should be no need to use a ballot sticker.
  • And subject to all these conditions, the higher-level classes will take priority over the lower levels.

What is a Ballot Sticker?

To be able to enter a BE event you must also purchase a Full or Half Horse Season Ticket or Horse Day Pass; with a Season ticket each horse will get one Ballot Sticker for each month that their Season Ticket is valid, i.e. March to Oct for Full Season Tickets and July to October for Half). 

Along with this each horse with a Full Season Ticket gets two Super Ballots and Half Season Tickets get one Super Ballot. 

If you compete using a Horse Day Pass you will not get any Ballot Stickers, and Day Pass or Supporter Members cannot purchase a Season Ticket but can ride a horse with a Season Ticket (as long as the owner has a Full or Owner Membership type).

For those with a Horse Season Ticket, when making an entry you can choose whether you want to use a Ballot Sticker or Super Ballot Sticker against your entry. In the event of a ballot, your entry would then have priority over entries that have not used a ballot. 

Ballot stickers are valid for one month and can only be used for one event in that corresponding month e.g. if you are entering South of England (1) on 4-5 April you would use your April Ballot (or Super Ballot!). 

Can I add my Ballot Sticker to my entry after I have made it?

No, your Ballot Sticker must be used at the time of the entry and you cannot request that it’s added at any time after that. Similarly, you cannot ask for your Ballot Sticker to be removed from your entry.

Can I re-use a Ballot Sticker?

Your Ballot Sticker can be reused if…

  • An entry is withdrawn BEFORE the Ballot Date
  • An event is abandoned, and you have used a Super Ballot

Your Ballot Sticker cannot be reused if…

  • An entry is withdrawn AFTER the Ballot Date
  • An event is cancelled or abandoned, and you have used a monthly Ballot Sticker (because it is likely that the period of validity for a monthly ballot would have passed)

An additional Super Ballot Sticker may be issued if…

  • You use a monthly Ballot Sticker but still get balloted
  • You use a Super Ballot Sticker and you get balloted – you will be able to re-use that Super Ballot and be issued with an additional one

Can I do anything to help me avoid the Ballot?

  • Become a Full Member.
  • Use a Season Ticket for your horse to get monthly and Super Ballot Stickers.
  • Check the balloting details from the previous year. Each event schedule in the BE Life magazine lists the number of entries balloted from their event the previous year and from which classes, use this information to strategically plan where to use your Ballot Stickers.
  • Ensure your entry is correct and complete – incorrect or incomplete entries may be balloted ahead of other entries.
  • Volunteer! Organisers have the option to accept entries that they specially wish to take, this might be for competitors who volunteer at their event or help in the build-up, for example.
  • Most importantly…. Get your entry in before ballot date! When events are popular, and have to ballot lots of entries, sometimes the priority rules are followed and there are still too many entries on equal standing. When this happens, the organiser can choose which entries to accept; some give priority to entries made earlier, some favour local competitors, so we would always recommend getting entries in early.