What are the benefits of affiliated eventing?
The BE Stewards and Technical Advisers (TAs) make the event an enjoyable and fair experience for all. The BE Steward has ultimate responsibility for an event, and they ensure that the competition runs within the rules, while a TA looks at the technical side to meet competition and safety guidelines.
Roles in affiliated eventing
The TA and Steward are walking risk assessors, taking steps to minimise risks and ensure the smooth running of an event.
Before the event, they:
- read previous event reports and identify any areas for improvement that have been noted.
- meet the organiser, course designer and builder, and visit the site to familiarise themselves with the layout, inspect the areas and note what changes are being made.
- consider as many ‘what-ifs’ as possible and look for areas of concern to be addressed.
- walk the cross country together the day before the event and analyse the entire course – not just the fences – and wheel the course to give the optimum time.
“I wouldn’t do the job of a Steward without a TA, and indeed all the team. It’s a serious role and at times I’ve surprised myself at how calm I have been and able to let my instincts take over. But we also have a lot of fun – although my husband complains I spend more time with the TAs than I do with him!”
At the event, they do the following:
- They arrive at least an hour before dressage starts and check in with the organiser. The Steward makes sure all documentation, such as health and safety and contact details, are in order, and will there when the TA briefs the volunteer fence judges.
- They co-ordinate with other members of the core team – the scorer, the control box, the course designer and build team, cross country and collecting ring stewards, the vets, doctors and paramedics.
- They remain in radio and phone contact, but split for the day.
- The Steward will check the dressage arenas are in order and visit the show jumping and walk and measure the course with the course builder, and at each course change.
- The TA oversees the cross country course and will generally be roving around the course, handling any incidents. Where investigation is warranted, they will do so independently before reviewing their findings together.
In the case of a possible breach of the rules, the Steward and TA consider not only the breach of the rule but also the effect – for instance, has the competitor gained an advantage or deliberately flouted the rule? – and decide if a penalty or advice is in order.
- They depart after the final prize-giving, typically leading to a 14+ hour day, ready to return on subsequent days if it’s a multi-day event.
- Towards the end of the final day, the Steward will discuss how things have gone with the TA and organiser before preparing a report.
“Until I was a steward, I hadn’t appreciated quite how long a day it is for the volunteers or just how expert and impressive the BE medical and veterinary teams are. If you are going to be ill, be ill at a BE event!”
Training in affiliated eventing
Stewards and TAs are trained as needs in their region arise. Positions are advertised from time to time. Applications are welcome any time, and may be kept on file for the future if training is not necessary immediately.
Once invited to train as a Steward or TA, the candidate will shadow a number of people in that role for at least a season before being deployed. Stewards and TAs must attend annual training, including attending a pre-season conference and a one day end-of-season review meeting, as well as CPD training such as safeguarding.
Stewards are unpaid but receive basic travel expenses – fuel and refreshment. TAs are paid as consultants with a set rate for their pre-event visit, per cross country day and for associated paperwork.
For information on training as a BE Steward or TA, visit the website here.