TOO LATE TO RIDE
Sir — Is it me or does anyone else feel uncomfortable with how late riders were going across country in the last month of British Eventing (BE)? Often the light casts bright and dark shadows when the night is drawing in.
I had a horrendous fall many moons ago in these conditions and spent weeks in intensive care when my horse misread a bank under trees. Please BE, be careful! Carol Rowcliffe
A BE spokesperson replies: “At all BE fixtures, cross-country safety is paramount and, as well as inspecting the courses before they run, the technical advisers and stewards monitor the courses throughout the day for deteriorating ground, poor light or low sun. Actions can and will be put into place if necessary, such as taking a fence or fences out of the course, holding the course until the light improves or, in extreme cases, closing the course before the end of competition due to bad light.
“Rule 4.3 in the BE rule book stipulates the number of entries per day of competition into categories — after British Summer Time (BST) and before 30 September, and before BST and after 30 September, the latter having reduced numbers because of the shorter days.
“This year’s particularly bright and sunny autumn has highlighted the fact that course designers need to take into account low sun when placing their fences, which will be
discussed by the cross-country advisory group.”