NEWS > Eventing
Posted by National Admin on 25/03/2019.
Rider Reps: an importing part in helping making eventing safer - and help keep riders smiling
Stephen Mowbray

Rider Reps – How do they help manage risk?

For experienced, confident competitors such as Sonja Johnson, Christine Bates or Shane Rose, approaching an official about a concern regarding the XC course might be an easy thing to do.

For a junior competitor doing their first EvA95 competition it can be a lot more daunting.

Since mid-2017 it has been the practice of all eventing competitions in Australia, whether national or international, to appoint rider representatives to assist in communication between officials, OC and competitors.

The rider rep is intended to be an approachable point of contact for all competitors to raise concerns, about any aspect of the competition (but most  often the XC course), and also constitute a sounding board for officials when changes to the competition details or program are being considered during the event.

Of course all competitors continue to have the right to go directly to officials to raise any aspect of concern.

How do I know who my rider rep is?

Rider rep names and the classes for which they are responsible and their contact numbers are often published with the draw and ALWAYS posted on the event noticeboard and obtainable from the Secretary’s office.

How are my questions/concerns dealt with?

Your rider rep will discuss your concerns/questions with event officials, jointly arrive at a resolution and they will discuss the outcome with you. If the resolution requires a change to the course then event officials will also advise all competitors as appropriate.

When can I raise concerns?

For practical reasons concerns/questions regarding the XC are best raised as early as possible, to allow time for modifications if required. But notwithstanding this, concerns regarding the safety of the XC course will be listened to at any time.  

What other roles does the rider rep perform?

The rider rep is often consulted when changes need to be made to the program, eg when flooded arenas after wet weather may require a change in the program times.

A key aspect of competition management is feedback to enable improvement for future events - after every event, the rider reps are asked to complete a report that comments on all aspects of the event including facilities, timetabling and importantly feedback on the XC course. These reports will be discussed by Officials/OCs and State Eventing Committees to improve future events.

To make this part of the job easier, several states are currently trialling an electronic reporting system.

Risk reduction is a team activity - Rider Reps play a key role in helping you

Role Description

Reason for Role:

Rider representatives are a key link between officials and competitors at Events. In particular they represent an approachable point for all competitors, to raise concerns about any aspect of the competition, (but most  often the XC course) and also constitute a sounding board for officials when changes to the competition details or program are being considered during the event. It is important to note that the role of the rider's rep does not prevent any competitor from approaching officials or OC directly with a concern.

 Key Responsibilities:

  • To act as a focal point for riders to communicate concerns about any aspect of the competition and to communicate those concerns in a timely manner to officials
  • To discuss concerns raised with officials, be part of the resolution process and be one channel of communication of the resolution to riders (it is also required that officials communicate any broad changes to courses or timetable etc via the noticeboard and other means to ensure riders are properly informed)
  • To  be a sounding board for officials and participate in decision making where required
  • At FEI events to participate in the formal consultation process as outlined in the rules at Annex F
  • To provide feedback to TD/CD and OC about areas for improvement (normally done by completing the Rider Rep report form and returning at the conclusion of the event)

 Selection Criteria for Organising Committees

Appointment of athlete reps is at the discretion of the organising committee (with the assistance of the TD) – some of the criteria that may be applied are:

  • Approachability - the appointee is approachable by younger and/or less experienced riders
  • Experience – the athlete is experienced at the level for which they are appointed
  • Availability (especially important for short format competition) - the athlete is not competing so many horses that they will not have time to walk courses and be available for other athletes to approach

 Communication

  • Rider reps must be asked if they accept their appointment
  • The appointed rider reps names, classes for which they are appointed and contact details should be posted with the draw and MUST be posted on the noticeboard at the event
  • At long format events it is considered good practice to introduce the rider reps at the initial briefing and to have them seated with the officials team
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