Ride Organisers Information
The Ride Organiser is responsible for the smooth running of the ride
Whether it is a new ride or an existing ride, the perfect ride has a good venue, a good route, great weather and is in an accessible location. Unfortunately we do not all have this luxury but with some compromises a very successful ride can still be achieved, so do not be discouraged if you haven’t got the perfect ride on your doorstep!
Get in touch with our Chairperson, Sue Cox to discuss the best date and what help is available.Having found a Venue close to an area of potential routes the planning can then begin.A RO will find the process easier and less stressful if they can enlist the help of friends who will help, the work may then be divided up and so become more manageable.
AND THE EQUALLY IMPORTANT
Start planning the route at an early stage. You may need contingencies for wet weather, late harvest etc, Get to know the area of the route very, very well, the good bits, the challenging bits, the not so good bits that need improving if possible.
Check with your BHS Bridleways Officer (BHS Handbook or call the office) for any contentious sections or any informal routes that may be usable – with permission. Build up a list of landowner contacts; often they will know the owner of a missing section of route. Please contact landowners on the route so that they know what is happening – they do appreciate it. Even when it is a public bridleway, it is worth talking to the landowner. Talk or write to them, larger estates may require a more formal agreement drawing up – this will take time. Please do not assume that because permission was given last year you do not need to talk to them this year! An event does not have the same rights as an individual so it is always worth talking to landowners. Sometimes you can negotiate use of private land or tracks, this should be made clear in the ride info that these routes are private. Sometimes access will be allowed to a private route if it is a walk section.
When designing your route try and minimise road crossings and gates.
If 2-way traffic is needed on a section of route ensure that either the section is wide enough for safe passing or stagger the times so that 2-way use is avoided.
If gates are present on the route then you need to know how many are present to put on the schedule. Some landowners will move stock for you or allow the gate to be open on the day or have a gate steward.
Road crossings must have good visibility, at 60mph a visibility of 3 – 400m is required, so large obvious signs are needed for drivers. Stewards in hi-viz will probably be needed to assist riders. The volume of traffic, visibility and traffic speed will dictate whether a crossing point can be used and what measures are needed to assist riders. Check and assess crossings very carefully and at different times to see what they are like, you may need to adjust the route so that a better crossing point can be achieved.
The use of roads should be minimised unless they have good, usable verges. Watch for slippery tarmac – try to highlight, if it cannot be avoided. The use of ‘A’ roads, busy roads or those with poor sight lines should be avoided.
THE ROUTE SHOULD BE TEST RIDDEN NEAR THE TIME OF RIDE TO ENSURE IT IS PASSABLE AND THAT THE TALKROUND, IF PROVIDED, IS ACCURATE. REMEMBER THAT A MOUNTED RIDER IS HIGHER THAN EITHER A MOTORBIKE OR PEDESTRIAN – REMOVE/REPORT OBSTRUCTIONS.
Plan how to tackle this. Who will do it and how it will be marked – make sure you are all using the same style! There should be advance markers, markers on the turn and then markers after the turn.
You may choose to use tape, agricultural lime, temporary sprays, flags
Tape: there is plastic tape and soft bio-degradeable tape, check that it is OK to use, do not use where stock may reach it. Long loops are more visible but do not attach to private hedges etc without permission. Must be removed shortly after the ride. Choose bright colours that can be seen against different backgrounds. Can colour code different loops to match your map!
Lime: must be agricultural, a heavy downpour may remove it, must not be left near animals, but you may not have to clear it afterwards…..
Sprays: only use temporary water based sprays or chalk, check landowner is OK with the use, the colour and whether it needs to be removed. Even if marked as temporary they still take a long time to go and so only spray where they can be easily scuffed out. Must be used on dry ground. If used on tarmac you will need anti-graffiti spray paint to remove them afterwards – this is easy to use but please read the instructions. Choice of colours can be linked to the your map. Blue Diamond (01302 310113) are very helpful and give EnduranceGB a discount.
Flags: for use across moor land etc. Use good-sized sticks and attach either lengths of material or plastic tape securely to the pole. Each one must be visible from the previous so that path is clear in poor conditions. BUT sheep and cows grazing may take a fancy to the odd pole!!!
The Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) If the TRF is on hand, send them out 30 minutes before the start and again later if possible to check the markers. Ask what charges are likely when booking; a donation and fuel expenses is normal procedure and this should be included in your budget. Check their style of marking and confirm any no-go areas with them.
Unless agreed by the landowner or local authority all marking should be removed promptly
Please do not just assume the marks will disappear – those on tarmac can take months to go and the public do not like seeing markers remaining after a ride – it leads to complaints!
THE ALL IMPORTANT
Try to identify and book your venue before planning anything else.
It needs to be:
easily identified on a map
accessible for all sorts of vehicles
Have space for the number of vehicles expected
Have flat or gently sloping for parking
Be free draining if possible
Away from any exciting sounds, sights, smells, activity
Well fenced – ideally!
Water if possible should be available
No access by the general public, if possible
Things you need to take into consideration:
A wet weather plan may be needed for both the venue and the route
You may need to pay a deposit to the landowner to secure the Venue
You should make a plan for the Venue layout. Any hazards should be identified and taped off.
Try and ensure that the vehicular access/route and the horse route are separate – if this is not possible then stewards will be required.
If your Venue is close to a public, tarmac highway please be aware that mud brought onto the road by our vehicles may cause a hazard to other road users.
Signs can be put up at the entrance of your venue to make it clear for riders
THE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT
You cannot have too many helpers. You may find it easier to have a specific person recruiting, contacting and looking after helpers.
Adverts for help may be needed on the Group website or Facebook. You may need to ask friends, family, volunteers, sometimes it can be quite difficult to enrol the number you require!
Start by listing all the roles/jobs that can be identified, prioritise the list so you know which are necessary and which are possibly optional.
Helpers are needed for starter(timekeeper), timekeeper assistant, car park stewards, gate stewards (if any), check points (if any), marking before the ride, demarking after the ride.
Offer people the option of doing a part day. Work out accurately when people need to arrive and start their job and when they will finish.
Helpers working off site will need a packed lunch or snacks, hi viz, ride list, route map, directions to their location, emergency phone numbers and any signs for their location. They must be advised asap regarding any no shows and when they can come back to the Venue
Landowners and farmers who may be affected by the route or the ride should be told about the Event. They may be able to help avoid roadwork or gaps in the route! Large estates may require you to complete a separate form, and see a copy of our insurance – if you are unsure with this please contact a member of the committee.
Forestry Commission will normally require a full application for a permit to hold the event. This will take quite a while to be processed (several months) so apply for the pack at an early stage – no permit, no ride! They will require a full Risk Assessment, on their form and a copy of our insurance. Establish what the charge will be: sometimes it is per rider, sometimes it is a fixed charge. A permit charge of £2 or £2.50 may be added to the ride entry charge, in these cases, but it only should be payable if the rider starts.
The Highways Department will need to give permission if you are using a Footpath by permission of the Landowner – as they may get complaints from walkers. But in any case, they will need a map of the route and be happy with the routes you are using. They should also advise you if any other Event is on in that area.
The Local Rights of Way (ROW) Department will be able to tell you of any likely works on any of the routes, and if you report any problems they may be able to help. Discuss with them any overgrown vegetation, slippery roads and overgrown verges as early as possible.
The Council – if you need to use their land or a permissive bridleway you may need to apply for a permit. This takes possibly more than 3 months to be decided, and it is not free! Investigate this at an early stage if you think you might need a permit. The ROW department should be able to give you a contact.
The County Bridleways Officer who may well know of local problems and may even be able to resolve them in time and may know names of farmers etc.
Residents, Livery Yards, Riding Schools – do like to know. A notice on the Parish Notice Boards; in the Parish Magazine; and/or slips through letterboxes with your telephone number spreads the word.
Advance Warning signs should be put up around the route a fortnight before the ride advising people that a horse event will be held in the area. Include the date and rough timings so they know when it will be quiet again! As well as people knowing it sometimes brings in some local riders.
First Aid/Medical Cover
This must be present at the event and the contact procedure clear to all officials, helpers and riders. If there is no ambulance, a place to rest should be provided eg.room/tent/horsebox/caravan – ideally a camp bed should be available. Cover should be present for the whole time of the Event and for multi day rides cover must be available for those staying overnight. Officials should be briefed in the emergency procedures for the Ride. For more details please see the H&S policy.
Take advice from your local supplier – 1 or 2 unisex are normally sufficient. Extra toilet rolls will probably be needed! They will need regular checking.
Book radios or Raynet/Revcom, etc or check mobile coverage and numbers if route and Venue has good signal coverage.
It is usual to have a ride photographer. The riders can indicate on their ride entry form that they do not want photographs, this must be passed to the photographer. Do not pass the entry forms to the photographer.
Please be aware there is an increasing number of unofficial photographers attending Rides – you may wish to advise riders who is the official photographer for the Ride and whether the photos will be sent out or are on a website.
Place your order in good time (at least 6 – 8 weeks prior to the ride) with Helen Gipson, or contact the committee as we have many spares usually for group rosettes. If you have any Pony Club riders then you will need to contact the Pony Club the week before the ride so that they can forward their own rosettes.
Each competitor is sent a coloured map of the route in advance of the ride or given a copy on the day of the ride and, if possible, a written description of the route. The route should be measured very carefully. Also ask someone else to check it before preparing your Master map. The easiest way to produce a ‘Master’ is to purchase the appropriate Landranger Map, get a couple of good A4 colour copies of the relevant area. Draw on the route, use commercial dots from your stationers for Venue, Start/Finish, Checkpoints, Vet Gates, Road Marshals, etc. The EnduranceGB Logo, Ordnance Survey acknowledgement (see website) and routes, km grids, sponsors logos etc can be typed and pasted on. If you have any difficulties with mapping, please get in touch with the Bella for advice. EGB has a Licence with the Copyright Office, the current licence number is 100020854 – the use of an OS map must be acknowledged and the licence number printed on the Ride map. It is usually preferable to use 1 to 50000 OS Maps as the 1 to 25000 are not easy to obtain in some areas and if reduced in size are very difficult to read. The master map can then be copied locally or uploaded for riders to print out themselves.
AT THE END OF THE
Clear up the venue and take home any rubbish.
Remove all signs and equipment.
Demarking should be done on the day or the next day.
and last but not least THANK YOUs!! To helpers, official, landowners and local authorities.
All should all be completed as soon as possible!