Tiverton Pony Club
Last updated 20th April 2016
These are just suggestions, not mandatory, but they make my life easier
and will also help you.
(1) The basic information required for an Event schedule
For people to come to your event they need to know the following "5 Ws"
as a minimum:
- Which organisation is running
This is important, particularly when children are involved.
- When it is taking place.
Date (obviously!), and time if relevant.
- Where it is taking place.
Remember that "The showground, Little-Piddling-on-the-Moor" may
make perfect sense to someone who has lived next door for 40 years, but is
little help to non-locals. "Will be signposted from the B1234" is
still a bit vague for someone who may have to drive 30 miles to get there,
especially if the B1234 is a long and winding road...
Try to give a 6 figure Landranger reference (eg SS 123 456, there is guide
to working these out here)
or a post-code. I can usually generate a link to an online map from these.
Failing that directions from an easily identified land-mark will usually suffice.
- What is taking place.
A schedule in digital form is best (preferably .pdf, but I can handle most
formats - see below) since I can publish a link to these. However I appreciate
that sometimes you may just want to reserve your date "slot" in
advance, and therefore probably will not yet have a schedule. For Hunter Trials
this isn't usually a problem, but for pretty much any other event - particularly
shows - it helps to have at least a brief description of what will take place.
- Who to contact if they have questions.
I'll publish names, telephone numbers and email addresses where available.
Therefore these should always be contact details for adults - as a matter
of policy I will not, under any circumstances, publish contact details of
anyone whom I believe to be under 18.
(2) Guidelines for schedule documents.
I have a scanner, so I can read in and publish paper schedules, but it is 100x
easier for me to deal with schedules in digital form. It's easier for readers
too if they want to download and print them out - especially for entry forms.
The best formats for schedules, most preferred at the top, least preferred
at the bottom, are:
- PDF (Adobe Acrobat format), eg document.pdf
If you can generate this format you will guarantee near 100% readability on
any computer in the land. It also means that your document will be formatted
exactly as you intended and therefore will look right.
- DOC (Microsoft Word format), eg document.doc
Most people can read this, but note that a not-so-old Windows XP computer
with just the basic operating system installed (ie no "office" software)
may not reproduce it correctly. However this is an acceptable choice.
- DOCX (Microsoft Word Format from newer versions
of "Office"), eg document.docx
Newer versions of MS Office add an "X" to the traditional formats
(eg .docx, .xlsx) which means that these documents
may contain information in XML format. I won't go into what XML is, but it
suffices to say that the "bare, not-so-old Windows XP" machine mentioned
above may not read these files unless some supplementary software
is downloaded. Not everyone has, can afford, or indeed wants, a whizzy new
Windows 7 or 8 machine; and not everyone is adept at downloading software.
I convert these files to .doc format as a matter of course, but this does
sometimes result in the formatting changing a little. If you are using a recent
version of MS Word try a "Save as..." in plain .doc format.
- RTF (Microsoft Rich Text Format), eg
You don't see this much nowadays because Microsoft have set up the defaults
in their Office software to steer people towards more complex formats. However
if you are going to aim for 100% readability on a wide range of computers
this is a better bet than .doc format. It doesn't support fancy formatting,
but this is actually a good thing as people want information, not clever graphics.
If you are using Microsoft Word trying doing a "Save as..." in RTF
- Other document formats, for example
ODT from OpenOffice or WPS from Microsoft Works
You have to assume that these are unreadable by 95% of the computers out there.
I can generally read them, and I will convert them to one of the above where
possible, but you can save yourself (and me!) some grief if you do this yourself.
OpenOffice users: you can "Save as" in PDF format, or DOC
MS Works users: you can "Save as" in DOC format.
- And finally why have separate Schedule
and Entry form documents?
It always puzzles me that many events seem to have separate documents for
the schedule and the entry form. This makes more work for me, with an increased
chance of messing up the document names and links, and it can't be convenient
for readers either.
Why not have a single document with the entry form on a new page at the end?
"Simples" (with apologies to any meerkats out there who are reading
(3) Guidelines for Photographs.
- Image files in JPEG (file.jpg), PNG
(file.png), BMP (file.bmp) and GIF (file.gif) formats all work
well on webpages.
Virtually every digital camera on the planet other than top-end SLRs generates
JPEG files by default, so this is not a problem. I can usually convert other
formats, but I prefer not to have the hassle, so JPEG please unless you can't
By far the best way to send photos is as attachments to an email.
Please don't embed them in the body of the email.
- Pictures embedded in emails, Powerpoints
(file.ppt), or Word documents (file.doc) can all be handled, but they
are a bit of a Pain In The A*** (PITA) for me to deal with as I have to extract
them and turn them into separate files before inserting them into a web page.
- Pictures via links to file sharing websites.
Yes, I can download these, but they are also a PITA to use since I usually
have to wade through a lot of advertising rubbish to get at what I want, which
is a download link for the original photo. I'd prefer the original photo file
as an email attachment please.
- If you do send photos in a word document
(file.doc), for example in a "for sale" advert, then remember that
Word embeds the photos at their original resolution, even if you have shrunk
their apparent size on the page. This can make your document quite large,
which will make it slow for readers to download from the web, and you can
improve matters dramatically by "compressing" all the images in
The details of how to do this are the same in all releases of MS Word, but
- as part of Microsoft's "confuse the user with every new release"
policy - the way you get at the commands to do this varies. However try a
right-click on any photo and look for the word "compress", and if
you are persistent and clever enough to do so, compressing the figures in
your document will help a lot. I try to do this if I remember to check, but
I don't always remember...
- Copyright of photographs. I presume
that by sending me a photograph you own the copyright and are giving me permission
to publish it online.
It occasionally happens that people capture images of their horse from event
photographer's websites and send them to me to publish as part of "For
Sale" advertisements. I can tell this because they have a thumping great
watermark across them saying in large letters "Image copyright so-and-so".
It is illegal (as well as immoral) for me to publish these images - copyright
theft is theft - and I reject such advertisements as a matter of course. Please
do not embarrass either yourself or me by doing this.
(4) Guidelines for Spreadsheets.
- For example XLS (or XLSX) from Microsoft Excel.
These are a special case. I'd prefer to receive these as spreadsheets and
convert them myself rather than to deal with the results of "Save as
web-page" from any Microsoft products. Microsoft make such a mess of
converting them that it would be quicker to retype them from scratch!
(For the curious OpenOffice, which is free, does a good job of converting
spreadsheets to html.)