2020 BD Members' Handbook - rules preview

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 16:04

The team at BDHQ is hard at work compiling the 2020 BD Members' Handbook, which will be in circulation at the end of October, in advance of coming into effect from 1 December 2019. There's a lot of work that goes into bringing it together, taking on board input for Directors, technical committees and staff, so co-ordinating this effort is no small feat!

All major rule changes are now finalised, so this gives us chance to give you a preview of what's coming so you can start the Summer Season well prepared. In mid-August, we shared the findings of the Championship Pathway and Calendar Review Panel, where the main recommendations centred around the ever-popular Petplan Equine Area Festivals. As promised, we've now got more information about qualification criteria for you.

When your Members’ Handbook arrives, please do take time to read through it carefully as not all of the changes are covered fully here.

We’re working towards the competition year starting on 1 January (as opposed to 1 December), so the two qualification seasons will be slightly different in 2019/2020:
Summer: 1 December 2019 – 30 June 2020
Winter: 1 July – 31 December 2020
From 2021, we’ll move to two six monthly seasons: 1 January – 30 June (summer) and 1 July – 31 December (winter). The 2020 Members’ Handbook will therefore cover a thirteen month period, as a one-off, while subsequent editions will start on 1 January.

Horse registrations
The 2020 Members’ Handbook will mandate six-monthly Equine Influenza boosters, instead of yearly vaccinations. If you’re currently outside the six month period from your last vaccination, we recommend you have a booster, but you may wait until your next annual renewal date to start your six-monthly vaccination. There’s no need to restart with an initial course, unless otherwise advised by your vet.

The requirement of 'the full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition' remains the same as in previous years.

Any horse found without adequate and up to date vaccinations will not be allowed to compete with BD and will be suspended until this is rectified. You'll be well aware of the high incidence of reported EI cases across the UK this year, so it's imperative that we all take responsibility to minimise the spread of this disease by bringing our national vaccination requirements in line with FEI rules and advice from senior veterinary experts.

All horses must now be microchipped to be registered with BD. This is a legal requirement.

Associated Championships
Our range of Associated Championships continue to go from strength to strength – and for 2020 they’ll be running with separate Bronze, Silver and Gold sections at the finals. This opens up the competition to a new range of riders, while still protecting those less experienced combinations.

Tests ridden per day
The rule has been re-worded to provide clarification:
- If a horse competes at Intro/Prelim/Novice it may only compete in four tests at that level or below per day
- If a horse competes at Elementary/Medium/Advanced Medium it may only compete in three tests at that level or below per day
- If a horse competes at PSG/Inter I it may only compete in two tests at that level or below per day
- If a horse competes at Inter II/A/B GP it may not compete in any other test on the same day, including HC.

Rider substitutions
Substituted riders will not be permitted after close of entries at Regional Championships to allow time for the office to verify eligibility and membership/registration status.

Warm up
Only the combination entered into a competition may warm up for their class. The rules which apply to para riders in Grade I – III competitions still apply.
HC competing
Group 3 riders and above are permitted to ride HC at PSG or above.

Blood while competing
The FEI blood rule will be adopted in BD national competitions with the following wording:
If blood is noticed on a horse during the warm up, the Steward will approach the rider and make them aware of it. If the blood is on the flanks, nose, mouth or lips the rider should be made aware that if they are unable to stop the bleeding immediately they should retire from that class. Failure to do this will result in the steward notifying the Judge at C.
Where blood is seen by the judge(s) when the competitor is in the area surrounding the competition arena or in the competition, before, during or after the test, the judge at C must eliminate that combination from that class.

Where blood is found by a steward during the horse inspection after the test has been completed the details of the occurrence must be noted. Only when blood is found on the flanks, nose, mouth or lips can the Steward then take the necessary steps to advise the Judge at C who must then, on production of the evidence collated by the steward, eliminate that combination from that class. Blood as a result of abuse rather than accidental damage (i.e. a knock to a leg or fly bite) is the only occurrence that a steward may act upon.

New guidelines on hyperflexion
The following will be listed in the Handbook:
Hyperflexion is not permitted or tolerated from any rider or combination. Stewards will now refer any hyperflexion seen to the judge at C or the organiser immediately. The combination will be eliminated from the competition.
Tack and Equipment updates:
- All saddles (including treeless) must have a cantle and pommel
- All colour stirrups are now permitted.

Ideal Saddles Combined Training
Combinations will now be able to compete and qualify on Class Tickets
Riders and horses at the Championship can be registered Club or above
Prelim and Novice sections will only be open to combinations who have not ridden at Medium or above
New classes called ‘All-comers’ introduced which are open to everyone – one features Elementary 42 with 90cm jumping and the second will ride Elementary 50 with 1m jumping.

Petplan Equine Area Festivals
Many of you will have read our recent update on the Championship Pathway and Calendar review which detailed the new era for Area Festivals. To summarise:

- There will be two distinct seasons, providing equal qualification periods from 2020/2021 onward
- A points based qualification system, in line with BD Regional Championships
- Between 16 and 18 Summer Area Festivals, mapped to provide a geographical spread across the country, with the Championship taking place in September
- Music classes included at around half of the Summer Area Festivals for Bronze and Silver sections, from Prelim to Inter I which qualify for a Championship.
- Between eight and 10 Winter Area Festivals, again positioned across the regions to provide a good geographical spread, with the Championship Finals at Hartpury, alongside the Winter Championships in April.
- Inter II and separate Under 21 sections will no longer part of the AF Championships. Inter II will be accommodated elsewhere and we'll update members as soon as any details are finalised while the highest placed under 21 rider will be awarded a rosette in each section.

Further updates for you:
The Working Party reviewing FEI level competitions and championships on offer with BD is still hard at work with a number of options being looked at to insure riders at Small, Medium and Big Tour have fair opportunity to compete and qualify for championships. We’ll keep you informed with any updates as these plans come to fruition over coming weeks.

The qualification detail for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals has now been finalised. As mentioned, riders will work on a points basis like the Regionals do. Those points will be as follows:

Level Bronze Silver
Prelim 7 9
Novice 7 9
Elementary 7 9
Medium 4 6
Advanced Medium 4 6
PSG 2 4
Inter I 2 4

At least one point for each level/section must be gained from a qualifier test.

From the Area Festivals, you need to finish in the top two of your class. Any unfilled places will be awarded by the wild card system.
Qualification for the new Summer Music classes as part of some of the Area Festivals (around 10, still to be finalised) will be two scores of 63% or above at each level/section. To reach the Championship, combinations will need to be first or second - and again wildcards will be offered to fill any spaces at the Championship.

The selection process for venues to host the summer Petplan Equine Area Festivals is well advanced following the original expressions of interest from organisers. A mapping exercise has been completed with the tender process resulting in a shortlist of venues for our new Fixtures Allocation Panel to consider. We’re anticipating that the 2020 summer programme will be formally announced by early to mid-October at the latest. Further details will follow as soon as they're available.