Winter Regionals and Petplan Equine Area Festivals: COVID update 18 January 2021

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Mon, 18 Jan 2021 17:20

With the ongoing lockdown restrictions across all home nations likely to continue for a number of weeks, British Dressage is currently in the process of formulating contingency plans for competitions and major events that were due to take place in the first quarter of 2021.

As previously indicated in our last update and member Q&A, issued on 8 January, this will include potentially rescheduling the Winter Regionals and Petplan Equine Area Festivals, due to take place over the next two months, later into the season. We can therefore confirm that the following shows have now formally been postponed until such time that activity is able to resume:

Winter Regionals

  • Vale View Equestrian, Leicestershire: 4-7 February
  • Bishop Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire: 13-16 February
  • Merrist Wood, Surrey: 13-18 February
  • Easton College, Norfolk: 16-20 February
  • Myerscough College, Lancashire: 17-21 February
  • Wellington Riding, Hampshire: 24-28 February
  • Morris Equestrian, Scotland: 25-26 February
  • Prestige Equestrian LLP, Gloucestershire: 4-6 March

Winter Area Festivals

  • Solihull Equestrian Centre, West Midlands: 16-17 January
  • Vale View Equestrian, Leicestershire: 23-24 January
  • Northallerton Equestrian Centre, North Yorkshire: 28-31 January
  • Keysoe, Bedfordshire: 29-31 January
  • Prestige Equestrian LLP, Gloucestershire: 4-6 February
  • Aintree International Equestrian Centre, Liverpool: 4-7 February
  • Parwood Equestrian Centre, Surrey: 4-7 February
  • Beacons Equestrian Centre, Wales: 13-15 February
  • Kingston Maurward, Dorset: 13-15 February
  • Speedgate Events, Kent: 18-21 February
  • Morris Equestrian, Scotland: 27-28 February
  • GDG, The Cabin Equestrian Club, Scotland: 5-6 March

Additional major dates that fall within the first quarter, including the High Profile Show at Vale View, the Premier League and Para Winter Championships at Mysercough, and the CDI at Keysoe, as well as the Combined Training series, will also inevitably be affected by the current lockdown restrictions. Alternative plans are being developed by the sport operations team, in conjunction with the venues involved, and further information will be announced in due course.

There are several options that remain under consideration currently, as there are a number of important factors to evaluate when revising the fixtures calendar, including the impact on organisers, officials and sponsors. We are aware that there is a great deal of speculation from members as to what these future plans may look like, but until there are clearer timescales around the resumption of activity it is not possible to confirm alternative dates at this stage. 

We also recognise that the tiered system of restrictions is likely to remain in place for some time, so even when competitions can restart there may well be regional variations, rather than a universal approach across the country. This will inevitably provide other logistical challenges to overcome as some areas will potentially still be prevented from running competitions or will remain under mandatory travel restrictions.

Jason Brautigam, BD Chief Executive, commented: “With the duration of the lockdown remaining unknown at this current time, it is difficult for us to predict precisely when competitions will be able resume or exactly what this will look like when the sport does return. But rest assured that the team are busy working in the background on various scenarios and we will endeavour to keep members informed over the coming weeks.

“We will look to publish an operational plan in due course, as we did back in May last year, although this will not be until after the next government review dates in the second half of February. At this stage it remains premature to make any definitive decisions, so all options will remain on the table.

We appreciate that this is a frustrating situation for all of our members, but thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through these operational challenges.”

We are aware that many of those members who qualified for Winter Regionals and Area Festivals will have already made entries into these championships. While some venues have already refunded entry fees, others may decide to retain them for now as it will reduce administration if these entries can be carried forward to a later date. Many of our equestrian centres will have furloughed their staff and therefore do not have sufficient resources currently to manage these processes. Please be assured that if these competitions are unable to be rescheduled then members will be entitled to a refund in the event of cancellation, in accordance with BD rules.

The next government review dates are as follows, when further updates will be provided:

  • Wales: 28 January
  • Scotland: 31 January
  • England: 15 February

For more information on government advice and current guidelines, please visit the following sites: