BD update: Earlier restart dates for Wales

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 09 Apr 2021 16:56

With coronavirus infection rates continuing to improve across the country, the Welsh government has today released a statement which paves the way for an earlier return to play for sport activity.

The key dates for the resumption of sport activity have been brought forward, which will mean that BD competitions and training activity can restart outdoors from 26 April onwards (previously 3 May), while indoor arenas can be used for individual activity from 3 May (previously 10 May).

In recognition of this positive news and with further changes also imminent for England from 12 April onwards, including the usage of indoor arena facilities for individual activity, the BD COVID-19 protocol documents for competitors, organisers, judges and coaches have all been updated.

Jason Brautigam, Chief Executive for British Dressage, commented: “This is welcome news for our members in Wales, who have already had to wait longer than their counterparts in England and Scotland.  The Welsh Sports Association have been very active lobbying on behalf of members, so we are immensely grateful for their efforts to ensure that sport can resume at the earliest opportunity.”

Here’s a round-up of the latest situation for each of the home nations.


Outdoor group activity for up to 30 adults can resume from Monday 26 April, which means that competitions, training and clinics may take place in outdoor arenas. Those classified as ‘workforce’ and not in the field of play (i.e. outside of the dressage arena), including judges, coaches, writers, stewards and operational staff are not counted in these numbers.

Indoor sporting facilities, including gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools and indoor riding arenas will be able to reopen from Monday 3 May for individual activity.  This means that venues with indoor facilities can resume for competition, one to one training or arena hire. As above, those working at the venue in a professional capacity are not included in the restricted numbers, which facilitates the return of coaching and shows. However, arenas cannot be used for warm-up purposes unless they are operating on a ‘one in, one out’ basis.

Gatherings of up to 15 people indoors for sport and exercise will return on the 17 May, as previously planned.  This will enable group lessons and clinics to take place indoors.

As previously announced, from Monday 12 April travel into England is permitted, allowing members in Wales to cross the border to take part in dressage activities.

We’re working with our venues, organisers and regional representatives in Wales to bring a full calendar of activity online from 26 April onwards, so members can plan ahead before finally returning to action in just over two weeks’ time. Our COVID toolkits have now been updated to reflect these changes and we request that all participants read through these in detail before your first outing.

Guidance: Sport Wales



As confirmed last week, individual riding activity using indoor facilities, including participating in BD competitions and one-to-one training, will be able to resume from 12 April onwards. No mixing of households will be permitted, excluding officials and operational staff working in a professional capacity at the venue. Judges, writers, scorers, stewards, coaches and volunteers are exempt from these restrictions.  Please note that indoor arenas cannot be used for warm-up purposes, unless operating on a one-in-one-out basis.

Overnight stays in self-contained accommodation is also permitted in England from Monday 12 April, which will enable competitors to use their horse boxes / lorries for multi-day competitions.  Stabling will also be able to operate again to facilitate multi-day shows, in accordance with the necessary social distancing and hygiene measures.

Our COVID Secure guidelines have been fully updated in our stakeholder toolkits.  In order to fully comply with the legal restrictions, all participants should pay particular attention to the guidance around the use of indoor facilities, which must be followed to the letter by all participants.

Guidance: Sport England 



Outdoor non-contact sports and organised exercise is permitted for groups of up to 15 people for adult activity, or up to 30 participants for under 12s.

BD competition and training activity can resume at all venues, using indoor and outdoor facilities, although there are travel restrictions in place which limits adult participation to within a member’s local authority area only (requirement ends 16 April).  Level 4 restrictions are currently in place from 5 April through to 25 April inclusive, with Level 3 anticipated from 26 April to 16 May inclusive.

BD activity is currently operating in Scotland on the following basis:

  • Adults (18 years and over) can only take part in organised activity, including training and competitions, within their own Local Authority area.
  • For those aged 12 years and over (including adults) an outdoor sporting ‘field of play bubble' is restricted to up to 15 people, including coaches.
  • Children under 12 years of age can take part in outdoor contact and non-contact organised sport, including training, group exercise and competition activity.
  • An outdoor sporting ‘field of play bubble’ for under 12’s consists of up to 30 people, including coaches, at any one time.
  • For informal activity, such as hacking or facility hire, adults can travel up to five miles into a neighbouring Local Authority area.
  • Young people (17 years old and under) have an exemption to allow travel to their usual club or facility, including to a national club venue where regular organised activity takes place. Where it is a national club event, cross border travel is permitted for organised activity.

The next stage has been announced from 16 April onwards, when travel will be opened to all of mainland Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise, providing members the opportunity to access all venues across the country.  We have produced a separate guidance document for organisers in Scotland to cover the different requirements.

Guidance: sportscotland and horsescotland