BD update: organised activity can continue

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 20:59

The home nations have all recently announced new laws that tighten up COVID-19 restrictions, with a reduction in the number of people who are permitted to meet socially.  British Dressage can confirm that this will not impact on the running of affiliated competitions and training in England, Scotland and Wales.  The respective governments have confirmed that organised sport is exempt and can continue unchanged, providing the relevant protocols and procedures have been put in place to manage activity in a safe, COVID-secure environment.

On 7 May we released the British Dressage Coronavirus Operational Plan, which outlined how we intended to manage the resumption of activity and provided a roadmap for the sport’s recovery.  This was followed with Standard Operating Procedures and supporting toolkits, with comprehensive guidance for each of our stakeholder groups, to enable everyone to return to action safely.

Competitions returned to England under this guidance from 1 July with Wales later the same month and Scotland from 7 August.  Competitions will continue to run ‘behind closed doors’ in accordance with these guidelines for the foreseeable future, in order to limit the numbers on site.  BD protocols state that each rider is permitted to have one helper per horse, with an additional parent, guardian or carer allowed to attend to support our under 18 and Para riders.

BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented; “A great deal of planning and work went into getting our COVID protocols and procedures in place; it was imperative to get them right for the safety of all participants. The combined effort and positive response we have received in implementing these guidelines has been rewarded with the full return to action for our training and competition activity across each of the home nations.  This has been a great success so far and we thank everyone involved for their contribution and support.

“The new restrictions hit home that coronavirus is still very much with us and everyone needs to remain vigilant by adhering to the social distancing restrictions and hygiene measures.  The plans we have put in place to mitigate risk and provide COVID-secure conditions for our sport have enabled British Dressage activity to continue, but we still need everyone to play their part.  We all must continue to follow the guidance to the letter and comply with all of the regulations to ensure that our ability to run training and competitions is not compromised in any way.”

All participants are reminded of the importance to follow British Dressage COVID-19 guidance and toolkits, in accordance with the general principles detailed BD Community COVID-19 charter:

  • The health and safety of all of British Dressage members, and those connected with our sport in any way, must remain paramount at all times.
  • Government guidelines should be adhered to by all participants, whether you are a competitor, organiser, judge, steward, groom, trainer, owner or other support personnel.
  • All training and competition activity will be COVID-19 risk assessed in advance to manage risks and provide a safe, controlled and regulated environment for all involved.
  • Regular handwashing, cleaning and hygiene procedures are essential for all activities.
  • Social distancing of two metres should be maintained where possible; if this is not possible, individuals are advised to remain at least one metre apart, plus other mitigating measures.
  • Flexibility, understanding and support are key to the successful resumption of training and competition activity, therefore compliance with these requirements is essential.
  • Good communication is required between all participants to maintain awareness, vigilance and help to control the virus.

Following the latest changes, the current situation for each of the home nations is as follows:

  England Scotland Wales
How many can meet?

These numbers are as of 14 September but public are encouraged to follow immediately.
No more than six people from different households. Two households can meet outdoors or indoors, up to six people in total, but social distancing must be maintained at all times.

Children under 12 do not count towards the total.
Outdoors: gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted from different households.

Indoors: up to six from an extended household.

Children under 11 do not count towards the total.
Travel distance Any Any Any
Social distancing 2m or 1m plus mitigations 2m 2m
Riders Groups of up to six people from separate households can ride together, or five plus a coach. Two households can ride together at a time, up to a maximum of six people.

Riders can participate in gatherings of up to 30 people, where activity is organised and supervised.
Coaches Can teach groups of up to five people from separate households in a session, with no limit on the number of sessions per day.

Organised training activity can include groups of up to 30 people, subject to conducting risk assessments. 
Organised group coaching can take place outdoors for a maximum of 30 people at any one time, with multiple sessions per day as long as the groups do not mix.

Indoor facilities can be used if COVID protocols and procedures are fully implemented.
May instruct individuals or groups of up to 30 people, with no limit on the number of sessions per day.
Venues Groups of up to 30 people are permitted at any one time, in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Maximum occupancy of each indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100sqft per person.
Up to 30 people can take part in any one outdoor training or competition session in an organised setting.

Multiple sessions can take place at any one time throughout the day, as long as the groups do not mix.

Indoor facilities can be used if COVID protocols and procedures are fully implemented.
Organised training and competition activity is permitted for groups of up to 30 people at a time. 
BD Competitions with approved COVID protocols in place Groups of up to 30 people are permitted at any one time. Groups of up to 30 people within a defined bubble can compete, with a requirement that multiple groups should not mix.  Groups of up to 30 people are permitted to at any one time.
Competition helpers Rider + one per horse (para or U18 riders are permitted one additional helper). Rider + one per horse (para or U18 riders are permitted one additional helper). Rider + one per horse (para or U18 riders are permitted one additional helper).
Covered (indoor) arenas permitted
Affiliated competition

British Dressage is grateful to for the continued support of all stakeholders and we appreciate the effort made to keep dressage running by all concerned.  We will continue to monitor the government advice and restrictions to keep members updated as and when these guidelines change.