BD update: Scotland and Wales 23.04.21
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In the latest round of updates, the First Ministers for Scotland and Wales delivered positive news which will facilitate the full resumption of British Dressage activity in both regions, with earlier dates than originally anticipated for further relaxation in lockdown restrictions.
Monday 26 April is now a key date for members in both nations, with travel restrictions lifted in Scotland for participating in organised sport, and outdoor activity once again permitted in Wales.
From Monday 26 April, Scotland will return to a restriction level system with the country moving to a modified version of level three, which will enable six people from two households to meet socially indoors in some public settings. Up to six people from six households can still mix outdoors. All remaining non-essential shops and close contact services can reopen from Monday, as can indoor sports facilities, including gyms and swimming pools for individual exercise. Tourist accommodation, museums and galleries will also re-open.
The legal requirement to stay within your Local Authority area to compete and train will no longer apply, so travel for any purpose will be permitted across Scotland, including crossing the border into England and Wales. This opens up the training and competition network fully for members to prepare for and compete in next month’s Winter Regional and Area Festival at Morris Equestrian Centre (12 – 16 May) and Area Festival at The Cabin EC (29 & 30 May). Up to 30 people will be able to participate in organised sport competition or training activity at any one time, including coaches, officials and support staff, with multiple bubbles of 30 permitted.
In Wales, the number who can meet in an outdoor setting will change to six people from up to six households from tomorrow (Saturday 24 April), while from Monday 26 April organised outdoor activity for up to 30 people can resume. This means that British Dressage competitions and training activity can restart for the first time since lockdown at the end of December 2020, just in time for some high-profile fixtures and camps to take place. There are no travel restrictions in place for Wales, including crossing the border into England, so there’s no limit on travelling to participate in training or shows.
The Welsh Sport Association has confirmed that indoor activity should be able to get back underway from Monday 3 May onwards, brought forward by two weeks from 17 May. This will enable indoor competition and training for groups of up to 15 people to resume from this earlier date. Only those individuals within the field of play (i.e. on the arena surface) count towards these totals.
Current indications are that Wales could move to Alert Level 2 from Monday 17 May, which would further increase the numbers who can take part in competitions and training activity at any one time to 50 people outdoors and 30 indoors. Like Scotland, multiple bubbles are permitted, but they must be distinct groups and should not mix.
Members in Scotland and Wales should make sure to review the BD Coronavirus protocol documents in our toolkit hub online before their first competitions – they’re in place to keep you and your fellow competitors safe, so please read thoroughly before participating in any activity.
With travel restrictions severely impacting the ability to compete in Scotland, competitions only just able to resume next week in Wales and limited opportunities available on the islands, the BD Board have agreed to apply a further one month extension to all current horse registrations for members residing in these areas. To qualify, the horse and its owner must be current paid BD members with a valid membership and horse registration as of midnight on 31 March 2021. Horses due for renewal in April will also qualify for the extension, provided that their renewal is completed by midnight on 25 April 2021. The free month will automatically be added for eligible horses and may take up to 14 days to show on the horse’s record: full Terms and Conditions apply.
British Dressage Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented; “With competition in Wales finally able to resume again next week and travel also opening up for Scotland from Monday, it really feels like we’re getting closer to resuming a normal calendar of events for all British Dressage members. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s now looking promising that by mid-May we should have the full use of indoor and outdoor facilities – and hopefully even spectators will be able to return.
“We appreciate that members living in Scotland, Wales and on the islands have had limited or no competition so far this year and the Board had no hesitation in supporting our proposal to offer a further month’s horse extension to those affected, in recognition for their continued loyalty and patience. This takes the value of the horse registration concessions offered to date to almost £400,000. The team are getting the arrangements in place and you should see the extension against your horse’s record in the next two weeks.”
BD activity in England continues apace with competition and training taking place indoors and outdoors currently, within the COVID restrictions, and we are grateful to our venues for making this work successfully. The first Premier League of the 2021 season started at Keysoe today and while no spectators are currently allowed, Horse & Country is on site live streaming all of the action from the main indoor arena for H&C+ subscribers, available at just £5.99 per month.
The remaining six Premier League fixtures continue through May and June, running alongside a busy calendar of Winter Regionals and Area Festivals, which get underway from next Friday 30 April and run through to Friday 4 June. In addition we have the new Wellington CDI to look forward to next month, which will also be available to view online via H&C+, with a range of FEI classes in the calendar for 11 – 16 May and our own Winter Championships have been confirmed for 28 June to 2 July at Hartpury College. So there’s plenty for members to now look forward to as activity fully resumes across all three home nations.