BD update: Second lockdown for England

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Thu, 05 Nov 2020 16:55

Parliament yesterday approved the legislation for the second lockdown for England for a four week period, effective from today, Thursday 5 November, until Wednesday 2 December inclusive. While the overall message is once again to stay at home where possible, in order to minimise contact with others and limit non-essential travel, there are some exceptions around work, training and exercise.

We can confirm that all organised British Dressage training and competition activity is now suspended in England for the duration of the four week lockdown period until Thursday 3 December, when we hope that activity will be able to resume.

Shows and training in Scotland can continue under the five tier system, with travel restrictions in place, while the 17 day ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales remains in place until Monday 9 November, when new national restrictions will be in force.

The key points for members in England are as follows:

• Under Exception 10 in the legislation, it’s now confirmed that you can continue to exercise, including riding, either on your own, with people you live with, with your support bubble or one person from another household. Children under school age, as well as those dependent on care from their parents, do not count towards the limit of two people meeting outside. A short journey is permitted in order to exercise if necessary.

• Under the approved legislation, members will still be able to continue attending to and caring for their horse on welfare and veterinary grounds, if they are unable to make alternative arrangements. This is subject to obtaining permission from the proprietor and any additional requirements put in place by a yard owner should also be respected.

• Individuals who are not able to work effectively from home can continue to travel to do so. This would include coaches, who are permitted to continue to deliver one to one training for their clients on an individual basis, providing social distancing and hygiene measures are adhered to at all times.

Please note that the enforced closure of all ‘stables and riding centres’ was removed from the list of premises required to shut during lockdown, although those continuing to operate, such as livery yards, will still need to adhere to all of the other restrictions put in place.

An update from British Equestrian today provides further advice on caring for horses, riding and coaching and Sport England has released some FAQs around the second lockdown.
Organisers of cancelled November competitions in England are being encouraged to reschedule in December where possible, subject to any local clashes, to help with dates for the final month of the winter qualification period which ends on 31 December. Qualification criteria is also currently being assessed to ensure that there is a fair and equitable approach for all members, whether they are in England, Scotland or Wales.

Online activity can still operate as normal, with four BD approved providers continuing to provide a number of opportunities for members to engage in remote training and competitions from home during the lockdown period. You can find out more on what is available from Dressage Anywhere, E-Riders, The Mane Show and Dressage Online – it’s a great way to keep competition ready for when activity can resume. A number of BD approved and accredited coaches also offer virtual coaching – search online or social media for further details.

Members in England may be without BD competition and group training opportunities for the month of lockdown but that certainly won’t mean that all activity is put on hold in November. All members will still have access to a full programme of online events and additional digital content on the BD website and social media channels over the next four weeks.

There will be a mix of live online sessions, training activity via Zoom and recordings covering all aspects of dressage, from some of the sport’s great names and experts. This will be free to access for all members when they log into the BD website. If you’re unsure how to do this, our ‘how to’ video will guide you through the process. We’ll be launching this from next week via the website and social media, so watch out for further details coming soon.

We’re delighted to confirm that the recently announced BD National Convention, in association with Harrison Clark Rickerbys, on 21 & 22 November, will go ahead as planned. We had already set this up as a virtual event online only, broadcast via live stream with our media partners Horse & Country, so it will meet all government requirements around permitted working and broadcast arrangements and be delivered in a COVID-secure environment for the hosts, demo riders and production crew.

Weekend passes to access both days of ‘Training to Test Riding’, with over 10 hours of content available for up to 90 days after the event on demand, will cost just £25 for members and £35 for non-members. These will be on sale from tomorrow, but you can also pre-register your interest to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the latest information.

Jason Brautigam, BD Chief Executive commented; “Thank you all for your patience while we’ve been waiting for the parliament vote and clarification from DCMS, UK Sport and Sport England. In conjunction with British Equestrian and the other member bodies, we managed to get stables and riding centres removed from the closure list, which is great news for the sector. We’ll continue working with them on your behalf for the benefit of everyone in our sport and to protect the livelihoods of those who work in the industry.

“We won’t let November be an empty month for our members as the team at BDHQ are busy working on a plan of online content to keep you engaged, motivated and competition ready. The centrepiece will be our National Convention and we are delighted that we will still be able to bring our plans to fruition, as we know how much members have been looking forward to it. Please do join us for what promises to be a great weekend, with knowledge and insights provided by four of our leading dressage experts.

“We look forward to competitions and training getting back underway in Wales from next week and will continue to monitor the situation in Scotland closely to keep you updated with any changes. We appreciate that having the three home nations operating under different guidance is not ideal and will once again be challenging for everyone, but thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding during these difficult times.”

The BD Board and management team will continue to do everything they can to mitigate the financial impact caused by the lockdown in terms of lost revenue from competitions and training income. Once again, we will be implementing the government’s furlough scheme and have reduced our staff levels by 50% for the four week period, although we still aim to provide members with a full service as normal.

Our headquarters in Meriden will close for the duration of the lockdown period, with all staff reverting to working from home. However, our internal systems provide a seamless transition from office to home working, so you can continue to contact us as normal via phone or email.

Please note that our online shop will close with immediate effect until 3 December. Alternative arrangements have been made for venues in Scotland and Wales to order scoresheets for their forthcoming shows.

The Regional Development Officers for Scotland (Emma Devoy) and Wales (Vanessa Archer) remain in post, while Jo Bryne will be the only RDO retained in England for the lockdown period. Between them, these three RDOs we will continue to provide cover for all eight regions as follows:

Jo Byrne – Northern, North West and Eastern
Vanessa Archer – Wales and South West
Emma Devoy – Scotland, Southern and Central

The BD team is always on hand to offer help and guidance, or to answer any questions you may have, so please do get in touch by phone and email – or you can send us a message on Facebook.