Joint BD and BS update
- Written By:
Monday’s UK Government announcement to increase measures to combat the current coronavirus pandemic has effectively put the nation in lockdown until mid-April. As National Governing Bodies, British Dressage (BD) and British Showjumping (BS) continue to urge all members and stakeholders to adhere to this guidance and advice, particularly on social distancing, in order to help contain the spread of the virus and protect frontline staff in the emergency services.
As previously stated on 17 March, all affiliated BD and BS competitions, events and training activities are suspended up to and including 16 April. This time period falls in line with the Government’s three week period of lockdown. This will continue to be monitored closely and reviewed on a regular basis.
Major dates for National and Regional competitions take a great deal of planning, organisation and financial outlay. It is important that we continue to make timely decisions on whether these need to be cancelled or postponed, to allow enough notice for all participants as well as minimising costs for venues. In consultation with our organisers, we can now announce the following key fixtures have been cancelled across the two disciplines:
- Keysoe Premier League, 24 – 26 April (BD)
- Senior Inter Regionals and Para Home International at Keysoe, 2 – 3 May (BD)
- Addington Premier League, 8 – 10 May (BD)
- Royal Windsor Horse Show, 13 – 17 May (BD and BS)
- Wellington International, 19 – 21 May (BS)
- Somerford Park Premier League, 22 – 24 May (BD)
- Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show, 9 – 14 June (BD and BS)
- Hickstead International, 24 – 27 June (BD)
- Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting at Hickstead, 24 – 28 June (BS)
- Wettenhall International at South View EC, 2 – 5 July (BS)
For any competition or training events that have been cancelled to date, please allow up to 28 days for refunds to be processed as there is a significant volume to get through.
We will provide further updates on the cessation of regular competitions and training activity in due course, based on the latest government advice, with a view to extending the current suspension on a rolling four week basis.
BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said; “I’d like to thank all our members for their support during these uncertain and challenging times. Our priority has to be supporting the management of the pandemic by taking socially responsible action to contain further spread of the virus. Understandably members will be disappointed with these cancellations – and, at this stage, it’s too early to determine what competitions could potentially be rescheduled or when the sport is able to resume.
We’ll keep everyone updated regularly on our contingency plans as the lockdown continues, so activity can restart as and when the restrictions are lifted. However, realistically this could continue for some time yet, so in the meantime we all have a role to play in adhering to social distancing measures and following the official advice on horse care during this difficult period.”
Iain Graham, BS Chief Executive, added; “The showjumping community has been incredibly supportive and we’re grateful for their backing, despite facing their own challenges, as we all work to combat the virus. Making any decision to cancel events is always difficult, but we have to help our organisers and venues to stay solvent so that the resources and facilities are there when sporting action can resume. I would urge everyone to strictly follow the government guidelines, as we all want our sport, livelihoods and daily lives to return to normal as quickly as possible.”
The Meriden headquarters for both organisations is now closed, with all staff working remotely to provide a normal service to members. Staff can be contacted in the usual manner by phone or email. Please note that BD’s online shop is closed until further notice as orders cannot currently be fulfilled.
There is an array of advice available to help our stakeholders manage the current crisis. Here are some useful links that contain relevant information:
- UK Government response and advice
- Business support available from the government
- Advice on caring for horses and riding
- Advice on staying active while at home
- Looking after mental health
- Advice on caring for horses during current restrictions
The staff of both BD and BS are always on hand to help via email or phone with any questions or advice that you might need. Both organisations will endeavour to keep members updated through all channels of communication, as the situation is constantly evolving and changing, so please check the BD / BS websites and social media platforms regularly.