Rules on hyperflexion, blood and vaccinations finalised for 2020

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 27 Sep 2019 14:02

The 2020 Members' Handbook is just about to go to press so we wanted to share with members the final wording around the new hyperflextion, blood and vaccination rules. Thanks to those members who fedback following our release of the the summary of rule changes issued a few weeks ago.


Hyperflexion or ‘rollkur’ is not permitted or tolerated from any rider or combination. In competition conditions, BD stewards will now refer any hyperflexion seen to the judge at C or the organiser immediately. The combination will be eliminated from the competition. Anyone who witnesses this practice at a BD competition, or any other action that contravenes the BD equine welfare policy, is requested to use our Welfare Form available via the BD website to report such instances to the BD office. Please include any available evidence (witness statements, video, photos, etc.) which can be used by the designated Welfare Officer who may then refer the matter to the Disciplinary Panel for action.


For all competitions: If the judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the horse during the test, he/she will stop the horse to check for blood. If the horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the judge, through examination, clarifies that the horse has no fresh blood, the horse may resume and finish its test.
Competitions where a BD steward is present: In addition to the above, if blood is noticed on a horse during the warm up, the BD steward will approach the rider, make them aware of it and inspect the horse. If the horse shows fresh blood, the BD steward will advise the rider to retire.
If the rider fails to do so, the BD steward will report the matter with evidence to the judge at C and the horse will be eliminated from that class. The horse may be presented for subsequent classes but the BD steward must be satisfied the horse is fit to continue.
Any fresh blood found by a BD steward during the post-test inspection in the horse’s mouth or area of the spurs will be reported to the Judge at C with evidence and the horse will be eliminated from that class. If there is blood on any other areas of the horses body, the BD Steward in consultation with the Judge at C will decide if the horse should be eliminated and/or is fit to continue in any further competition(s) in the event.
Any horse which has a ‘sore patch’ (an area where hair has been rubbed off and the skin is inflamed) in a location where there is a danger that the skin could be broken if the horse were continued to be ridden, it must be withdrawn from competition. If the sore patch is not noticed until after a test has been completed, then elimination will only occur if the skin is broken. The horse may not continue to compete for the remainder of the competition thereafter, unless approved to continue by an independent vet.

Equine Influenza Vaccination

To protect the health of the other competing horses and the biosecurity of the venue, a valid passport must accompany the horse to all competitions and be produced on request. Failure to comply is a disciplinary offence and will debar the horse from competing at the event for which it has been entered. A horse will not be permitted to compete unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions:
• An initial course of two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete.
• A first booster injection must be given between 150 and 215 days after the second injection of primary vaccination.
• Subsequent booster injections must be given at regular intervals of not more than 12 months, commencing after the first booster injection.
• The most recent booster injection must have been given within six calendar months +21 days prior to the horse competing.
• The full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before arriving at the competition.
The vaccination record(s) in the horse’s passport, must be completed, signed and stamped line by line, by an appropriate veterinary surgeon (who is neither the owner nor the rider of the horse). For those competing under FEI rules, please refer to FEI rules. The responsibility to comply with this rule lies with the competitor, who should consult with their veterinarian.
Horses being found without adequate and up to date vaccinations will not be allowed to compete and will be barred from competing until such a time that they have been given their first and second vaccinations. The registration of any horse found in breach of this rule will be suspended until rectified.