BD Operational Plan Status Update

Further to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday and subsequent release of their recovery strategy in response to the COVID-19 crisis, British Dressage is now in a position to update members on what this means for our sport.

As part of the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the UK government has announced that from Wednesday 13th May, those that reside in England can go outside more than once a day for exercise as long as they’re following social distancing guidelines, either alone, with members of their household, or with one person from outside of their household.

Outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted, while people can also leave their homes to visit a public open space for the purposes of open-air recreation to promote their physical or mental health, or emotional well-being.

For those members residing in England, this means riders can now ride and exercise their horses, where it is safe to do so, either on your own, with members of your own household, or a maximum of one other person providing that social distancing is maintained at all times.  This includes travelling to ride your horse, providing that you still have access to facilities and this is permitted by the proprietor, as well as transporting your horse for lessons or exercise elsewhere.

For members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the advice to stay at home remains in place, including restrictions on travel.  Therefore riding activity should be within the premises where the horse is kept, if at all possible.  All riders should ride safely and responsibly within their capabilities and means, wear up-to-standard safety equipment, avoid any high risk activity, and ideally in familiar or controlled environments.

In England, the relaxation of travel for exercise and meeting with one other person outside of your household means that members can also travel for one-to-one training activity, providing social distancing is adhered to at all times. The government also encourages people to travel to work, where they are unable to do so at home, so coaches are permitted to travel to yards or private facilities for one-to-one lessons.

Everyone should adhere to the government regulations on social distancing, public health and hygiene, with coaches and venues advised to conduct full risk assessments before undertaking any activity, as well as checking that they have adequate insurance cover with their provider.

Jason Brautigam, BD CEO, commented; “For our members in England, this is positive news and our Operational Plan can now move to the ‘amber’ section of the ‘Response’ phase, to return to riding and training, as we take the first steps towards the full resumption of activity.  I’m sure everyone will feel the benefit of being able to enjoy your horses more, both mentally and physically, as we prepare for a return to action over the coming weeks.

“This will be on an individual basis initially, rather than organised competition, training and participation activity, as sport itself will not be able to resume until 1st June at the earliest.  Based on the government’s outline roadmap, we would hope to restart training next month, including test riding days, with the competition calendar recommencing from 4th July onwards.  This is a move forwards in the right direction and there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Those who reside in the devolved nations must continue to follow the advice and instructions from their respective governments, but we will work with our regional committees to provide updates as soon as they are available.  In the meantime, we thank all of our members for their support, patience and understanding as we work our way through this crisis together.”


What does the new amber status for England mean?


  • You can ride on your own, with other members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, providing you stay two metres apart at all times.
  • Your coach can travel to you for individual one-to-one lessons in an outdoor setting.
  • You can transport your horse for a lesson, venue hire or exercise in another location.  Anyone who travels with you must be from your household only.


  • You can travel to a yard or venue for individual one-to-one lessons in an outdoor setting.
  • Clients can travel to you for individual one-to-one lessons in an outdoor setting.
  • You can train clients online if you wish to continue to self-isolate or shield yourself.
  • All social distancing, public health and hygiene regulations must be followed at all times.

As part of this first phase in the resumption of activity, remote or virtual training and competition activity using BD tests will be allowed to resume for authorised online providers.  Prior approval must be obtained by online providers in order to be granted permission to use BD tests.  Application forms and criteria sheets are available on request from our Sport Operations Manager, Lou Jones.


Health, Safety and Hygiene Advice

Please maintain vigilance and respect these social distancing, personal health and hygiene measures:

  • Do not leave the house if you’re feeling unwell; self-isolate if necessary
  • Those who fall into the ‘at risk’ categories should remain shielded at home
  • Maintain social distancing and keep two metres apart from others at all times
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or use hand sanitiser / wipes as an alternative
  • Use your own tack and equipment and avoid sharing with others if at all possible
  • Any shared equipment should be rigorously cleaned with antibacterial spray/wipes
  • Clean/wipe any common touchpoint surfaces regularly, such as gates, door handles etc.
  • Use online booking and payment methods to minimise unnecessary contact with others
  • Conduct risk assessments, check insurance cover and maintain first aid provision, where applicable.  Toolkits and advice will be made available online for BD coaches and officials.