Posted on May 28th, 2020

Local Horse Charity Goes Virtual Sunday 7th June

Ingatestone, Essex – Like many small charities, Remus Horse Sanctuary has had to cancel all of its fundraising efforts and events as a result of Covid-19. The Sanctuary is currently existing with a small, skeleton staff, who are required to look after and care for its 200+ animals.

Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary commented on the Prime Minister’s recent announcement: “If the PM had said another 3 weeks of lockdown then we could start to move forward. But instead, my understanding is it could be July before they will even think about the hospitality/visitor sectors being allowed to re-open. We could survive the three weeks, but I have real concerns about surviving another three months or more.

“Everything goes on here – hungry mouths need feeding, staff need paying, vet fees and other bills come in on a daily basis but still there is no hope from the Government at all. At the beginning of all this we were told we had to close, and people had to stay in, so instantly our events were cancelled and our means of raising money disabled.”

 To try and mitigate the huge financial loss, the charity is organising virtual Open Day’s – to be shared across its Facebook and Instagram platforms – until the Sanctuary can re-open to the public.

The next Virtual Open Day will take place on Sunday 7th June from 1pm until 5pm. “Instead of coming to us, we have decided to bring our Sanctuary Open Days to our supporters, by social media,” said Ms Burton.

Via video, the charity will be sharing messages from the humans that work at the Sanctuary and from its animals, with a little bit of history too. It will also have merchandise for sale, information on conservation, enrichment, a tour of the yard and much more!

Those interested in finding out more about how the Sanctuary is coping during this time and in joining one of its virtual Open Days, can visit: and Details of all of the charity’s Open Days can be found online at:

Ms Burton concluded, “These are very worrying times. Every week it feels like the screws tighten and the mountain to climb gets higher.”

Any help you can offer by way of donation, fundraising or otherwise would be very much appreciated. You can contact Sue Burton at the Sanctuary on tel: 01277 356191 or by email to

Posted on May 26th, 2020

Plea for help to find stolen Blue Cross pony

Blue Cross is appealing for help from the public to find stolen pony Basil

Basil was stolen from his loan home in Gloucestershire on the evening of Thursday 21 May.

Please help us make Basil too hot to handle. We really want him back home safe and sound with his borrower, who is absolute devastated as you can imagine.

Basil only has one eye. He is 10hh, piebald (black and white), is a gelding (neutered) with distinctive markings, and is microchipped.

If you see Basil, or have any information on his theft, please call Gloucestershire Police/Avon and Somerset Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 497.

Basil can be nervous, so if you think you see him please do not approach him but do call the police.

You can also contact Blue Cross on 07827 897255.

Let’s get this lovely boy home as soon as possible. Please share his photo and information as widely as you can.

Posted on May 20th, 2020

The Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials

Official statement from Organiser:

It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of this year’s Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials, due to take place from 27th – 30th August.

We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the many competitors, exhibitors, sponsors and spectators who were planning to attend the event, but also to us as organisers and hosts.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Land Rover Blair Castle International is an incredibly important event for the Scottish equestrian community and the local economy – but we need to prioritise the health and safety of everyone involved.

We explored numerous ways to keep various competition elements, but it is important to us to host an inclusive event, and it didn’t feel right to run without our spectators and trade exhibitors in attendance.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our event partners, especially Jaguar Land Rover who provides key support, facilitating us to bring together the special event that we run each August.

“It is with a heavy heart we announce the cancellation of the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials 2020,” said Sarah Troughton, Head Trustee, Atholl Estates. “It was an unavoidable decision, taken with the safety of the local community, all the riders, and the many helpers and volunteers uppermost in our minds. The 2021 event will be all the more special, and we look forward to seeing you then.”

The Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trial will be back between 26th – 29th August 2021, so please put the dates in your diary now. We look forward to welcoming you again to the wonderful Highlands of Scotland.

Posted on May 20th, 2020

An Evening With Stallion AI Services – Webinar Thursday 21st May at 7pm

British Breeding are offering an exclusive opportunity to visit behind the scenes at Stallion AI Services in a live online webinar on Thursday 21st May at 7pm. The evening, sponsored by Spillers Horse Feeds, is free to join and will include a live guided tour and meet the stallions.

The presentation gives a unique insight into the hi-tech world of Stallion AI Services, a leading reproduction centre that has collected from over 1200 stallions and carried out over 20000 collections over the past two decades. Join Tullis Matson and his team for a live walk around his stallion barns and get up-close and personal with some of the country’s top stallions from all disciplines. Take a look inside the state-of-the-art laboratories and get a glimpse of the future in reproduction technologies and research to see how they can help us protect endangered species and safeguard genetic diversity.

Questions will be answered periodically throughout this informative webinar which is free to join.

The webinar will be held on Thursday 21st May, at 7pm.

You must pre-book to gain access to this free webinar.  To register, visit

Or Click Here:

The webinar is the second in a series of informative and entertaining online programmes offered by British Breeding during this season of disruption to the normal events looked forward to by the equestrian world.  A recording of the event will be available to view on the British Breeding website later.

Posted on May 16th, 2020

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched a new online fundraiser for all pet owners as it announces the cancellation of its annual horse show due to the coronavirus outbreak

The Redwings Show, which has been held for over 10 years, was due to take place at its new home of Trinity Park, near Ipswich, on Sunday 12th July.

While the charity was originally hoping to be able to postpone the Show to a date later in the year, with the ongoing lockdown restrictions and the need for social distancing for the foreseeable future, it has been decided that it would not be safe to continue with the event this year in the usual format.

However, the new Redwings Show Online will not just allow horse owners who had hoped to compete a chance to enjoy the Show from home, but will offer fun classes for all pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and even tortoises – all are welcome! There will also be rosettes up for grabs.

Entries are open from now until Sunday 31st May with a minimum donation of £3 per class, which will go towards Redwings’ Coronavirus Appeal to support the charity in the care of its 1,500 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules at this challenging time.

SEIB Insurance Brokers, who were kindly sponsoring this year’s Redwings Show, have generously donated £5,000 to the appeal following the event’s cancellation.

Redwings Show Online organiser, Jude Palmer, said: “Whilst we’re very disappointed not to be able to go ahead with the Redwings Show in its usual guise, we’re excited to be offering all our supporters a chance to experience the fun of the Show from their own home.

“This year, for the first time, we were due to host a Dog Show alongside our usual horse classes, so inspired by this we’ve created online classes for all pets so even more people can get involved. We really hope it will raise a smile!

“As a charity 100% funded by donations, all the money raised from the Redwings Show Online will help ensure we can continue to give our rescued residents all the specialist care they need at this very difficult time.”

The Redwings Show Online offers a variety of fun classes, including Best Veteran, Best Rescue and Best Condition in the horse classes, Most Dashing Dog, Golden Oldie and Waggiest Tail in the dog classes, and Best Working From Home Buddy, Best Selfie and Owner Who Looks Most Like Their Pet in the general pet classes – there’s simply something for everyone!

And if you don’t have a pet, there’s still a chance to take part! There are special Gymkhana In Your Garden classes offering the young – and young at heart – the chance to create their own gymkhana games using household objects from their home or garden. These classes will be judged on the inventiveness of the set-ups and the style in which participants complete their novel obstacle courses.

To take part, Redwings is asking for a minimum donation of £3 per class and all photo and video submissions must be sent to by Sunday 31st May. All winners will be announced the week beginning Monday 1st June.

For more information and to see a full list of classes, visit

Posted on May 15th, 2020

BEF COVID-19 update 15/05/20

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued further guidance on 13th May regarding outdoor facilities, as a follow-on from the government’s revised policy on exercise. This advice permits venues that provide outdoor sports and physical activities to reopen. At present, this applies to facilities in England, but we’re expecting an update from Wales shortly. The guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland remains unchanged.

For the equestrian industry, this includes riding centres, training facilities and venues, cross-country courses, farm rides and the like. Those involved with the facilities should feel adequately prepared to reopen and be confident that they can do so safely for their participants and staff.

Requirements for opening include:

• Any activity should fully align with government guidance regarding public health, social distancing and hygiene

• All attendees can maintain the social distancing standard of two metres

• Good hygiene practice is implemented throughout opening, including hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitizer stations, and regular cleaning

• Anyone involved who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home.

• Participants should be individuals, members of the same household, or two from different households with social distancing at all times. Any coaching activity must be on a one-to-one basis.

• Organisations/venues should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and how they’re managing risk

• Organisations/venues should be flexible and able to quickly adapt to any changes in government guidelines

• Car/lorry parking should be conducted to allow adequate social distancing

• Booking and payment should be done online or over the phone to reduce contact

• Indoor areas should remain closed except for access to outdoor facilities and/or toilets. Food and drink outlets should only operate on a take-away basis. It’s our understanding that indoor schools should remain closed.

• Participants should make use of facilities individually, with members of their own household or with one person from an additional household, provided that social distancing is maintained. This could be a coach, trainer or additional participant.

Horses can be transported to venues freely, but anyone involved in helping with the travelling must be from the same household only. This also applies when travelling by car. Where participants are under-18, a parent or guardian may be present for one to one training sessions for safeguarding purposes, but must adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. Read more on the government’s guidance for the public on returning to outdoor sport and recreation.

British Equestrian advises any operators looking to open their premises to read the full guidance available:

GOV.UK – guidance for providers of outdoor facilities

Sport & Recreation Alliance facilities guidance

Sport England facilities guidance


Posted on May 15th, 2020

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.


Posted on May 13th, 2020

BEF statement: Stance on riding reviewed

Following the UK Prime Minister’s broadcast on Sunday 10th May, the Board of British Equestrian (BEF) has convened to discuss their position on riding and training in the current coronavirus pandemic.  Although the crisis remains at stage four, according to the government’s COVID Alert Levels, the spread of the virus is under control and the peak has now passed.  While there has been no major relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the government did announce some changes that enable us to review our advice for the equestrian sector

The recommendation to only ride/drive where strictly necessary was in place to negate any extra burden on the medical and emergency services.  However, with the NHS now operating within capacity, the equestrian public can exercise their own horses, or those in their care, as they require, including hacking.  This must be within any UK government guidelines, including the restrictions on travel that remain in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Social distancing must be observed at all times, as should public health, hygiene and biosecurity requirements.

We continue to request that riders/drivers/vaulters consider the risk of their activity and ride/exercise where it is safe to do so and within their capabilities and fitness levels for them and their horse.  Those residing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should remain within the boundaries of the premises where the horses are kept, where at all possible.

In addition, for riders in England only, the government’s relaxation on travel for exercise and call to return to work where you cannot do so from home, means that one-to-one training is also now permitted. Coaches can travel to yards for individual face-to-face training in controlled outdoor environments, while riders can also travel to have one-to-one lessons, as long as social distancing is adhered to throughout.


Coaches, for both face-to-face and online training, must ensure that the necessary measures, risk assessments and safeguarding provisions are put in place, including checking insurance cover with their providers.  They should only ride a client’s horse where any shared clothing, tack or equipment has been appropriately disinfected and social distancing of two metres can be maintained at all times.

Riders are now permitted to transport horses to a venue for an individual lesson or facility hire outdoors. They may meet with one other from outside their household which may be a coach or other participant, all with the proviso that the appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices are in place. Those involved in travelling to or from a venue must all be from the same household.  Venues should conduct full risk assessments and ensure that the required public health, hygiene and social distancing measures are implemented effectively.

The BEF Board and Chief Executive will continue to monitor the situation closely, based on direction from the UK government to strengthen lockdown or tighten travel restrictions, which could lead to a revision in the position on riding and training in England.  We will also review any specific requirements across the devolved nations and work with regional bodies to provide specific advice, as the respective governments in each country may continue to enforce different restrictions.

BEF Chairman Malcolm Wharton commented; “Right across the country most people have upheld their societal responsibility to help with the management of the pandemic and the equestrian community has certainly risen to the challenge. These have been testing weeks with many riders separated from their horses, coaches and grooms, often without income, and riding schools without their clients – whatever our situation, none of us have been unaffected.

“Many have followed our advice to the letter and some have continued to ride, but as safely as is possible and I thank you all for your support. Conditions are right that we can soften our message, as we all know the proven health benefits, both in terms of physical and mental well-being, that exercising with horses brings. We need to remain vigilant, stay alert and not take any undue risks, so that we can continue to ease towards the full resumption of activity, when the time is right.”

British Equestrian will issue a further update on equestrian premises (riding schools, livery yards, training establishments and therapy centres) in due course.

A number of the BEF member bodies are releasing their own operational plans, detailing the stages towards a resumption of organised training and competition activity, when it is safe to do so. The BEF is finalising an umbrella plan to complement those plans and act as guidance for the equestrian sector and all of its stakeholders.  We believe that wider equestrian activity and some horse sports can adapt well to any social distancing requirements and should be in a position to get underway quickly, once conditions permit and government gives the go ahead.


Posted on May 11th, 2020

Equifest Official Announcement

“We regret to announce that we have taken on the difficult decision to cancel Equifest (Wednesday 19th August to Sunday 23rd August) 2020.

“Following the guidelines which have been set out by the government for the forthcoming months it will not be possible for us to hold the event this year. Our paramount concern is for the health and wellbeing of our competitors, exhibitors, judges and stewards during this time. It would not therefore be possible to plan and run an event of this scale whilst Covid-19 is still prominent throughout the country and we hope for your support on this decision.

“This is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone and with Equifest being the largest amateur horse show in the UK health and safety has to remain our number one priority. For those competitors who have entered online, refunds will be issued soon. Any cheques received that have not yet been presented will be destroyed. Any cheques already paid into our bank will be refunded. All exhibitors booked will also be refunded. We will be working to get these all done as soon as possible for you all.

“In the meantime, keep an eye on our social media channels for more information.”

Posted on May 11th, 2020

New Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund

The Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT) has joined together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to create a Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund.

The purpose of the fund is to help smaller equine welfare organisations across the UK who are being significantly impacted by the current crisis and will go live on Monday 11th May 2020.

All equine welfare organisations have experienced unprecedented financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis. On top of looking after the animals in their care with very limited rehoming possible, they have had to close their centres to visitors, cancel fundraising events and see donations dry up during the ongoing crisis. This can be especially devastating for smaller charities.

Support for the Fund, which was set up at the end of last month with a commitment of £50,000 from PPCT has already raised a further £80,000 from the RSPCA, The Donkey Sanctuary, Redwings, World Horse Welfare and the British Horse Society (BHS).
The maximum grant will be £5,000 with the expectation that the average grant will be around £2,500. Grants will be decided by a Committee comprising representatives from NEWC, the supporting charities and an independent member, with PPCT administering the fund.

Applicants need not be NEWC members, but rescue and rehoming of equines should be the primary focus of the organisation. If more applications are received than funds available, priority will be given to NEWC members and those smaller organisations that have not received emergency funding from other emergency funds (e.g. Support Adoption for Pets Emergency Fund).

David Simpson, Chair of PPCT, stated “The Petplan Charitable Trust has always supported the tremendous work horse rescues perform and we are delighted to work alongside others to help in these difficult times.”

Roly Owers, MRCVS, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare said, “The current situation, and the economic fallout from the pandemic, will just make a bad situation a whole lot worse. There is no capacity within the UK’s equine rescue system so it is vital, as we start to rehome animals again, that we have as many organisations as possible working to support the inevitable tidal wave of welfare cases that will need help over the course of this year.

“We are hugely grateful to our sister charities, including the RSPCA, The Donkey Sanctuary, Redwings and the BHS for supporting the Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund and to the PPCT for agreeing to administer this vital safety net to smaller, but no less important, equine welfare organisations during this extraordinary time.”