Posted on April 1st, 2020

BD and BS update

The status of the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve in the UK and recent government briefings indicate that a longer period of lockdown is looking increasingly likely. Having individually reviewed the likely impact that this will have on the events calendar over the next two months, British Dressage (BD) and British Showjumping (BS) have taken the decision to extend the suspension period for all affiliated competitions, training and participation activities up to and including 31st May 2020.

Both organisations will continue to monitor developments and take action if there is a relaxation in restrictions which could enable activity to resume before this date, as long as it is safe to do so and within any parameters imposed by the government.  While we do not envisage an early resumption of competitions and events at this stage, due to ongoing social distancing measures, we will review this regularly in order to provide members with sufficient notice before any restart.

With calendars now suspended until the end of May, both BD and BS have taken action to minimise costs and limit operational overheads.  This includes reducing staffing levels significantly in both organisations, in accordance with the furloughing provisions of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  A skeleton team will remain in place across all departments in both organisations, with employees continuing to work remotely to maintain service and support levels to members.

BD and BS continue to ask all members and stakeholders to strictly adhere to the government guidance, particularly on avoiding non-essential travel and unnecessary social contact, to assist in halting the spread of the virus and protect frontline emergency services staff.  This includes advice on caring for your horse during the current crisis.

This does not include any provision for ‘virtual’ remote training or competitions and we do not support or endorse any such activity while we are still in the emergent phase of the outbreak.

The Government has not issued any restrictions on riding, but we would continue to urge all members to act responsibly and consider the associated risks carefully before determining whether it is necessary to ride.  The equestrian community fully supports the efforts of the health and emergency services – and we do not want to put further pressure on the NHS at this critical time, when they are already working at full capacity to combat the virus.

BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said; “The response we have received so far has been extremely positive, with a huge sense of solidarity from our members. Everyone has united in supporting the government restrictions and guidelines, and understanding about our decisions to cancel activity. Although an extension of our suspension period is very disappointing for all concerned, we hope that this clarification will give our stakeholders a clearer timeframe to manage their horses and competition aspirations.  Some hard decisions have had to be made, including those which will impact significantly on the BD team, but I continue to be proud of the efforts that everyone is making to protect the future of our organisation and sport.”

Iain Graham, BS Chief Executive, added; “Suspending our sport and activity for the next two months is without doubt the correct thing to do with the crisis that is affecting the country at the moment.  In taking this action it will also allow for members and stakeholders to plan accordingly whether it be around the welfare of their horses, businesses, family or personal situations as we adapt to life as it currently is.

On behalf of myself and the rest of the BS Board I would like to convey our thanks for the ongoing member, sponsor, stakeholder and staff support we have received; it has been quite overwhelming.  Also for the ongoing support of the government efforts that everyone is making to minimise the spread of the virus and the resulting pressure on the NHS”

Posted on April 1st, 2020

National pet charity Blue Cross issues advice for horse owners during the coronavirus outbreak

There is no current evidence that horses can be infected with the new virus or be carriers of it. However, the charity advises always washing hands with soap and water after handling or stroking your horse for protection against other bacteria.

Following Blue Cross’ tips, issued on 26th March, will help to keep your horse safe during within the confines of current Governmental restrictions.

How can I look after my horse with the new stay at home measures? Under the current restrictions of one form of outdoor exercise per day, many are now having to make changes to the day-to-day care for their horses.

Speak with your yard manager Ensure you are aware of your yard’s policy during the coronavirus pandemic. Some yards may insist on no visitors or have strict rules on number of visitors – so it’s good to phone ahead and keep up to date on your yard rules.

Rough your horse off You may want to consider roughing your horse off and turning them out to grass 24/7 as this will make caring for them during these difficult times a lot simpler.

Beware of laminitis Your horse’s weight will need to be monitored carefully if you choose this approach. Spring grass is starting to come through and too much grass can lead to laminitis.

Visiting your horse The Prime Minister has announced that the British public may only leave their homes for limited necessary reasons. One of these reasons is “for one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household”. This exercise does include checking in on your horse.

Buddy-up Blue Cross recommend having another horse owner as an ‘in case of emergency’. You’ll be able to call this person if you become ill and you can act the same for them, like a buddy system. Note: Your buddy will need to be insured if handling your horse.

Create a rota for yard visits to check on multiple horses at any one time This should increase the number of visits your horse receives to at least twice a day. Those self-isolating will need to ask a family member or friend to look after their horse for them.

Can I ride my horse as my one form of exercise? There is always a risk involved with riding and, in the unfortunate event that you have an accident on your horse, a response to that accident may currently be a lot slower than usual. It’s important that we all do our part for now and lessen the pressure on our NHS so we advise you not to ride during this crisis.

Can a farrier visit my horse? It’s best to contact your farrier to discuss your appointment. The British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA) advise that unnecessary travel should be avoided and that registered farriers need to adhere to a new traffic light system which details which visits are essential depending on urgency of hoof care.

Will my vet still be able to visit my horse? Vets are now working on an emergency care basis only, along with providing urgent prescriptions.

To make a donation to Blue Cross, find out more about rehoming a horse or to sponsor a horse who is currently in the charity’s care at its rehoming centres in Burford, Oxfordshire or Rolleston, Staffordshire visit People can also sign up to free coronavirus update emails for the latest news and tips about how to manage the Covid-19 outbreak with your horses and other pets. Visit to sign up.

©Steve Bardens.

Posted on April 1st, 2020

Holland Cooper Support NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal


We are all being urged to take our one hour of exercise a day, and if you are a horse rider then you can do it in style in Holland Cooper knowing that at the same time you are helping to raise money for the NHS. 

Holland Cooper have pledged that 10% of online sales will go towards the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

Posted on April 1st, 2020

Bransby Horses creates Horsey Hand Wash demonstration video

Bransby Horses has created a Horsey Hand Wash demonstration video to guide their dedicated staff and fosterers on how best to keep safe by keeping their hands clean.

The charity wants to share this video at this unprecedented time as it may help others remember those key steps to proper handwashing.

Bransby Horses, having seen many demonstration videos over the last weeks, felt that remembering each of the 6 steps was a challenge. In their usual ‘Bransby way’ the charity has made it their own.

Alex Kinnear-Mellor, Marketing Manager, says: “Although we’re closed to the public, our vital care work for over 350 horses at our Bransby and Barlings sites can’t stop for a moment. Our dedicated staff are still coming into work to ensure these incredible animals are kept safe and live the life they deserve. We are following Government guidelines on keeping safe distances and as you’ll see from this video, washing our hands efficiently, and with a smile when possible!”

The charity via their Facebook page has invited supporters to share videos of them doing their own version of the Horsey Hand Wash.



The 6 step Horsey Hand Wash:

  • Warm your hands
  • Stroke the donkey
  • Muck-out the stable
  • Scratch the cob
  • Mix the feed
  • Wash the buckets!

 View the video here on the charity website:

Posted on April 1st, 2020

April 2020 – Alltech










Posted on April 1st, 2020

April 2020 – Speedibeet








Posted on April 1st, 2020

April 2020 – Mollichaff Hoofkind








Posted on April 1st, 2020

April 2020 – Turmeraid









Posted on March 31st, 2020


Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show, which includes Royal Windsor Endurance and The Edwardian Pageant, have announced the cancellation of the 2020 events following the Government’s announcements around COVID-19. Royal Windsor Horse Show was due to be held from 13th-17th May, Royal Windsor Endurance on 15th May and The Edwardian Pageant on the evenings of 14th-16th May.  

Commenting on the decision, Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “It is with enormous regret that we have to reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Royal Windsor Horse Show, Royal Windsor Endurance and The Edwardian Pageant. The health of the competitors, tradestand holders, sponsors, officials, volunteers and visiting public is our top priority. We would like to thank everyone associated with the event for their continued support, and we are already planning a bumper show in 2021 to compensate for this year’s disappointment.”

All individuals who have already purchased a ticket will receive a refund from The Ticket Factory in due course. All competitors who have already paid for their entry will receive a refund, including any stabling fees in due course.

Details of the cancellation, refund process and all future plans will be available on the Royal Windsor Horse Show website

Posted on March 30th, 2020

RSPCA Emergency Appeal to care for hundreds of horses and rescue more

The RSPCA has launched an emergency appeal supported by comedian Ricky Gervais to keep its rescue teams out on the frontline saving animals through the Coronavirus crisis.

Animal rescuers at the charity have been designated key workers by the Government but vital funding is needed to keep them out on the road, continuing to rescue animals from the worst cruelty and neglect.

The RSPCA is currently caring for 842 horses and the number is expected to grow as even more come into their care in the coming weeks as its rescue teams bring in more equines in need.

Staff at six centres are focusing on keeping the horses and ponies in their care happy and healthy throughout the crisis as rehoming and fostering has been paused in line with Government advice.

Almost 80% of the horses in the RSPCA’s care (almost 650) are in private boarding stables across England and Wales as there is not enough room in rehoming centres and the charity will be paying for their care throughout the crisis.

Alongside this, the charity is also facing a huge financial strain as it is already seeing the damaging effect of this crisis on its fundraising income, while the costs of saving, treating and caring for animals continue.

Animal lover Ricky said: “It is really important for us all to pull together to help each other at this difficult time and someone needs to be there for animals too. I would urge people to give whatever they can spare at this really difficult time to support the RSPCA so they can stay out on the frontline rescuing the animals who need them most.

“They are facing huge challenges through this crisis, but their amazing staff are committed to being there for animals in danger in any way they can and they can only do it with your help.”

RSPCA Inspectorate staff are providing an emergency-only service throughout the lockdown period.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer, said: “This is a time of national crisis, and many of us are anxious about the future and our loved ones. This crisis has touched all areas of life and the RSPCA is no different. As we all face the biggest challenge of a generation, the RSPCA must continue to be on the frontline, rescuing and caring for the animals who need us most.

“Our rescuers, vets and nurses have been designated key workers by the Government which means we can carry on saving animals from cruelty and neglect but we rely entirely on generous public donations to fund our vital services.

“We are facing immense challenges and huge pressures on strained resources, but our hugely dedicated teams are out there dealing with emergencies and our centres continue to deliver vital care to thousands of animals, with more expected in the coming weeks.

“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be here for animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

Since the crisis deepened at the beginning of March, our animal cruelty line has already received nearly 60,000 calls.

These include:

  • Rescuers spent 5 hours saving Harris (pictured), a black colt stuck in freezing water in marshland in Gravesend, Kent on 15th March. The young horse had a huge open wound across his right shoulder, where it appeared he had been impaled on something sharp. RSPCA rescuer Grace Harris-Bridge worked with a vet, police, the fire service and other charity workers to bring the scared and flighty horse out of the mud and into a horsebox. He was taken to a vet for urgent treatment for his wound and is now recovering in RSPCA care in private boarding.

  • Animal care officer Julie Parson feeding a herd of Shetland ponies near Brighton after their owner was taken ill at the start of the year. Julie has been caring for the ponies in her own time to help make sure they are socialised and able to be rehomed once lockdown is over.

To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep our animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at