Coronavirus update
31 March 2020


by British Carriagedriving

The statement issued by the Prime Minister on 23rd March to increase measures to combat the current coronavirus pandemic has effectively put the nation in lockdown until mid-April.

British Carriagedriving urges 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.

Almost all events scheduled to take place before the end of May have been either cancelled or postponed.

In our statement on 20th March, we notified members of the cancellation of all BC organised events in March and April. All clinic bookings will be refunded in full. Please contact the BC office if you have not received a refund.

The Veterinary profession has received specific guidance from the British Veterinary Association.

Examples to help assess whether a case is urgent or an emergency:
  • Pre-purchase examinations
  • Routine dental work
  • 6-monthly vaccinations
  • Stallion licensing
  • Routine health checks
  • Riding school inspections
  • Radiography for sales or survey studies
  • Routine reproductive work
  • Poor performance investigations
  • Joint medication
  • Vaccinations (unless due second vaccine of primary course in next 3 weeks)
Remotely assess in the first instance
  • Repeat medication checks, if stable
  • Mild trauma
  • Skin issues
  • Lumps
  • Wounds
  • Sarcoids or other skin tumours
  • Nasal discharge/cough
  • Inappetence
Warrants physical examination
  • Any of the above deemed necessary following remote triage or consultation
  • Quidding
  • Painful facial, jaw or limb swelling
  • Eye complaints
  • Severe trauma/haemorrhage
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe acute lameness/laminitis
  • Colic
  • Acute diarrhoea
  • Acute ataxia/neurological conditions
  • Dystocia and post-partum problems (including retained foetal membranes)
  • Sickness/lameness in foal
  • Euthanasia





This advice means that routine vaccinations will not be administered. British Carriagedriving’s understanding is that this includes annual vaccinations, not just 6 month vaccinations. Anyone whose horse or pony is due for (and misses) its annual vaccination during the lock down will, regrettably, have to start the Primary Course again and have the first two vaccinations before they can compete. Council will be considering whether to waive the requirement for horses to have been vaccinated within six months of an event at its meeting in April so that members are aware of what the position will be as soon as possible. We remain committed to taking whatever steps we can to salvage as much as possible of our season and we remain confident that it will still be possible to put on a National Championships and to send teams to the various FEI championships scheduled for later this year. The BEF offices are closed and all staff are working from home so FEI passports can no longer be processed. It is not yet known when this service will be resumed. International events have also been affected and the FEI has issued the following statement: The FEI appreciates the amount of work and incredible investment every Organiser puts into their Event. While the FEI does not itself organise any FEI Events, in light of the escalating numbers of persons affected by the virus and the restrictions imposed by national governments, the FEI strongly recommends that Organisers should cancel all events for the next four weeks until a reassessment of the situation can be made. BC Chairman, Chris Smith, said, “I’d like to thank all our members for their support during these 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. I would urge everyone to follow the government guidelines fully but look forward to the day on which they are lifted so that we can carry on enjoying our sport.”



British Carriagedriving is committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of its members and of all of those in the driving trials community including officials, volunteers and stewards and also the vets and paramedics who attend our events.

This makes it necessary for us to cancel events (both training and competitions) in the short and possibly medium term.

On the other hand we are determined not to cancel any event unnecessarily if this can be avoided, and to ensure that as and when it is safe for us to start competing again we are in the best position to salvage as much as possible of our season and still put on a National Championships at the end of it.

In the circumstances council has concluded as follows:-

1. All BC organised events during March and April are cancelled;

2. BC strongly recommends that all affiliated club events during March and April are cancelled;

3. Council will meet regularly to consider the developing situation and an announcement will be made in April about the driving calendar for May and thereafter;

4. Individual event organisers are, of course, entirely free to cancel events further ahead if their particular circumstances (such as the possibility of incurring cancellation charges after a certain date) require this.

BC Council are actively considering what steps can be taken, when the season does resume, to ensure that the disruption caused by cancellations at the beginning of the season is minimised.

This includes looking at the possibility of amending (or waiving) the qualification criteria for our National Championships, introducing a more flexible format for some events, and giving careful consideration to the question of how teams for FEI championships will be selected.

We will keep the membership updated but would also welcome any suggestions for how we might make a truncated season as enjoyable as possible.

All of the members of council send their good wishes to our members at this difficult time.


We are updating the event listings and diary pages
as soon as we are notified by the organisers of any cancellations.


Pages in Carriage Driving magazine
BC Council meeting minutes