BEF statement:
New lockdown measures increase equestrian activity across Great Britain

1 June 2020

All the home nations in Great Britain now have revised lockdown conditions, facilitating some increased activity with horses for participants, coaches and venues. In liaison with governments, sporting bodies and member bodies, British Equestrian can now release the following update on what’s now permitted as of 1 June.

What’s changed?

(as of  1 June 2020)

How many people can meet?

Where can they meet?


Up to six from any number of households

Anywhere outdoors

N. Ireland

Up to six, from any number of households

Anywhere outdoors


Up to eight from two households

Anywhere outdoors, ideally within five miles


Any number from two households

Anywhere outdoors, ideally within five miles

 What does this mean to equestrianism?

For all home nations, the following should be observed when carrying out any activity:

·         All activity must be outdoors

·         All should observe the relevant guidance on health, hygiene and physical distancing (two metres in all cases)

·         Everyone involved should be responsible for implementation of guidelines that ensure their safety

·         Coaches, venues and equestrian centres should carry out COVID-19-specific risk assessments and check with their insurance providers before any activity convenes. They should communicate regularly with their clients regarding all risk management measures and guidance in place so all parties understand what they will be required to follow.

In the four home nations, as of 1 June, the situation is:


·         Riders/drivers – groups of six from separate households can now ride together, or five plus a coach. Riders and drivers can responsibly exercise horses outside, anywhere where there is legal access.

·         Coaches – can now teach groups of five from separate households in a session held in an outdoor facility or training venue.

·         Venues – groups of six from separate households can now ride together in outdoor spaces, or five plus a coach.




·         Riders/drivers –can ride/exercise as often as they wish alone, with members of their household or with members of one other household up to eight persons in total. Members of a household should only meet with only one other household each day. Travel to exercise, including hire of an outdoor facility, should be done locally– the recommendation is up to five miles but for those in rural areas, there is some flexibility on travel distance. Riding/driving on the roads should be done with consideration and avoiding peak times if possible.

·        Coaches may instruct outdoors on a one-to-one basis with members of their household or members of one other household. Training should not be delivered to more than one household at any time or be to more than one household per day. Lessons should be kept local – up to five miles as a recommendation.

·         Venues – may open for outdoor exercise within guidelines for the provision of a safe environment for staff and participants. Indoor areas such as a café, toilets, retail, outlet or indoor arenas should be kept closed. Sessions with a coach should be with individually or with up to seven members of the same household. Any shared equipment should be sterilised before each use and measures should be in place to reduce the risk of contamination.



·         Riders/drivers – may leave their home to ride as a ‘reasonable excuse’, but are encouraged to stay local – ideally within five miles. This includes transporting horses to a nearby facility. Many bridleways and rural facilities are still subject to local closure and restrictions by Local Authorities and others, so riders should check access before setting out. Riders and drivers can participate on their own or with members of their household, and low risk activity is still advised.

·        Coaching may involve only two household groups, up to eight people in total including the coach, and should be carried out locally – within five miles of both households is suggested, although those in rural areas are given some flexibility.

·         Venues – may open for outdoor exercise for people to travel to for hire or tuition, ideally within five miles except those in rural areas have some flexibility.


Northern Ireland

·         Riders/drivers – may travel to their horse to exercise or for training at a suitable outdoor location over any distance. This can be as part of a group of up to six people from different households, and a coach would count as one of the group.

·         Coaches – can instruct outdoors to groups of up to five people with no restrictions on travel distance. You may travel to clients, or they may come to you.

·         Venues – may open for outdoor hire to groups of up to six people. Coaching at the venue can take place on a one-to-one basis or in a group of up to five plus a coach.


Earlier BEF releases:

Position on resumption of equestrian activity - 21 May 2020

Use of outdoor facilities - 15 May 2020

Stance on riding reviewed - 12 May 2020

BEF website: