**Important Flu Vaccination Update**
BRC Flu Vaccination Statement - 8 November 2019.
We’re aware of questions that have been raised by some members over the incoming rule which mandates six monthly boosters against Equine Influenza (EI) (see rule changes below) and would like to provide further information about the rationale behind this decision.
For much of 2019, the UK has been affected by outbreaks of EI with the number of cases peaking in July. As a department of the BHS, which is a member body of the BEF, BRC has the welfare of equines competing under our rules at the forefront of our minds at all times– and it’s our responsibility, along with every horse owner, to help negate the spread of this virus.
Throughout the year, we’ve been listening to advice and evidence from our veterinary and industry colleagues on the BEF High Health Steering Group, the Equine Infectious Disease Advisory Group and the Animal Health Trust (AHT). Unlike some other organisations, we took the decision not to make a mid-season rule change during the initial outbreak, instead strongly recommending that a six month booster be given, while continually monitoring the situation.
As a result of the outbreak this year, a number of competition venues have taken the decision to mandate six monthly boosters. This has led to some confusion among members as to the different vaccination requirements from venue to venue, which has necessitated additional checks before competing. Indeed some areas have had to run qualifiers stipulating a six monthly booster is mandatory in order to satisfy their venue owners.
We want to be as consistent as possible across all our qualifiers and championships, with a clear policy that all members can follow. It should also be noted that we are now in line with British Dressage, British Eventing and the FEI. However, we appreciate that this is a significant move, so we wanted to ensure that we considered the advice provided by veterinary experts before amending our competition rules. All of the evidence points to the efficacy of vaccinations reducing after six months, hence this decision taken by the BRC Advisory Committee.
In the most recent DEFRA AHT BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report it was concluded:
That horse owners, especially those attending gatherings and events attended by other horses, undertake routine influenza vaccination and ideally adopt 6 monthly booster vaccination as this is currently considered ‘gold standard’ for controlling this infection.
Dr Jane Nixon MA VETMB BSC MRCVS, Chair of the BEF High Health Steering Group said “We’re in the middle of an equine flu epidemic, with over 220 reported outbreaks alone so far in 2019 – an outbreak case includes a number of horses so there are thousands affected; marking a staggering increase on last year, when only two outbreaks were confirmed in the UK.
“We all need to help control the spread of the virus and vaccination unequivocally does just that. There have been several peer-reviewed scientific papers which support vaccination, including six monthly boosters, which should not leave any responsible horse owner in doubt that this is the right way forward.”
The BRC qualifiers and championships are very large events. We regularly see in excess of 500 horses gathering together from the length and breadth of the UK. It is our responsibility to protect these events for our members, their horses and indeed the future of our sport.
We have noted that some members have commented that their horses have had an adverse reaction to a recent vaccination, and BRC would like to encourage any instances to be reported on the UK Government report portal here: https://www.gov.uk/report-veterinary-medicine-problem. This should be in addition to reporting the reaction to your veterinary surgeon.
2020 BRC Rule Change: From 1 January 2020, it will be strongly advised when competing at BRC events to have a flu vaccination within 6 months and 21 days of the competition. From 1 March 2020, this will then become mandatory. The wording which will be added to the 2020 Handbook (changes in red) can be found here.
IMPORTANT: This does not mean vaccinations need to be done every 6 months; it means that the vaccination needs to be within 6 months and 21 days of the competition. For example, if your competition was the 22 September, you would need to have a vaccination after the 1 March (1 March - 1 September = 6 months + 21 days = 22 September). This rule applies to Qualifiers and Championships only. Whilst we recommend that Clubs also follow this advice for Club activities, they remain autonomous and can therefore decide what they will require for their own training and events.
HorseHage & Mollichaff new British Riding Clubs Intermediate Winter Championships 2020 sponsor
British Riding Clubs (BRC) is delighted to announce that we have secured a new sponsor for the BRC Intermediate Winter Championships 2020, HorseHage & Mollichaff. These championships will be taking place on Friday 24 to Sunday 26 April 2020, at Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Slapton, Buckinghamshire. We look forward to working with HorseHage & Mollichaff, producers of a range of high fibre forages, chaffs and complete feeds.
“We are delighted to be able to support British Riding Clubs (BRC) through this sponsorship and recognise the importance of this organisation to the grass roots rider. We look forward to working with the team at BRC over the coming three years.” Said Chris Tar of HorseHage & Mollichaff.
The championship classes will be split over three two days, for teams and individuals, including both senior and junior riders.
Friday will include mixed junior and senior 100cm and 110cm show jumping and Novice to Advanced Medium level dressage.
Saturday will include senior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary level dressage.
Sunday will include junior 90cm show jumping and Prelim to Elementary dressage.
The area qualifiers will get underway in October 2019 throughout the UK, with approximately 550 junior and senior riders qualifying for these championships. Further information on heights, course requirements and horse and rider eligibility can be found in the BRC Handbook.
“We are delighted to be working with HorseHage & Mollichaff for the next three years at BRC Intermnediate Winter Championships. These championships are now proving extremely popular with our members, with such a wide range of dressage and show jumping classes, appealing to riders competing at the higher levels.” Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.
New BRC Volunteer Talk page
Head over to the brand new BRC Volunteer Talk page to see what our volunteers have been up to!
*Equine Flu Update*
15.02.19 UPDATE FROM THE BEF
The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes the latest update (14.02.19) from the Animal Health Trust of more positive tests for equine flu in Worcestershire, central Scotland, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. For the latest information follow @equiflunet on Twitter.
The BEF is urging all competition and training event organisers to check the equine ID passports of all horses attending their event to ensure that they comply with vaccination rules. We remind all participants to check the requirements of venues before they set out.
The BEF continues to urge all owners to be vigilant for the symptoms of equine flu and to alert their vet if they think their horses are showing signs.
All owners MUST ensure their vaccination records are up to date, and if it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.
We also remind owners that any contact with recently imported horses represents an increased risk so owners should follow veterinary advice by isolating any recently imported horse for a period of at least 21 days.
Click here for BEF advice for Competition and Training Event organisers.
British Riding Clubs Announce New Arena Eventing Sponsor
BRC are delighted to announce that HorseQuest will be the new sponsor for the Arena Eventing Championship 2019
British Riding Clubs 2018 Hat Rules and Tagging
British Eventing, British Riding Clubs and The Pony Club are delighted to announce that they have joined together to unify the hat standards across all three Member Bodies; resulting in a single hat tag being accepted across British Eventing, The Pony Club and British Riding Club events in 2018.
The new ‘aqua’ coloured hat tag will carry the logo of the body that checks the hat so that the source of the tagging can be tracked and will mean that riders no longer have to wear multiple tags on their hats.
The 2018 hat rules includes a small change to the AS/NZS 3838 standard for The Pony Club and British Eventing, both of which will now only be accepting from 2006 onwards. All three bodies will use an aide memoire that will list the standards and quality assurance marks and will be used by officials.
British Eventing’s Chief Executive David Holmes said; “Safety in eventing, and all equestrian activity, is of the highest priority for us and an area that British Eventing has invested in extensively over many years. This universal hat tag system is a great step forward in improving rider safety across multiple Member Bodies, which is not only beneficial for risk management in the sport, but means a more clear and efficient process for both riders, officials and volunteers.”
Head of British Riding Clubs Laura Sanger added; “We are delighted to be working with British Eventing and The Pony Club to promote the highest safety standards to all of our members. We are also pleased that this will reduce the burden on officials and volunteers across all three disciplines, as the need for multiple tags will no longer be necessary.‘’
Mary Tuckett the Pony Club Chairman confirmed that ‘’We are delighted to have come together with British Eventing and British Riding Clubs to introduce the universal hat tag system for 2018. Keeping our Members safe is always of great importance to us and the new ‘aqua’ tag will aid officials and volunteers with a clear and streamlined process that will help promote hat safety among riders.’’
BRC Volunteers' League 2018
On 1 Jan 2018 BRC will be starting a brand new League for our BRC Volunteers and there will be a variety of different levels to get involved in.
Club Level will be for volunteers who help at club activities run under BRC rules.
Area Level will be for volunteers who help at area activities run under BRC rules.
National Level will be for all volunteers (including team volunteers) who help at Championships only.
Please visit the BRC website Volunteers Page for further information and to download a Points Card.
BRC SEIB Insurance Brokers Quadrille Selection Trial 2018
Entries will open at midday on Tues 2 Jan 2018 for the BRC SEIB Insurance Brokers Quadrille Selection Trial, which will take place on Saturday 29 Sept 2018 at Bury Farm Equestrian Village. The final will be held on Sat 20 Oct at the Bury Farm 'All Stars' Gala event. If you are thinking of having a go next year, please make sure that you make your entry in good time. Entries will be taken online (via the BHS Bookshop - www.britishhorse.com, Riding Club Entries) from 12 noon on Tues 2 Jan and will close on Fri 2 Feb 2018. There will be no prelim entry, just one direct entry fee of £65.00 per Quadrille Team.
For further information about the BRC Quadrille and to view the videos from this year's Selection Trial and Final please visit the BRC Dressage to Music and Quadrillepage. Also read the Quadrille Rules section from p44-p46 in the 2018 BRC Handbook.
To all Club Officials, this has been brought to our attention once again - Please stay safe.
We have recently been made aware that an affiliated Club has been targeted by what appears to be fraudsters who have managed to hack in to some of the Club officials email accounts. Acting as the Chairman, they got in contact with the Treasurer and asked for funds to be transferred into a different bank account from the Club account. As most Clubs have websites with contact emails publicly available, we would like to warn all Clubs to stay vigilant and be wary of any correspondence you may receive relating to transferring funds.
Crime Prevention Advice for Riding Clubs
BRC are delighted to support Warwickshire Horse Watch and the Warwickshire Police on their new publication ‘Crime prevention advice for Riding Clubs’. Packed with useful information and ideas regarding keeping Club property safe, this leaflet is available to all Clubs on the BRC website News page and free property marker pens can be obtained by emailing Warwickshire Horse Watch directly - www.warwickshire-horsewatch.co.uk
Please find below some recent communications which have been sent to all BRC members and Club Chairs and Secretaries.
BRC Video Footage
To watch video footage from all BRC Championships, visit our YouTube channel.