The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies are holding two talks for their clients and would like to extend the invitation to the RDA Community.  The talks will interesting and informative.  Sign up is straightforward and they are free!


Wednesday 20th January 7.30pm via Zoom -

Strangles - are the blood tests all they're cracked up to be?

Prof Scott Pirie and Jill Murdoch will guide us through this difficult area.


Wednesday 27th January 7.30pm via Zoom -

Equine Lockdown Lard - so many experts, so few solutions - what's the latest in equine obesity?

 Dr Ruth Morgan will be presenting her latest research into equine obesity.  




Thank you to the Ed & Borders Regional Vet, Tess Fordham for extending the invitation to RDA.  Should you have any difficulties signing up, please email Tess on tess.fordham@ed.ac.uk

14 January 2021National Office Update


Dear RDA UK volunteers and staff,

Welcome to RDA 2021! Not the start we hoped for, but I hope you are keeping well and managing ok in spite of it all. Unsurprisingly after a break of a few weeks, this is a bumper issue, so pop the kettle on, make yourself comfortable and I promise we’ll get through it together.

First I’d like to welcome three new Regional Chairs to the RDA UK team: In Great London - Paul Turner; Celia McMorran in Northern Ireland and in West & Central Scotland Dominic Ind. Thank you and welcome to you all.

Thanks also to the outgoing Chairs: Julie Frazer (NI), Mike Locke (GL) and Kate Bennet (W&CS) for everything you have done to support your regions and the wider RDA community while in post.

Remember we still have a vacancy for a Regional Chair in the South West. Email Faye at fmckenning@rda.org.uk for details.  


Sad loss of two RDA ‘stalwarts’

It is with sadness that we report the deaths of Carolyn Walker MCSP from the South West Region, and Jane Matthews from Mid-West.

Carolyn was a long-standing, dedicated RDA supporter and CPTRH member who held many roles over the years, notably as a Chartered Physiotherapist providing support and advice to RDA groups. We will miss Carolyn's professional caring attitude, her great sense of humour and her love of travel to HETI conferences.

Jane was a great stalwart of RDA in Wiltshire, having in the past held positions such as County Chairman, Chairman of Lackham RDA and latterly Wansdyke Driving Group to name but a few of her roles. She was a tireless fundraiser and driving force for RDA right up until she became unwell, and will be sadly missed.

With thanks to Lynne Munro and Rachel Vaughan-Johns.


Emergency grants to groups and other funding options

We are opening a third round of emergency grants for groups (the information will be circulated in tomorrow’s email to groups).  Groups can apply for grants for financial hardship - if they are struggling to maintain the group; or for a grant to help them restart (when possible) or adapt to broaden their services and benefit more people.

All information and the application form can be found here:  www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/group-fundraising

A useful list of external funding and financial support can be found at: https://learn.sportenglandclubmatters.com/mod/page/view.php?id=670


Vacancy for RDA UK Chair

A reminder that we are recruiting for a new Chair for RDA UK. Don’t hide your light under a bushel! RDA is full of talented, experienced people who would be ideally placed to bring their knowledge of RDA and leadership skills to our national board. Click the link below for more details, or call Chief Executive Ed Bracher for an informal chat (or if you have someone you would like to recommend).



National Championships (real and virtual)

Our assumption at the moment is that the National Championships will go ahead, and our Championships team has been working closely with Hartpury College to ensure we can do this safely.

As such, this year’s event will have fewer classes, and take place over two days (17 & 18 July) rather than the usual three. We will be keeping numbers on site to a minimum, and in line with other equestrian events we will be encouraging competitors to ‘arrive, compete and leave’. Where groups need it, accommodation and stabling will be provided as normal.

In addition, because of the need to run fewer classes, and to ensure as many people as possible have an opportunity to take part, we will be running a virtual championships in September.

All the details can be found on MyRDA here: www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/national-championships

We will still need a number of volunteers to help run the Championships, so if you can give your time please email Faye McKenning at fmckenning@rda.org.uk

Regional Qualifiers

Regional Committees are in the process of agreeing their plans for qualifiers. Some will be taking place at venues as normal, and some virtually. Please contact your Regional Chair if you have any questions about the qualifier in your Region.


Free NAF garlic supplements

NAF (the feed manufacturer) is offering RDA groups in mainland England, Wales and Scotland free 500g and 10kg tubs of its garlic feed supplement (now discontinued so not to be sold on, but sealed and in date).

Interested groups should fill out the form at the link below. The details will be sent on to NAF for them to allocate supplies, based on the number of horses and how much they have in stock. This is on a first come, first served basis and we can’t guarantee groups will receive some.

Offer closes 22 January. Groups can apply online at:


Any questions email Helen at hkallow@rda.org.uk


Horsefest – exclusive ticket offer for RDA members and volunteers

HorseFest is a new, three day festival for horse fans, taking place from July 23 to 25. Visit www.horsefest.org for all the details.

Early bird tickets are on sale now while available or until 28 February. Thanks to the team at HorseFest, we have secured a further discount for RDA members and volunteers with 10% off any Adult, Young Person, Child or Family entry ticket. Just use the code HORSEFESTRDA10 at the checkout on the website.

More information about HorseFest and this exclusive offer at MyRDA here: www.myrda.org.uk/exclusive-horsefest-ticket-offer-for-rda-members/


That’s it! I knew you’d make it.

Best wishes and stay safe,


Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968

21 December 2020 Equestrian Guidance Update 21/12/20

🚨 Equestrian Guidance Update 21/12/20 🚨

Dear All,

Following the First Minister's announcement on Saturday, all of mainland Scotland will enter Level 4 on 26th December at 00.01.

Within Level 4, non contact sport, including most equestrian activity, can continue outdoors (including within covered arenas). However, travel restrictions mean this can only be undertaken within your own Local Authority area.

Across all levels, coaches can continue to travel for work purposes and travel can be undertaken to care for animals on welfare grounds.

Grant Turnbull
Chair horsescotland

To view the full current guidance PDF document please click the link below ⤵️

🔗 www.horsescotland.org/covid-19support

#staysafe #stayalert #stepatatime #horsescotland #equestrianguidance #covid19

18 December 2020 Horse Scotland Equestrian Guidance Update 16/12/20

🚨 Equestrian Guidance Update 16/12/20 🚨

Dear All

Following the First Minister's announcement yesterday, there are no changes to our Equestrian Guidance but there are to be changes to three Local Authority levels - Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and East Lothian - effective from 6pm on Friday 18th December, all three will move to Level 3. 

The First Minister also confirmed that there will now be a further review on Tuesday 22nd December.

Our infographic and guidance provides detail for equestrian participants, coaches and businesses. These documents are attached.

Grant Turnbull
horsescotland  Chair

To view the full guidance PDF and infographic document please click the link below ⤵️

🔗 www.horsescotland.org/covid-19support

#staysafe #stayalert #stepatatime #horsescotland #equestrianguidance #covid19

18 December 2020 Ed Bracher's Christmas Message

 RDA Chief Executive, Ed Bracher has recorded a Christmas message for the whole organisation. 

Grab a mince pie and a mulled wine and settle in to watch it here:



16 December 2020Ettrickbridge & Dryden RDA Group Newsletter

16 December 2020Ettrickbridge & Dryden's Festive Horsey Homework

14 December 2020Drum's Christmas Newsletter

14 December 2020National Office Update


Dear RDA UK volunteers and staff,

Firstly, welcome to all Coach Developers – not previously on this list (apologies), but on it now! If you have not received this email before, it’s a weekly message to all RDA UK volunteers ahead of the group email that goes out on Thursdays, so you have advanced notice of news and updates.

This will be the last ‘normal’ email before Christmas, and the next one will be on 13 January. If anything important crops up in the meantime I’ll be sure to let you know.


Free training: ‘Managing Change’ this Friday!

We have some spaces left for an online course this Friday 11th from 1pm - 2:45pm. This is just open to RDA UK volunteers (that’s you!) and is being delivered by the excellent people at Team Academy, who some of you will have worked with before. I would definitely recommend it, so do get in touch with Faye in the office fmckenning@rda.org.uk to sign up if you’re free this Friday.


RDA on ITV advert

If you didn’t happen to be watching Supermarket Sweep on Saturday, you may have missed the lovely People’s Postcode Lottery advert featuring RDA. I am allowed to share it until the end of this week, so visit our Facebook page or follow this link and take a look: https://youtu.be/FIcypeD0R70


Restarting hippotherapy

Hippotherapy is now able to restart at those groups that can offer it.  The guidance is now live on the myRDA website, covering details such as training horses and volunteers, as well as the extensive use of personal protective equipment following CSP and CPTRH guidelines.  Visit www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/24335-2/


RDA at Home

We are still looking for groups to send in their ideas for activities that can be done at home, so please be on the look out for resources that you think might be good to share. Email Alex Walker at awalker@rda.org.uk


Vacancy at Cavalier Centre, home of Perry RDA

Cavalier Centre in Shropshire has a maternity leave vacancy for a full time Volunteer Coordinator and Executive Assistant. Click here for details: https://findajob.dwp.gov.uk/details/5078140?v=F34C4BF506DC076027BC125B8D1ACABBE8F63D3D




Best wishes and stay safe,


Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968



02 December 2020National Office Update

National Office Update 

Dear RDA UK staff and volunteers,

Another bumper issue coming your way today, but I think it’s all positive stuff – including some ideas to help with the Christmas shopping. Firstly, Ballyboley group in Northern Ireland was Parasport Club of the Month earlier this year, and now has a chance of being voted Club of the Year – but they need your help. Please visit the Parasport website and cast your vote: https://parasport.org.uk/club-year-nominations


Harry Hall Charity of the Year

Equestrian outfitters Harry Hall are looking for nominations to be one of their three charities of the year in 2021. You can help ensure that RDA is on the shortlist by visiting the Harry Hall Facebook page (@HarryHallRiding) and commenting in the relevant post tagging in @RDANational. Or visit their nominations page at: https://harryhall.com/charity-partnership-donations 

This would be a fantastic opportunity for us so please share with your friends and family as well as your RDA network.


First Aid training

As well as taking bookings directly from RDA Groups and Regions for courses, Medi-K & First Aid Training Cooperative have planned a number of public 1-day ‘Emergency First Aid at Work’ and 3-day ‘First Aid at Work’ courses at venues across the UK in 2021. If you are interested in booking a place or places at one of these courses, please visit: https://firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk/public-first-aid-courses/cat-13-equestrian-first-aid/

You can also find a full list of dates for these courses on the events page of MyRDA at www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/events/


Discount for Groups at Townfields Saddlers

A reminder that Townfield Saddlers offer 15% off online orders to all RDA groups. To receive the discount, they just have to enter the following code at the checkout: RDAS15

Townfields supply everything from stable equipment, clothing, body protectors and hats as well as saddlery. They will even drop off to local yards for bigger bulky orders. Visit www.townfields.com to view their range and to take advantage of this brilliant offer.

A huge thank you to the team at Townfields Saddlers for their continued support of RDA.


RDA Tartan scarves and ties

The RDA scarves are still available to buy from Norvite, despite a run on them after my previous email. They make fantastic Christmas gifts so visit www.norvitefarmandcountry.com/11406/products/rda-50th-anniversary-tartan-lambswool-scarf.aspx and place your order today.

In addition, there are a small number of tartan ties available (I can send you a picture of Ed sporting one at last year’s AGM if you want to know what they look like). They cost £24 including post and packaging (1st class, registered).  If you would like to snap up one of the last 11 ties please email Kim McCutcheon at eandb.region.rda@gmail.com. When they are gone, they are gone!


RDA on ITV Christmas advert

With thanks to Centre of England and Ravelrig groups, RDA features in a Postcode Lottery advert to be aired on Saturday 5 December at 19:15 (during Celebrity Supermarket Sweep!). It’s a lovely thing so please do tune in.


BETA survey

BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) has launched a new survey to riders covering two main topics:

·         Their perceptions of coaching qualifications, the importance of these when selecting coaches and other criteria used in coach selection.
·         Riding activity and purchasing behaviour since the beginning of the year to better understand spending and riding patterns and in terms of buying channels whether any change is a temporary or permanent one. 

The link to the survey is: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=160624164105 and you have the opportunity to win a £50 shopping voucher.


Best wishes and stay safe,


Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968

01 December 2020Equestrian Guidance Update 30/11/20

🚨 Equestrian Guidance Update 30/11/20 🚨

Dear All,

Following the recent publication of the legal text around travel restrictions, as issued by the Scottish Government, we have been working with sportscotland to further clarify specific points in relation to the changes to travel connected to sport and physical activity in Level 3 and 4 areas.  

The Specific changes/updates that have been made to travel sections to reflect the legal text can be summarised as follows:

🔹If you live in a Level 3 or Level 4 Local Authority area you can take part in organised sport, activity or exercise in that area only, with the exception of point 3 below.

🔹You should not travel out of your Local Authority area, if it is at Level 3 or 4, to undertake organised sport, activity or exercise (exception:  u18s in a level 3 area can travel into other areas for allowable organised sport, activity and exercise).

🔹At Level 3 and 4 you can travel to a place up to 5 miles outside your Local Authority area to take part in informal exercise (household rules apply) as long as you start and finish at the same place. Please note, this exemption no longer permits travel for over 18's for any organised sport or physical activity. 

The above guidance around the 5 mile travel restriction has now changed 3 TIMES WITHIN 3 WEEKS. We have pushed hard against the tightening of travel for sport and physical activity, but it is now in legal form and the full text can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/389/part/4/made

Again, please don't shoot the messenger, this Regulation is much wider than sport and physical activity, but there is clear reference to permitted travel for the activities within the text.

Full details can be found in the attached full Equestrian Guidance.

Grant Turnbull
Chair horsescotland

To VIEW the full updated guidance PDF document please click the link below ⤵️

🔗 www.horsescotland.org/covid-19support

To DOWNLOAD the full updated guidance PDF document please click the link below ⤵️

🔗 https://636111c1-f1f1-431d-9255-cd6a540ac892.filesusr.com/ugd/6c7920_9ab7ba60bd254dbc8701895f266b45cf.pdf?index=true

Please share ⚠️ 

#staysafe #stayalert #stepatatime #horsescotland #equestrianguidance #covid19

26 November 2020National Office Update


National Office Update 

Dear RDA UK staff and volunteers,

If you feel like the week has gone too quickly – it’s because I’m emailing you today instead of the usual Wednesday as I am out of the office tomorrow.

Showjumping Training 9 December

RDA UK Showjumping Lead, Mike Butcher, is running a Zoom training event on Wednesday 9 December from 6-7pm. The training will be suitable for all group coaches and riders who are interested in learning about the different RDA showjumping levels (1-5).

The session will cover:

· Getting started: Level 1 showjumping can be     delivered by all groups
· Competitions
· Showjumping Proficiency Tests
·  Tips for riders and coaches

Group coaches and riders can pre-register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpc-2gpjwsHtKP26I6mJzK4Mwx2AhA1PY2

The session will be recorded and made available afterwards. Further sessions are planned for the new year.

Any questions to Alex Walker awalker@rda.org.uk .

Easing of lockdown restrictions in England

England will be moving to the 3-tier system next week. The details have been released by the government and will come into force on Wednesday 2 December.

Some of your groups will be planning to reopen as soon as they are allowed. If asked, please reassure them that we are liaising with DCMS, Sport England and the BEF to produce RDA-specific information for each tier in time for the group email this Thursday (which will also be sent to RDA UK volunteers in England).

President’s Awards

Nominations for President’s Awards are open now, so if you or any of your groups would like nominate someone, please do so. Nominations should be made to your Regional Chair.

The President’s Award is our most prestigious award and recognises extraordinary voluntary service to RDA for 30 years and over.

Creative Writing Competition

The poster and form for the Creative Writing Competition are now available on the main RDA website here: www.rda.org.uk/take-part/ so it’s easier to share directly with riders and drivers.

Best wishes and stay safe,


Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968

19 November 2020National Office Update

National Office Update 

Dear RDA UK staff and volunteers,

I’m sorry to share the sad news that Pat Burgess, Founder of Wilton RDA, has sadly passed away. Pat was a much-loved figure throughout RDA, especially of course at her group and in the region. Described as a ‘powerhouse’ of a person, Pat said she ran Wilton on ‘love, joy and enthusiasm’. We could all do with a bit more of that at the moment, and Pat will be sadly missed.

You can read more about Pat here www.rdawilton.co.uk/calendar-news-events/pat-burgess


Groups in Scotland entering Level 4

Regional Chairs in Scotland have been updated by us today following the Scottish First Minister’s announcement that will bring a number of areas into Level 4 from this Friday, 20 November at 6pm. If you are affected by the changes or just want to keep up to date visit www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/rules-for-scotland and read: COVID-19: What it means to groups in Scotland for all the details.


Vacancy: Regional Chair West & Central Scotland

Kate Bennet will be stepping down as Regional Chair for West & Central Scotland after nine successful years in post, and we are now looking for her replacement.  This is a fantastic opportunity to bring your knowledge, experience and professionalism to a key role in RDA UK, so please get in touch to find out more. We also have vacancies for Regional Chairs in Greater London and South West. Contact Faye McKenning in the office (fmckenning@rda.org.uk) if you would like to find out more about these roles – or any other RDA UK volunteer positions currently vacant.


New look Operations Team at National Office

As you will have seen from the staff phone list sent out on 14 October (you’ll remember that, it was the email that went on for ages), there have been changes to the structure of the Operations team at National Office. A presentation explaining the changes was given to the recent Operations Planning Committee and at the Regional Chairs meeting, and you can find a copy of this here:www.myrda.org.uk/new-look-operations-team-at-national-office-changes-explained/


Best wishes and stay safe,


Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968

18 November 2020Covid-19 Update: Equestrian Guidance 17.11.20

🚨 Covid-19 Update: Equestrian Guidance 17.11.20 🚨 

Yesterday, the First Minister announced the results of the latest review of COVID-19 protection levels in Scotland.

Many Local Authorities will remain at their current level and you can check which level applies by using the Scottish Government post code checker ⤵️


🔹Two Local Authorities, East Lothian and Midlothian will move from level 3 to level 2 from next Tuesday, 24 November.
🔹Eleven areas will move into level 4 restrictions from 6pm on Friday 20 November through to 11 December.  These are:  the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.
🔹Travel restrictions are being put into law to limit travel for people who live in a Level 3 or Level 4 Local Authority area and we expect to have further detail on these restrictions within the next few days. 🔹There are some exemptions within sport around Under 18's being able to travel to take part in training and competition and for coaches and officials being able to travel for work. Further information included in the attached guidance.
Business Support 🔗

In addition to the UK furlough scheme, all businesses that are required to close, at any level, are eligible for a four weekly grant of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value. Grants of £1,400 or £2,100 may be available to businesses that are open, but subject to trading restrictions.
Further information on Business Support can be found at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/funding/strategic-framework-business-fun
The Scottish Government has confirmed that more details of additional support funds will be made available shortly.

You can download the full high resolution info graphic below by clicking this link ⤵️


You can access the full equestrian guidance update from 17/11/2020 by clicking this link ⤵️


Grant Turnbull
horsescotland Chair

Please share across your networks ⚠️ 

#equestrianguidance #COVID19 #horsescotland

10 November 2020Horse Scotland Announcement on Equestrian Guidance 10/11/20

🚨 10/11/20 Announcement on Equestrian Guidance🚨

Today saw the first review announcement from the First Minister of the Local Authority levels of the Strategic Framework that's now in place,  this sees Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus move to Level 3. Please see the attached document for the full report.  

All equestrian activity now taking place in any of these Local Authority areas should refer to our approved Equestrian Guidance for implications that the move from Level 2 to Level 3 will have. The changes take effect from 6am on Friday 13th November. 

We also attached the guidance document and info graphic for reference.

The Scottish Government also announced its Business Strategic Framework. To check if you are eligible for business support if your business is restricted or closed due to the level it's placed within, please check here: ⤵️


You can download the full high resolution info graphic below by clicking this link ⤵️


You can access the full equestrian guidance update from 02/11/2020 by clicking this link ⤵️


Grant Turnbull
horsescotland Chair

Please share across your networks ⚠️ 

#equestrianguidance #COVID19 #horsescotland




09 November 2020Ecclesiastical 12 Days of Giving

Please vote for your chosen RDA group. 

12 days of giving
Today we’re launching this year’s 12 days of giving. We’re proud to be giving back to the communities we serve and championing the issues that really matter to them, especially this year with so many in need – working together to build a movement for good.

Just imagine what you could do with a £1,000 donation.

Designed to give eligible charities* in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man the financial assistance they need to help them make a real difference, we’re donating £1,000 to 10 charities each weekday from 7 – 22 December. That’s £120,000 to 120 charities over 12 days. 

All you need to do is visit movementforgood.com/12days and click ‘nominate a charity now’.

Each draw will close at midnight the day before, with all nominations rolled over to the next available draw unless the charity is drawn. 

The more nominations a charity gets, the greater its chance of receiving a £1,000 donation, so start spreading the word to your friends and family.

09 November 20202020 RDA UK AGM

On Friday our President, HRH The Princess Royal, chaired the 2020 RDA UK AGM and announced a number of award winners.  For Edinburgh & Borders Region there were two notable achievements.  Many congratulations to:


Lesley Furnell from Shiresmill Riding Therapy who was virtually presented with her President's Award.  In 2020, Lesley was one of eight people recognised with the award for her outstanding service to RDA and had a private audience with HRH.  Whilst one should never repeat what one discusses - here is a little quote and a picture from Lesley:


'I had such a lovely day today seeing and catching up with others, and also of course meeting HRH, who was her usual down to earth amazing self. Thank you to whoever proposed me, but on behalf of all the wonderful people I work with. Thank you.'  


Ettrickbridge & Dryden Group were awarded a Highly Commended in the Brilliant Group Category for their Horsey Homework.  To put this into context, the only other group to achieve formal recognition were the winners in this category, Equipower from West & Central: a Scottish one-two!  Many congratulations to Equipower. 


If you would like to view the AGM and the film clips of the award winners, please click here to access the RDA YouTube channel.


Lesley with her President's Award

03 November 2020RDA UK Update 2 November

RDA UK Update 2 November

To RDA Group contacts & Chairs, RDA UK staff and volunteers

Following the UK Government announcement on Saturday, we have the following information to share with you:

RDA Groups in England

Unless any new information or exemptions are announced, all RDA groups in England will have to close from this Thursday 5 November. We expect this closure to remain in place for at least the next 4 weeks.

As before, staff and/or volunteers are still allowed to travel and be on site to take care of horses, as long as COVID safety measures and social distancing rules are followed.

We are looking into the financial assistance being offered by the government and will update you as soon as we have clarity on this.

This will be a major setback for many of you, particularly those who have found ways to restart activities. Please contact RDA National Office or your Regional team if you have immediate concerns about your group as a result of this new lockdown. We will be doing everything we can to support all our groups through this.

RDA Groups in Scotland

The new 5-tier system begins in Scotland today. Please check local restrictions and visitwww.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/rules-for-scotland/ to find out how this affects RDA activity.

RDA Groups in Wales

There is no new guidance for Wales, which is already operating within lockdown restrictions. Current restrictions are due to be lifted on 9 November.

RDA Groups in Northern Ireland

There is no change to our guidance for groups in Northern Ireland.

03 November 2020Further statement from horsescotland Chair, Grant Turnbull

🚨Further statement from horsescotland Chair, Grant Turnbull🚨

In advance of commenting, please read and digest fully...

Thank you for your tremendous support following the issuing of our revised Equestrian Guidance yesterday.
Within the past 24 hours a number of anomalies have arisen, particularly around the travel guidance issued by sportscotland.  As an organisation, we have identified and highlighted these anomalies to sportscotland today and sought clarification within an equestrian context.  The main point of clarification, so far, is as follows:
Travel should be restricted, for sport, exercise, training and competition purposes, to your own Local Authority area, or within a 5 mile radius of your Local Authority boundary if travelling into a neighbouring Local Authority area - please note, the five mile distance is now not from your home, as was recommended yesterday, but you should still not travel between restriction levels.

The recommendation not to travel between Levels 0, 1, 2 and 3 for sport, exercise, training or competition remains in place, at this point in time.

Please note the guidance for  Under 18's has not changed. They can continue to travel across Levels 0-3 for exercise, training and competition. Parents or carers can drive and accompany, but not participate.

Member Bodies, venues, coaches and participants should continue to follow our Approved Equestrian Guidance and therefore demonstrate the commitment of our community to mitigating transmission of the virus - by being able to demonstrate this, we are in a much stronger position to seek further relaxation measures specific to equestrian activity for the future.

horsescotland continues to engage with sportscotland, Active Scotland and Scottish Government on behalf of our Member Bodies, venues, coaches and participants to highlight the significant issues faced across Scotland due to the geographical distribution of our competition and training venues.  We continue to work on your behalf with the aim of obtaining approval for further relaxation of the onerous travel restrictions imposed through general population guidance.  We are not miracle workers, and the channels allowing change sometimes need oiling and warming up before the best outcome can be achieved.  

Anomalies will inevitably arise, we've seen that throughout the past few months, but please bear with us. We are working collectively for the Scottish equestrian community and your patience and understanding is very much appreciated at a time when guidance is new, fresh and untested.  

Like it or loathe it, I'm afraid we do have to work with Government guidance - but this does not mean it cannot be challenged...

Remember you can check your Local Authority level by inputting your postcode here  ⤵️


To download the full Equestrian Specific Guidance please follow the link below ⤵️ 


Grant Turnbull
horsescotland Chair

#horsescotland #equestrianguidance #COVID19 #staysafe #stepatatime #equestrian #sport

02 November 2020Chuff's Christmas Virtual Fair

GUEST BRANDS - Chuff's Christmas Virtual Fair

This is Chuffs 31st Christmas Fair but our 1st Virtual Fair!  Welcome to the ‘New Normal’! Enjoy an online shopping extravaganza this Christmas. 10% of your sales will be donated to Riding for the Disabled Association in Scotland.

Click here to visit 


02 November 2020Scottish Government Update & Revised Equestrian Guidance 02/11/20

🚨 Scottish Government Update & Revised Equestrian Guidance 02/11/20 🚨

Following the implementation today of the Scottish Government's new levelled system, we are pleased that, as a non contact outdoor sport, most equestrian activity including recreational riding and professional coaching may continue. Unfortunately, however, there are limitations for adult (over 18's) competition as a result of the travel guidance to the general public..

Without doubt, the main frustration comes from the travel restrictions implemented by the First Minister.  These have been introduced across the levelled system and impose travel limits to, from and within Levels 0-4.  We are fully aware that this will impact significantly on many equestrian businesses.  The restrictions are uniform across all sporting activity, but with some exemptions for performance level athletes.

In summary, the current Scottish Government travel guidance is:

🔹You should avoid travel to other areas regardless of their level, unless essential.
🔹For exercise/sport, there are exemptions, however these are very limited:
🔹U18s – can travel freely for exercise at Levels 0-3 but should not travel in or out of a Level 4 area.  🔹Parents/carers may drive and accompany U18's to their activity but should not participate.
🔹You can travel freely for exercise within your own Local Authority area.
🔹Level 0, 1, or 2 areas - you should minimise unnecessary journeys between areas in different levels and avoid any unnecessary travel to places in Level 3 or Level 4 areas.
🔹At Level 3 – you are permitted to travel around 5 miles outwith your own Local Authority area for exercise but shouldn’t go into a Level 4 area.
🔹At Level 4 – you are not permitted to drive outside your Local Authority area for exercise – but are permitted to cross boundaries in the process of exercising eg. a circular riding/walking/cycling route
🔹Anyone organising events for U18's can continue to do so across Levels 0-3.

Professional coaching may continue where the coach undertakes essential travel as part of their employment.  A professional coach may travel between Levels 0-3 to undertake coaching sessions, but a participant receiving coaching must remain within the above travel parameters.

We appreciate the impact this will have on all of our Scottish centres and participants and we continue to work very hard on your behalf by feeding into Sportscotland, Active Scotland and Scottish Government, often collectively with other sports but also to represent specific issues identified within equestrian activity.  

Each Local Authority level will be reviewed weekly, with the first review being on the 12th November 2020.  

You can check your Local Authority level by inputting your postcode here  ⤵️


To download the full Equestrian Specific Guidance please follow the link below ⤵️ 


Grant Turnbull
horsescotland Chair

#horsescotland #equestrianguidance #COVID19 #staysafe #stepatatime #equestrian #sport

28 October 2020National Office Update

National Office Update 

Dear RDA UK staff and volunteers,

I know. Another week has gone by. I can barely believe it myself.


Watch the RDA AGM & Awards live on You Tube

The RDA AGM & Awards will be broadcast live on YouTube from 10:30 on Friday 6 November. Simply head to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/rdanational . I will be in charge of IT and ‘button pressing’ so hopefully there will be no technical hitches. You might want to tune in just to see if it works ok! Those attending and taking part in the meeting on Zoom (including all Regional Chairs) will be sent the link and instructions separately.


Report into activity levels

The report following the survey into current activity levels is now complete and can be downloaded or viewed at www.myrda.org.uk/assets/RDA-Activity-Levels-Report.pdf. By the end of this week I will be issuing a press release about the report and it will be on the main RDA website in our news section. The report makes several recommendations about how we, as RDA UK volunteers and staff, might respond to the challenge of helping groups increase activity levels, and we will be following up with our plans to do this in the coming weeks.


Vacancy: Great London Regional Chair

Mike Locke has done a fantastic job as Regional Chair for Greater London (thank you Mike), and he is now stepping down. We are looking within our RDA community for his replacement, so please do get in touch with Faye McKenning in the office (fmckenning@rda.org.uk) if you would like to find out more about the role – or any other RDA UK volunteer positions currently vacant.


Clare Balding’s new book – an opportunity for groups and regions

Clare Balding’s new book, Heroic Animals, is now out, and she is keen to support RDA groups through the book if possible. We have come up with a plan which I will be sharing with groups tomorrow – but if regions want to get involved as well please let me know.

The idea is that groups buy the books they want (currently on Amazon for £13.60 and in Sainsbury’s for £10 – rrp £20), then they can request a bookplate, signed by Clare to add to the book. The signed books can then be used for fundraising, raffles etc (depending on how popular this is, we should be able to arrange personal dedications).

At the moment, I’m just asking for an initial show of interest from groups so I can work out how to coordinate it. If regions want to get involved too, a single point of contact to coordinate would be helpful.


Best wishes,


Caroline Ward
Head of Communication & Insight, RDA UK
01926 405968

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