Safeguarding and equality

British Dressage places the highest priority on safety within the sport, and recognises that it has a duty of care towards children (Children’s Act 1989), young people and adults at risk, irrespective of age, any disability they have, gender, racial origin, religious belief and sexual identity.

British Dressage, as part of the British Equestrian Federation, takes Safeguarding very seriously and together with the other member bodies forms a Safeguarding Action Team (SAT). SAT works together in collaboration to share best practice, produce policy and procedures to ensure the safety of all participants, as well as actively promoting safeguarding through education.

Children want to be respected, their views to be heard, to have stable relationships with professionals built on trust and for consistent support provided for their needs. This should guide the behaviour of professionals. Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs.
Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children HM Government

There's a risk that even the mention of the subject will frighten people away. But no one should be deterred from participating, whether as a coach, official or rider, in equestrian sports. On the contrary, people should be reassured that, by promoting Good Practice and addressing the subjects of bullying, emotional, physical and sexual abuse all members of The British Equestrian Federation are working to ensure that children and vulnerable adults will be able to pursue their sport in a safe, happy and enjoyable environment.

Who to contact
For confidential advice with any queries, or to report a concern or incident, please email Lead Safeguarding Officer, Ben Waterhouse:


For general Safeguarding queries & information please contact Sharon Weir or Hannah James on 02476 698834.


Alternatively, you can talk to the BEF regarding a Safeguarding concern - please contact their Safeguarding lead or call 02476 698871.

If you want to talk to someone else you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit

If you think a child may be in immediate danger call the police on 101 or contact the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit helpline on 0116 366 5580.

DBS Checks
BD has registered with the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales, with Disclosure Scotland and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and is the 'umbrella body' for child protection and vulnerable adult checks within the equine industry.

All BD workforce engaging with children and young people are required to be on the British Dressage Trainers Database, have had a DBS check carried out through BD or one of the other BEF Member Bodies and have attended a Safeguarding course.

DBS checks can be done on-line and if done through any of the other member bodies, can be used as evidence for BD Youth activities. The cost of this is £61 including the cost of your documents being sent back to you via recorded delivery.

In any other instance, unless an extra fee is paid on-line, DBS checks are not transferable from one position to another outside of the member bodies.

If you need to apply for a DBS check during this time please contact Hannah James or Sharon Weir.

Equality and equal opportunities

British Dressage:

  • Is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity and aims to ensure that all people, irrespective of ability, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation have equal opportunities to take part in dressage at any level and in any role.
  • Seeks to educate and guide British Dressage members, their employees and volunteers on the ownership, adoption and implementation of its equality policy.
  • Intends to raise awareness of equality through the implementation of this policy and the adoption of an Equality Action Plan and, as a result of this process, aims to monitor, review and evaluate progress in achieving the stated aims and objectives and to feed back to British Equestrian and member bodies on progress made.



British Dressage will ensure that its recruitment and selection procedures for volunteers, staff and officials are fair and transparent, and meet the appropriate legal requirements.