• The Club rules require that “Members must show consideration for matters of safety, relating to both themselves and others at all Club events; and to comply with all reasonable requests, relating to safety, from event organisers.”
  • Safety issues are also covered in our Voluntary Code of Practice. (Opens in new window.)
  • We recommend that all drivers refer to the BDS Duty of Care and Accident Prevention. (Opens in new window.)

Grooms / Backsteppers

Turnouts for any Club event must carry a capable, able groom minimum of 12 years old. Junior Whips must be a minimum of 10 years and carry a capable, able groom 18 years or over.

Please make arrangements before you come to any event, including social drives, to ensure you will have a capable and able groom to carry on your vehicle.


The Club recommends that anyone riding on a carriage wears an approved safety helmet at all SDHC events.

Body/back protectors

From 1st January 2016, British Carriagedriving (BC) has ruled that all competitors (drivers and backsteppers) at club level must wear a body or back protector for the marathon phase. (This has been the case for Regional and National competition for some time.)

Our insurance is through BC so we need to adhere to the rules in order to maintain our insurance cover. BC instructs that we risk assess our own events and decide on whether body/back protectors are required, however we need to act in the spirit of this rule change.SDHC Committee has agreed that the following rules regarding body / back protectors will apply for our events from 1st Jan 2016:

  • Marathon / Obstacles (inc. training) = mandatory for driver & backstepper
  • World cup = mandatory for driver & backstepper
  • Dressage = recommended
  • Cones = recommended
  • Social drives = recommended
  • Trec = recommended

Juniors must wear a body/back protector in all competitions. (This rule has not changed.)

In terms of which standards to choose, SDHC recognise that competitors must assess the risks and available options for themselves. However, it is advisable to use items of the best safety standard available e.g. Body Protectors of Level 3, Helmets of PAS 015 (kite marked).

There are 2 criteria for body/back protectors that will be enforced by BC and SDHC:

  • Body/Back Protectors must have been certified to a recognised level for eitheran equestrian or comparable sport e.g. skiing, motorcycling.
    NOTE: homemade or untested items are not permitted
  • Air jackets canonly be worn “with” a suitable body/back protector, not alone.