Most riders will pay £5 more for British Dressage (BD) membership next year as the organisation seeks to fill the Covid hole in its finances.
This is the first increase in membership and horse registration prices in three years, and the organisation also offered membership extensions during the pandemic.
Full (competing) membership prices will rise by £5 from 1 January 2022, taking the cost to £95 per year, or £8.50/month for those paying monthly. Horse registration prices remain the same, at £80, taking the total annual cost of membership for one horse and rider to £175.
This continues to include insurance cover for third-party liability and personal accident for all equestrian activities, through KBIS.
Full non-competing members (formerly known as Premier Club), which is mainly for owners, officials, organisers and supporters, will pay £60 per annum, which is an increase of £2. Winter membership, which runs from October to March each year, and Life membership options remain unchanged, while juniors will receive a 20% discount on any membership type.
But there are some key insurance changes for those on different types of BD membership. From 1 January 2023, Club members will only be covered while participating in a BD competition or organised training activity. At present and for 2022, Club members receive third party public liability and personal accident insurance for all equestrian activities.
“We have extended this cover for the next 12-month period in order to give Club members sufficient time to source alternative insurance cover for out-of-competition activity, if required,” said a BD spokesman, adding that added upgrading to full BD membership would be the “most cost-effective way” of retaining full cover from 2023, or KBIS can provide individual policies directly.
“A standalone third-party liability policy is around £50 and enhanced personal accident cover costs upwards of £100 per year, so unfortunately it is not possible for BD to continue subsidising this at entry level for Club members.”
Club members will also pay £5 more to renew. While the membership price is frozen at £35, the cost of registering a club horse has gone up from £10 to £15 per year – its first rise in five years.
BD is also launching a new introductory package for £50, giving a horse and rider three months of full (competing) membership benefits, with the exception of insurance cover, which will only be valid while competing at BD shows.
“We’ve worked hard to keep membership and horse registration fees static over the last three years, but with the changes to economic conditions in a post-Brexit and Covid world, it’s not possible to sustain this at current levels,” said BD chief executive Jason Brautigam.
BD has cited inflation costs “running at over 4%”, operating costs increasing “significantly across the board this year” and the price of providing insurance for members rising by “over 50% since 2018” as reasons for the changes, as it seeks to continue its recovery and secure its financial position following the pandemic.
“Membership and horse registrations account for the majority of our income, so in order to continue providing high standards of service and make further investment in our sport, we’ve had to introduce some minimal price increases,” added Mr Brautigam.
“At just over £1.80 a week for full annual membership, or under £1 a week for a Club membership and horse, we hope members feel their fees represent good value for money. We will continue to work with our partners to develop the package of benefits and add further value where possible. In the meantime, thank you once again for your continued support as we hopefully look forward to a full year of competitions and training activity in 2022.”
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