HORSE SPORT CAN CONTINUE UNDER LATEST COVID RESTRICTIONS

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Businesses urged to be “vigilant and rigorous” to stay legal.

Riders held their collective breath when the government restricted gatherings to a maximum of six people from Monday (14 September). 

However, it’s been confirmed that organised equestrian sport and activity, such as shows, events and fun rides, can continue.

Equestrians meeting for informal activities, such as hacking, must stick to the ‘rule of six’. The exception to this is Wales which still allows groups of up to 30 outdoors. 

In Scotland and Wales, under 12s do not count towards the total of six allowed to meet. 

New law for businesses

This week also sees a new legal requirement for businesses to record customer, staff and visitor contact details to support the NHS Track and Trace programme. 

Data should be held for 21 days, then safely destroyed, and handled in accordance with GDPR.

“It’s easy to become complacent”

Confirmation that organised equestrian activity can continue came from British Equestrian via Sport England. 

“We’ve worked closely with our member bodies [British Eventing, British Dressage, British Showjumping etc] to get them prepared for returning to action safely, and most are back up and running under Covid protocols,” said British Equestrian’s head of participation David Butler.  

“Having stringent plans in place was vital, but even more so with these new restrictions being made law because our plans mean that activity can safely continue. 

“I’d urge all equestrian businesses to be extra vigilant and rigorously ensure the guidance is strictly adhered to, as well as health and hygiene measures. 

“It's easy to become complacent, but this change reminds us that coronavirus is still very much with us and we must all play our part in complying with the guidance to minimise the Covid risk when taking part in equestrian activity.”

Olympia cancelled

Olympia, The London International Horse Show, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was due to take place on 16 – 21 December.

The organisers blamed “the commercial implications of the government social distancing guidelines and the numerous additional Covid-19 safety requirements.”

Photo by melanie hartshorn on Unsplash