Back in March, the announcements came of cancellations of events across the board when the UK entered a nationwide lockdown triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19.
After a long four-month period (which has felt like a lifetime), we’re now thankfully starting to see the equestrian calendar liven up once more, as events across all disciplines begin to resume for the latter part of the season.
Most recently, mounted games and polocrosse have been given the green light to resume following proposed plans submitted to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), made by British Equestrian.
British Equestrian has been working closely alongside the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, the United Kingdom Polocrosse Association, and The Pony Club, to produce a comprehensive action plan which falls in in line with the Return to Recreational Sport Framework provided by DCMS earlier in July in order to make this move possible.
Completing a series of risk assessments as part of the proposal, each one identifying ways in which the risk of transmission could be minimised, British Equestrian devised plans which would see reduced audiences of live spectators of the events, thereby allowing event organisers to make modifications as necessary to the event itself or the rules of the sports.
Sitting alongside DCMS’s Return to Recreational Sport Framework, British Equestrian has produced a Return to Equestrian Team Sports Action Plan, which provides guidelines on how team sports may resume safely. This includes a standard approach to the management of equestrian team events across England, as well as team training sessions and competitions.
British Equestrian’s Head of Participation, David Butler, said: “It’s great news that these sports have been given the go-ahead to resume. We’re very grateful for DCMS’s decision. Participants, officials, volunteers and other stakeholders can now return to the sports they love, happy in the knowledge that everything possible has been done to keep them safe.”
British Equestrian is currently working alongside The British Horseball Association to produce an application for horseball to resume.
Find out more about live equestrian sports springing back into action, or read our guidance on getting back in the saddle.