01 June 2020
Covid 19 update re resumption of rides
Endurance GB has announced plans to move towards resumption of the sport in England and Wales following the issuing of revised COVID 19 restrictions by the Government and British Equestrian.
The roadmap towards competitive activity agreed by Endurance GB prioritises the safety, health and well-being of the participants, ride officials and the local communities as being at the forefront of any decisions on resumption.
The phased resumption of activity begins from today with the announcement by British Equestrian that coaching of riders in groups of up to six (including the coach) may resume in England. Endurance GB Groups and Coaches will now be able to run small outdoor coaching and training events involving no more than six people in England where it is safe to do so.
As restrictions ease further over the coming weeks to allow events involving more than six people to take place, Endurance GB will look to resume small non-competitive rides of between 5km and 34km. Events will be fully risk assessed and will only take place if it is safe to do so and if all of the respective landowners are content with the event taking place. Competitive events will only be organised once it is clear that the processes in place for non competitive events are working satisfactorily and that safe systems of work are in place for the additional officials that competitive events require.
Entries will only be accepted in advance of the events and attendees will need to complete a health screening form before arriving at the event.
Strict social distancing and additional hygiene measures will be in place at all venues with plans including;
• Staggered arrival and start times
• Two metre floor markings where queues may form
• One way systems at venues to eliminate bottlenecks
• Restrictions on the number of people who can ride together on the route
• Extra space for horsebox parking
• The provision of additional hand washing/sanitising facilities
• Reducing handling of equipment and paperwork
• Additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place in respect of toilets
• First aid provision to follow the NHS hygiene guidance in place at the time.
Endurance GB will be issuing clear guidance to its local Groups and event organisers and will help them put in place the additional measures that they will need to apply.
The last phase of the roadmap to resuming the sport will see longer distance competitive rides reintroduced with ride organisers including at Kings Forest and the British Horse Feeds Red Dragon currently working on plans to hold events later this summer and in the autumn.
Unfortunately Dialstone, Birling Gap, Aram Grange, the War of the Roses ride and the Cirencester Inter-Regional Championships will not now take place. The organisers of Finchingfield, Wentwood and the Pegasus ride are all tentatively hopeful that they will be able to run pleasure rides in July, although Wentwood will not be an FEI ride this year. Endurance GB’s Leicestershire & Rutland, Northumberland & Tyneside and Derbyshire Groups are also tentatively hopeful that their planned pleasure rides for July may go ahead.
Esther Young, Operations Director of Endurance GB said: “Competitive events will only be given the green light once Government guidance allows them to take place, it is clear that the processes in place for non-competitive events are working satisfactorily and that safe systems of work, for instance at vet gates, are in place for the additional officials that competitive events require.
“We also have to be mindful that many of our officials and riders are currently among the more than one million people in this country who are shielding and this may temporarily impact on our ability to run larger scale events. The situation remains fluid and unpredictable and we will have to ensure sufficient flexibility in our plans to respond very quickly in the event of restrictions being re-imposed at any point.”
Phil Nunnerley, Chair of Endurance GB said: “We are all looking forward to resuming the sport and coming together as an organisation and we welcome the sensible and phased lifting of restrictions as we move towards a return to competition. I would like to thank all those on the board as well as our ride organisers and officials who are working so hard behind the scenes to put measures in place as well as safeguard the financial future of the sport. We must all be clear that while lockdown restrictions are being eased and everyone is looking for a swift return to normality, our priority as a sport must at this time remain ensuring that events will only go ahead when it is agreed that the required conditions to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid 19 can be met.”
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