Advice for equestrians during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

updated 15/7/20 BRC guidance 

The British Horse Society is closely monitoring the Government’s advice regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. The situation is still changing and as a result it is strongly advised that horse owners put together a care plan for their horse should you have to self-isolate or become ill.

 

With further announcements from the UK and devolved governments, BRC are now able to issue the following update with regards to BRC activities.  

 

The following updates are BRC’s current interpretation of the most recent government guidance and are subject to change, as and when government advice is updated. 

 

PRECAUTIONS TO FOLLOW 

General law 

Following the latest 21-day review of the coronavirus regulations, the First Minister has set out a phased timetable to ease restrictions for large parts of Wales’ visitor, hospitality, and leisure and tourism sectors.

 

The law in Wales will continue to make the 2m distance the default position, because this remains the safest way to protect people’s health. But when 2m cannot reasonably be maintained, the regulations will require businesses to put in place a set of additional measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading, including taking reasonable steps to minimise close face-to-face contact and maintain hygiene.

The Welsh Government is also making changes to the regulations to allow larger gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors only where these are organised and supervised by a responsible person for sports and other leisure activities and classes.

Further information is available here.

COVID-19 BRC Update 1.6.20 

With the announcements over the last few days from the UK and devolved governments, BRC are now able to issue the following update with regards to BRC activities. It should be noted that whilst the respective governments are producing regular updates, these then require careful consideration and interpretation, to make the guidance relevant to our individual sector.


The following updates are BRC’s current interpretation of the most recent government guidance and are subject to change, as and when government advice is updated.
All updates in this document are effective as of 1 June 2020. 

WALES

The 5-mile travel restrictions have been removed and further restrictions have been announced to the leisure sector.

The full government update can be found here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-restrictions-relaxed-further-support-tourism-and-leisure-sectors-wales 

BRC Permitted Activities 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any permitted activity below must adhere to the current guidance on group numbers and the continued social distancing and public health, hygiene and biosecurity requirements. Riders should also consider the risk of their activity, and only partake in / organise activities where it is safe to do so, taking into account both the horse and riders’ capabilities.

Risk assessments must be carried out for each activity, to include the COVID-19 specific hazards and controls. 

  • General riding – Permitted. 

  • Riding includes the following details:

  • Travelling – Travelling both with and without your horse, is allowed for exercising, training or facility hire. There is a no travel limit. 

  • ➢ Many facility centres are open for OUTDOOR facility hire, which you can now use. 

  • Locations – All permitted activities detailed here apply to OUTDOORS. Indoor riding arenas and covered arenas may be available for use, depending on the venue’s risk assessment and permission from their local authority and insurers. This needs to be checked with each individual venue. Further information on this is expected around 3 August. 

  • Lessons and Training – May now take place in groups of up to 30 people outside when organised and supervised by a responsible person. These numbers include the instructor or any additional organiser. BRC clubs and areas may now organise training activities in-line with these maximum numbers. The type of activity is not limited, as long as it is appropriately risk assessed. 

  • Hacking – Organised hacks are now permitted under the BRC banner for up to 30 people when organised and supervised by a responsible person. 

  • Fun rides – These are now permitted under the BRC banner for up to 30 people when organised and supervised by a responsible person. 

  • Camps – These are now permitted under the BRC banner for up to 30 people when organised and supervised by a responsible person. Overnight stays will be permitted from 25 July when tourist accommodation re-opens, providing suitable facilities and management are in place. This would be for individuals or household groups only, per lorry. 

  • Outdoor competitive riding events – These are now permitted under the BRC banner for up to 30 people when organised and supervised by a responsible person. There is no restriction on the type of activity. All competitions must be run in accordance with the current government guidance on group numbers, social distancing, and hygiene measures. 

  • Indoor riding activities – These are not currently permitted. Further information on this is expected around 3 August. 

  • Indoor unmounted activities – These are currently not permitted. 

 

  • Online Competitions – BRC organised online ridden competitions can resume. BRC have restarted their leagues with Interdressage. Both flatwork and jumping classes are now included. There are no restrictions on the type of on-line competition activity permitted. 

  • It should be noted that although British Dressage do not permit electronic transmission of their dressage tests without a license, it has now been agreed that BRC Clubs may use BD dressage tests for online competitions, if they are running a members only competition. The test sheets can be bought from the BD shop. If Clubs are opening it up to non-members, then they cannot use them. 

 

BRC have re-published the BRC dressage tests that we have used in the past and these are available for free use, to help with running online competitions which are open to non-members. The tests can be found on our website, and the scoresheets are on the BHS Cloud for free download and printing. Please feel free to use these resources as required. 

  • Social and un-mounted events – Permitted under the BRC banner. These should only be held outdoors and should be for up to 30 people when organised and supervised by a responsible person. 

  • Other BRC activities – Activities where current social distancing cannot be adhered to, such as the quadrille, pairs, or teams of four / six classes, are not permitted. This will only be reviewed when social distancing guidance is changed. 

  • All other BRC activities that can comply with the above guidelines are now permitted. 

General Covid 19 advice

  • Continue 2m social distancing whenever possible, wear facial covering if 2m distancing not possible 

  • If you feel unwell and are showing the symptoms of Covid 19 do not go to the yard

  • Put together a plan which outlines your horses care in case someone else needs to look after your horse if you are ill.

  • Avoid social contact with others and maintain a 2 metre distance between yourself and others

  • Ensure you have sufficient hand washing facilities. After using shared yard equipment, such as wheelbarrows or the hose, wash your hands. Use an antibacterial spray to disinfect all shared equipment.

  • Follow the government guidance on hygiene and hand washing, wash your hands before going to the yard and make sure you wash them frequently when you are there.

  • Prepare for self-isolation

  • Make a plan with your yard owner or manager, or your fellow liveries, for what will happen if you’re unable to get to the yard. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or if somebody in your household does, even if they’re only mild, do not visit your horse. You will need to self-isolate for at least seven days or 14 in a shared household. If you have no alternative and it’s a question of welfare, you can attend to your horse but only as a last resort and within your own property boundaries when riding.

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