What do the latest rules on easing the lockdown mean to equestrianism?
For all home nations, the following should be observed when carrying out any activity:
- All activity must be outdoors
- All should observe the relevant guidance on health, hygiene and physical distancing (two metres in all cases)
- Everyone involved should be responsible for implementation of guidelines that ensure their safety
- Coaches, venues and equestrian centres should carry out COVID-19-specific risk assessments and check with their insurance providers before any activity convenes. They should communicate regularly with their clients regarding all risk management measures and guidance in place so all parties understand what they will be required to follow.
In the four home nations, as of 1 June, the situation is:
- Riders/drivers – groups of six from separate households can now ride together, or five plus a coach. Riders and drivers can responsibly exercise horses outside, anywhere where there is legal access.
- Coaches – can now teach groups of five from separate households in a session held in an outdoor facility or training venue.
- Venues – groups of six from separate households can now ride together in outdoor spaces, or five plus a coach.
- Riders/drivers –can ride/exercise as often as they wish alone, with members of their household or with members of one other household up to eight persons in total. Members of a household should only meet with only one other household each day. Travel to exercise, including hire of an outdoor facility, should be done locally– the recommendation is up to five miles but for those in rural areas, there is some flexibility on travel distance. Riding/driving on the roads should be done with consideration and avoiding peak times if possible.
- Coaches – can instruct outdoors with members of their own household and/or members of one other household, up to a total of eight persons including the coach. Coaching should not be done with more than one household per day and should be kept local, up to five miles as a recommendation.
- Venues – may open for outdoor exercise within guidelines for the provision of a safe environment for staff and participants. Indoor areas such as a café, toilets, retail, outlet or indoor arenas should be kept closed. Sessions with a coach should be with individually or with up to seven members of the same household. Any shared equipment should be sterilised before each use and measures should be in place to reduce the risk of contamination.
- Riders/drivers – may leave their home to ride as a ‘reasonable excuse’, but are encouraged to stay local – ideally within five miles. This includes transporting horses to a nearby facility. Many bridleways and rural facilities are still subject to local closure and restrictions by Local Authorities and others, so riders should check access before setting out. Riders and drivers can participate on their own or with members of their household, and low risk activity is still advised.
- Coaches – must be done involving only two household groups and should be carried out locally – within five miles of both households is suggested, although those in rural areas are given some flexibility.
- Venues – may open for outdoor exercise for people to travel to for hire or tuition, ideally within five miles except those in rural areas have some flexibility.
- Riders/drivers – may travel to their horse to exercise or for training at a suitable outdoor location over any distance. This can be as part of a group of up to six people from different households, and a coach would count as one of the group.
- Coaches – can instruct outdoors to groups of up to five people with no restrictions on travel distance. You may travel to clients, or they may come to you.
- Venues – may open for outdoor hire to groups of up to six people. Coaching at the venue can take place on a one-to-one basis or in a group of up to five plus a coach.