Equestrian centres in England have been advised that they may re-open and coaches and farriers that they may return to work in view of the latest government guidance.
Since prime minister Boris Johnson announced some easing of coronavirus lockdown measures on Sunday (10 May), the British Horse Society (BHS) and British Equestrian have been working with Sport England and the Sport & Recreation Alliance.
As a result, the BHS has today (12 May) advised that riding schools, facilities and livery yards in England may open from tomorrow, while adhering to government guidelines on social distancing, and that due to be published this week on hygiene and biosecurity in relation to sport.
“To align with the latest government guidelines stating that you may only exercise in groups of no more than two unless you are exclusively with members of your household, riding schools and freelance coaches are advised to provide lessons or coaching to individuals only, not to family groups,” a BHS spokesman said, referring to the government’s website for more details.
“The Sport & Recreation Alliance has advised that it is for individual facilities and organisations to develop their own guidance on reopening, to best fit their own situation, in line with the government’s advice. The BHS will support centres by providing advice, guidance and risk assessment templates, which will follow, in order to help you re-open your business.
“The continuation of this advice and guidance is conditional based upon the criteria set by government and is therefore subject to change.
“This update is for England only. Our guidance from Monday 11 May remains unchanged for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”
The Farriers Registration Council (FRC) has also released updated guidance to owners and registered farriers.
In a statement, the FRC said it has engaged with the government on farriery.
The new guidance follows Boris Johnson’s most recent announcement
Heavier riders and unsuitable saddles can cause muscle tension and pain in horses according to a study by Dr Sue
“The direction and guidance accords with the key questions and tests applied by the Scottish and Welsh governments,” the statement said.
“It is agreed that the FRC interpretation of the government’s updated guidance is that registered farriers may provide farriery services to equines by arrangement with equine owners.”
Farriers must adhere to provisos on social distancing and biosecurity, as set out on the FRC website, and the council added that its advice may change in accordance with future government guidance.
We continue to publish Horse & Hound magazine weekly during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as keeping horseandhound.co.uk up to date with all the breaking news, features and more. Click here for info about magazine subscriptions (six issues for £6) and access to our premium H&H Plus content online.