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‘Break the rules and risk the sport — and lives’: rules reminder to riders

As the British Showjumping (BS) indoor championship show gets under way later this week (7-11 October), riders have been urged to take their individual responsibilities on the Covid-19 situation as “seriously as possible”.

The event, at Aintree Equestrian Centre, will include junior and senior championships including the British novice and discovery finals, which would have run at the national championships at Stoneleigh, as well as those finals that would have run at the Horse of the Year Show and the B&C championship, which would have run at the Royal International Horse Show.

A BS spokesman said the organisation would like to take the opportunity to remind members of their “legal and social responsibility” in respect of current Covid-19 protocols.

“It is of vital importance, to all involved in the sport and the wider community, that we continue to diligently follow our current sport protocols,” he said.

These include senior riders’ only being accompanied by one other person (with an additional person for every additional horse entered), while junior riders can be accompanied by two adults (with one additional person for any additional ponies/horses. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.

Other measures include allocated parking slots, tacking up within the designated parking area, only six people allowed in a warm-up (including mounted and dismounted individuals) and only one competitor in a ring at any one time.

The spokesman said these will also be accompanied by venue-specific protocols that competitors will be told when entering the show.

“In recent weeks we have seen an increase in local lockdowns, and we would like to remind members that it is their own personal responsibility to ensure they adhere to these if they have been put in place within their locality,” he said.

“During these unprecedented times we must all take individual responsibility to best ensure the health of those around us in addition to preventing additional strain on the NHS and support services. It is also imperative that the same personal responsibility is applied to those that may have travelled from, to or through any countries that are on the restricted air corridor list and which require an isolation period upon their return.”

The spokesman said BS is “unable to urge members enough” to take their individual responsibilities “as seriously as possible”.

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“It is not BS’ responsibility to monitor each individual member’s movements, or those accompanying them at an event, to know whether they are eligible to enter and compete at a show,” he said.

“The responsibility lies entirely with each member to take accountability for both themselves and any others that join them at a showground in a support capacity. By not taking personal ownership and complying to the guidance and protocols put in place you not only put other people at risk but also the ongoing running of the sport during these difficult times which we have worked hard to get to the point of being able to keep open.

“On a final note, we would like to thank everyone who has been supportive of the protocols and assisted greatly in getting the sport to where it currently is today.”

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