Competitions have already been cancelled in large areas of England owing to the introduction of tier four restrictions to help tackle a significant rise in coronavirus cases.
The prime minister announced the new tier four, the strictest level, for Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings, all of London, Bedford, central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring), on Saturday (19 December).
Although competitions can run in tiers one to three, British Equestrian (BEF) has advised that all organised competitive activity should be suspended in tier four.
Previous tier-related advice applies to the other three tiers. In tier four, riding centres and schools may remain open, but for one-to-one sessions only.
Outdoor facilities may be hired out, while adhering to permitted numbers of people, and owners and guardians of horses may travel to care for and exercise them “without restriction”.
Travelling horses for exercise, training and lessons or arena hire within permitted numbers is allowed but “should be kept to a minimum and only where necessary”.
Social hacking is allowed, within permitted numbers.
“In tier four, you are encouraged to follow the ‘stay at home’ message but venues may open for activity within the permitted meeting numbers,” said a BEF spokesman. “You should not travel out of a tier four area for any activity.”
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Governing bodies have issued advice for members and reminded riders of their individual responsibilities following the three-tier lockdown rules that
In all tiers, coaches and professionals such as vets, equine dental technicians, musculoskeletal practitioners and farriers can still work and livery yards can stay open, although individual yards may set their own protective measures. All practitioners must observe Covid protocols.
Where possible, travel into and out of tier three and four should be avoided.
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