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‘Disappointment’ as horse shows remain on hold in Scotland

“Disappointment” has been shared in Scotland as equestrian competition remains on hold until at least the end of the month.

Horsescotland, British Eventing (BE) and British Showjumping (BS) worked together on a proposal sent to Sportscotland and the Scottish government, with the bodies “desperately keen” to resume competition. In an update yesterday (15 July) it was confirmed competition would not restart yet – leading to the cancellation of BE’s first Scottish scheduled event post lockdown, Kirriemuir (1) (1 August). A revised proposal is being prepared by Horsescotland ahead of the next Scottish government review on 30 July.

“Horsescotland is incredibly disappointed competition is unable to resume following government input,” said Grant Turnbull, chair of Horsescotland.

“As an organisation we have been working incredibly hard with BS and BE to overcome these issues presented by the Scottish government guidance and we will continue to do so. We are acutely aware of the need for equestrian competitions, events and businesses to resume.”

BE regional coordinator Frances Hay-Smith said BE and Horsescotland had worked hard to try and find a resolution to ensure Kirriemuir organiser, James Heyler, could prepare for the first event on 1 August.

“Despite submitting our resumption of sport documents to Sportscotland we received notice that we will not know if we can restart sport until 30 July,” she said.

“This is understandably too short notice and we, together with Kirriemuir, had to make the difficult decision to cancel the first fixture.”

Kirriemuir (2) is scheduled to take place on 29 August, provided restrictions are lifted. Entries are intended to open on 7 August.

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Chair of BS Scotland Anne Logan said she was saddened there had been no resumption of equestrian competition in Scotland despite the “sterling efforts” of Horsescotland as they continue to highlight the “devastating effects” on equestrian business throughout the country.

“We are in unprecedented times, and it is our duty to demonstrate that we can deliver our sport in a Covid-safe, yet competitive environment,” she said. “To this end BS will present guidelines for start-up training shows with participation at local level only, thus limiting competitor travel to a predetermined amount.”

Ms Logan added the training shows will run under strict BS Covid-compliant regulations, following Scottish government approval.

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