As the countryside is gradually being re-opened, some equestrian disciplines back in action, but in the case of endurance riding, which requires so much land access, most scheduled fixtures are cancelled until the end of June.
The EHPS (Endurance Horse & Pony Society) stated policy is that it will not hold any rides for at least 28 days after the last known FMD outbreak, and then only subject to local permissions being given.
However, in a recent statement, BERA (British Endurance Riding Association) has said it may soon be possible for some local events to resume in unaffected areas, to be run according to MAFF and BEF guidelines. Regional committees are to look into the options.
BERA national trophy points will not be awarded in 2001, although it is hoped that silver and gold qualifications may still be achieved.
BERA’s International Committee still hopes to send three teams to compete abroad this year. Although many riders have had to curtail their plans, in unaffected areas it has been possible to continue with fittening campaigns. Under 21 Team hopeful Anna Welch with Blue Zirrocco has been training hard in East Anglia alongside national development squad member Felicity Stockwell and King of the Reds. Those living near the South Coast are taking horses across The Channel to compete in France in a bid to maintain competition fitness.
Meanwhile, local endurance groups are arranging alternative events and get-togethers for their members. Lindum Group of EHPS has a programme that includes a barbecue with Icelandic pony rides, a triathlon, a beetle drive and a trailer-reversing day. Anglian Distance Riders recently held a successful quiz night and a tack sale, still to come is a visit to the National Stud, a forest pleasure ride, and a summer barbecue.
BERA East and East Midlands hope to hold a Beach Ride at Holkham in July and a Breckland pleasure ride in the autumn; while South East Group members have enjoyed a Funday and are holding a race night in June.
Performance Equestrian is putting on a series of roadshows in Cambridge, Thetford and Derbyshire, consisting of talks on schooling, saddles, feeding and nutrition, and holistic riding, plus a fashion show and trade stands. Details from Linda Hams (tel: 01832 710677) or email: email@example.com.