Equestrian events to observe national one-minute silence for Prince Philip’s funeral

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  • Equestrian events have been asked to observe the national one-minute silence for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral this weekend – while adjustments to racing and point-to-pointing schedules have been announced.

    Prince Philip’s funeral service will take place on Saturday (17 April) between 2.45pm and 4.15pm, and a national one-minute silence will be observed at 3pm.

    In guidance issued yesterday (13 April) British Equestrian (BEF) said the organisation is aware that a large number in the equestrian community will wish to pay their respects.

    “We leave it to the organiser’s discretion on whether to facilitate any such break in their schedule. Organisers may also wish to consider allowing/requesting riders to wear black armbands on Saturday,” said a BEF spokesman.

    “However, we would request that all events/venues make provision in their timetable to observe the national one-minute silence at 3pm with a halt in any activity, ensuring enough time for action to stop sufficiently to allow a full minute of reflection and respect.”

    As a mark of respect the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced that no racing will take place in Great Britain during the funeral service. As a result the Scottish Grand National fixture at Ayr and the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials fixture at Newbury will now take place on Sunday (18 April), instead of Saturday. Racing at both meetings will go ahead on Friday (16 April) as planned.

    Fixtures at Bangor-on-Dee and Thirsk racecourses will start earlier than planned on Saturday in order for them to finish by 2.45pm, and minor adjustments are to be announced for Brighton and Nottingham.

    Point-to-point fixtures have also made adjustments; the mixed open at Flete Park has been moved back to 3.20pm, and the hound parade will no longer take place. The West Midlands point-to-point will start at 10am on Saturday and include 30-minute intervals between races in order for the meeting to finish before 2.45pm.

    Venues that wish to pay their respects by flying flags at half-mast are asked to follow the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) guidance which states that official flags such as the Union flag and national flags should be at half-mast until 8am on Sunday. Any non-official flags should be replaced with a Union flag at half-mast.

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    “Half-mast means the flag is flown a third of the way down the flagpole from the top, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole. On poles that are more than 45° from the vertical, flags cannot be flown at half-mast and should not be flown at all,” states the guidance.

    A spokesman for Burnham Market International Horse Trials (16-18 April) said the event will be observing DCMS guidelines for the funeral, including the one-minute silence. 

    “The flag protocol will also be implemented, with all relevant flags flown at half mast and non-official flags not flown until the day after the funeral. Riders will be given the option to wear black armbands if they wish,” said the spokesman.

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