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Socially distanced line-ups and maximum class sizes: Covid-safe plans for showing’s return

A “blueprint” for the resumption of showing has been released by the Showing Council to help competition resume “when it is safe and appropriate to do so”.

Affiliated showing was suspended in Britain on 18 March owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Showing Council’s member bodies have collaborated to produce a blueprint for the discipline’s return, covering important subjects from class sizes to social distancing in line-ups, the number of people allowed to attend per horse, and the use of PPE.

“It has been agreed by the Showing Council that affiliated showing should resume when it is safe and appropriate to do so, with the support of Government and in line with the gradual easing of restrictions,” stated the update from the organisation on 3 August.

“The objective of this [blueprint] is to support show secretaries and show venues in preparing their operational plans to mitigate risk to health of personnel required to deliver shows.

“The operational requirements will be different for each show venue, and the detail within this document is designed to provide suggestions and tools to assist secretaries in developing their own plans, and to enable a consistency of approach in relevant areas so as to enable more efficient communication, implementation and adoption of new working practices.”

It adds the proposals are not mandatory, but it is “imperative” each secretary considers the detail within this document in line with their own site, circumstances, requirements and risk assessments, to ensure the processes and procedures they implement are appropriate for their venue.

“This document should not be read in isolation but should be considered in conjunction with Government guidance on relevant issues,” reads the statement.

“This document is intended as a guide for showing. This is intended as an evolving document and will be constantly updated, so please check the version you are using. Show secretaries may contact the head of public health of the local authority that covers the venue if they have any further questions on risk assessment.”

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The council also advises show organisers to register on the Events Industry Forum (EIF) website to find up to date guidance (www.eventsindustryforum.co.uk).

Key points include: riders cannot ride for more than one stable at a show, no sharing of equipment, class numbers (except working hunters) limited to 15, all entries in advance and numbers to be printed by competitors.

Organisers are urged to appoint a Covid-19 officer, competitors must not stand closer than 2m apart in line-ups, a maximum of three people per horse (including the rider) are allowed to attend and the names and addresses of all those attending must be submitted to the show secretary along with vehicle registrations, at least 24 hours ahead of the day.

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