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Joy as equestrian competition gets the nod to resume in Scotland

Outdoor shows in Scotland have been given the green light to resume under government guidance, but riders have been urged to work with governing bodies – not against them.

In a statement today (6 August) a spokesman for Horsescotland said the organisation was “overjoyed” that outdoor non-contact competition could resume.

Resumption guidance, approved by the Scottish Government and Sportscotland, states governing bodies, organisations and venues must develop their own guidance for their sport to resume, in line with government physical distancing requirements. A named Covid officer will be required to document a risk assessment before any competition.

The guidance on participant numbers states that five households (or extended households) with a maximum of 15 people can combine to “essentially” create a competition bubble, as long as physical distancing measures are maintained. Organisers should ensure no two bubbles come into contact with each other at any time through out the day, and this may be achieved with staggered starts.

“The focus should be on delivering the competition with as few participants as possible in attendance at any given time, whilst still allowing the activity to run effectively,” the guidance states.

No prizegivings will take place, and spectators other than a parent/guardian or coach are not permitted.

“We have worked continuously during the course of the day with our member bodies, officials, venues and organisers and we are all in agreement that this is a much-needed, and most helpful move forward,” said Horsescotland chair Grant Turnbull.

“All disciplines are now working hard to implement the guidance to meet their individual competitive environments and I urge you, at all times to work with, not against, what is being done.”

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Mr Turnbull added there will “no doubt” be challenges ahead to allow competition to resume in a practical manner, but said public health and safety always be at the fore.

“My message to riders now is to get back out and enjoy competing but be mindful of health and all the requirements of social distancing,” he told H&H. “Please support your local venues and invest back into them to allow them to be there in the future, whether that’s an event, or a venue that provides training facilities, or riding schools.”

British Dressage, British Showjumping and British Eventing are expected to announce their own guidance on competitions restarting in due course.

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