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‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ as equestrian activity and competition set to resume in England

There is “light at the end of the tunnel”, as competition can resume and equestrian activity continue in the post-lockdown tier system in England.

British Equestrian (BEF) has today (26 November) announced how the restrictions will apply to the horse world once lockdown ends on 2 December.

Equestrian facilities, yards and centres can open for lessons, hire and competitions, in all tiers. Government restrictions refer to “outdoor sport”, but it has been confirmed that indoor/covered arenas have previously been classed as outdoor in England and Scotland.

Riders can travel to care for and exercise horses without restriction, including travelling horses for exercise, training, hire or competition. Anyone hacking should comply with the “rule of six”, and where possible, travel into and out of tier-three areas should be avoided.

Coaches and practitioners can operate, within Covid-safe protocols, and travel is permitted between tiers, although everyone must observe the requirements of each tier.

BEF CEO Iain Graham said: “While coming out of lockdown in England will enable much of our activity to continue, we must continue to remain vigilant and strictly follow all Covid protocols and guidance in place at venues, in the workplace, on yards and in any areas you visit and at home.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel but we must all continue to play our part across the United Kingdom. So, be it in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, please enjoy your horses, carry out your work and open your businesses and centres of learning but please do it safely so we can avoid any further lockdowns in any areas.”

Those living in tiers one and two should avoid travel to tier three areas unless essential, those from tier two areas should continue to follow tier two protocols if they visit tier one areas, and those in tier three should avoid non-essential travel to other areas.

To check your tier, visit the Government’s postcode checker tool, and for full details on tier restrictions, visit the BHS website.

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British Dressage CEO Jason Brautigam said: “It’s great news that England can once again join Scotland and Wales from next week, with a full programme of shows and training to look forward to. December promises to be a busy month for BD, with many horse and rider combinations looking to complete their regional and area festival qualifications. We have been working closely with our organisers to reschedule any lost November shows into December where we can, to provide as many competition opportunities as possible around the country.

“Thank you once again to all members for your patience, understanding and support over the last month, I’m sure everyone will be excited to get back going again now that we have the green light.”

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