Mounted games and polocrosse have been given the nod to resume in England, as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) approved plans submitted by British Equestrian (BEF).
The BEF, working with the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, the United Kingdom Polocrosse Association and the Pony Club used the DCMS’s sport resumption framework, released on 10 July, to produce action plans and risk assessments for both disciplines.
The framework included guidance aimed at minimising risks related to coronavirus transmission, and each risk assessment identifies how this can be achieved, and covers reducing the numbers of people in the field of play. This allows organisers to modify activity and rules as needed.
“It’s great news these sports have been given the go-ahead to resume,” said BEF head of participation David Butler.
“We are very grateful for DCMS’s decision, and I’d like to thank our member bodies for the hard work they put into preparing these action plans and risk assessments. Participants, officials, volunteers and other stakeholders can now return to the sports they love, happy in the knowledge that everything possible has been done to keep them safe.”
The BEF and its member bodies have produced an action plan for returning to equestrian team sports, which sets out a standard approach to managing events, including training and competition. Organisers must also adhere to the DCMS framework, and government guidelines on social distancing.
There will be no racegoers at Goodwood on Saturday (1 August)
The BEF is working on an application for horseball to resume.
The news came just before it was announced that a trial of allowing spectators to return to sport, at the Qatar Goodwood Festival this Saturday (1 Auguat) would not go ahead; the government had withdrawn permission for plans to allow up to 5,000 people in to watch the action on the final day of the meeting.
We continue to publish Horse & Hound magazine weekly during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as keeping horseandhound.co.uk up to date with all the breaking news, features and more. Click here for info about magazine subscriptions (six issues for £6) and access to our premium H&H Plus content online.