Continued lockdown restrictions in Wales means competition remains limited – with showjumping still off – but there is hope pilot events of up to 100 people could bring change.
In an announcement on Friday (21 August) the First Minister for Wales announced the Government will not be lifting the lockdown measures for at least three weeks in respect of outdoor events. This means shows remain restricted to a maximum of 30 people.
During the three-week period the Welsh Government will be conducting pilots of three small outdoor events, with no more than 100 people. If the pilots are successful and provided there has not been a rise in Covid-19 cases, the Government’s intention is to extend the range of small-scale outdoor events in its next update.
A spokesman for British Showjumping said this means all showjumping events, scheduled to take place in Wales during this three-week period, will be cancelled. This includes the senior qualifier show due to take place at the Wales & West Showground 29-31 August.
“BS will continue to work closely with all Welsh show organisers, the Welsh Sport Association and the Welsh Assembly with an objective of being in a position to introduce equestrian sport back into Wales,” said the spokesman.
BS chief executive Iain Graham said: “It goes without saying we are all extremely disappointed at the news and it has come as a surprise when the rest of the country has been allowed to restart sport with the correct protocols in place.
In an update on Friday (19 June) British Equestrian (BEF) said training and competition plans “are in motion” for many
“We do however support and respect the Welsh Government’s decision and we trust that our members understand that these are unprecedented times and that we are doing all we can to give our Welsh members the opportunity to compete on home turf at the earliest opportunity.”
The spokesman added the key area of focus for BS and Wales & West show director James Broome, will be on rescheduling the senior qualifiers before the end of the qualifying period, should the next Government update allow.
“Further information will be released as it becomes available. Our hopes are that we will be able to reschedule the show, should this not be possible additional qualifying places will be offered from the shows that have been able to run,” he said.
British Dressage recommenced in Wales on 26 July with a maximum of 30 people. From 10 August indoor competition was given the green light, providing venues checked with insurance providers and local authorities.
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