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‘Welcome news’ as government confirms indoor arenas may open from 4 July

English indoor arenas may be back in use next weekend thanks to a “breakthrough” with the government.

British Equestrian (BEF) announced this evening (26 June) that it had had confirmation from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that indoor equestrian arenas can be used in England from 4 July.

H&H reported this week that, after work by horsescotland and the British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland, sportscotland had allowed “covered” arenas to be used in Scotland.

H&H had also reported on the perceived inconsistency in government decisions as indoor arenas were not allowed to be used, despite the fact they are far more ventilated and larger than the non-essential shops and other businesses that had had the green light to reopen.

BEF chief executive Iain Graham said: “This will be welcome news for many who have been patiently waiting for the government’s agreement.

“We have gone to great lengths to explain the nature of equestrian indoor schools and today we finally made the breakthrough.”

Indoor equestrian arenas in Wales are still closed but equestrian bodies will “continue to lobby government and sport agencies for change”.

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Mr Graham added: “I’d like to thank the teams at DCMS and Sport England for working and reasoning with us on a daily basis. We’ll continue to press for change in Wales and are hopeful for a successful outcome here too.”

A BHS spokesman added: “As a result of the BHS lobbying the DCMS and sharing the covered arena best practice guide, it has been agreed by DCMS that covered arenas and indoor schools can be used in England from 4 July.

“This is great news for all centres who will now be able to fully utilise their arenas.”

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