Riders asked for their views as coronavirus restrictions ease *H&H Plus*

  • A new website has been set up for equestrians to share their lockdown experiences and priorities, as well as outlining the challenges facing them and their horses, to help prepare for a new normal. H&H finds out more...

    Riders are being invited to have their say in the process as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

    The British Horse Society (BHS) has launched a microsite on which it wants to hear from equestrians on the issues facing them and their horses, to help prepare for a return to normality.

    BHS chief executive James Hick told H&H the idea was to collate good ideas, and to listen to equestrians’ views.

    “We’re doing a lot of thinking, trying to consider what next moves the government might make, and how we can support our members and others to get back to economic and sporting activity,” he said.

    Mr Hick said one thing the BHS and other sport-related bodies have learned through the pandemic is how systems operate.

    “There will be a high-level political statement, then we get the government advice a day or so later, so there’s a lag, during which members are desperate for information,” he said.

    “We have to analyse it, and wait to confirm what we believe is the intent of the guidance, so there’s a delay. Sometimes, we’re not necessarily getting the answers we might if we could have had influence a bit further upstream, so that’s what we’re going to try to do, in partnership with other bodies.”

    The microsite features questions on what activities riders are likely to take part in when possible, and areas of concern relating to this such as safety and numbers of volunteers. It asks about the concerns of people whose main income is from the equestrian world, how they like to hear about the latest guidance, and what worries they have over a possible return to lockdown. There are opportunities for people to add comments and ideas.

    Visit the BHS microsite >>

    Mr Hick said he hopes the feedback will help equestrians have more influence as detailed guidance is released in future.

    “It comes back to having specific advice for our sport, so we can move forward as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.

    British Equestrian (BEF) interim CEO Iain Graham told H&H the BEF has also been working with the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS), adding: “We’ve been having continual dialogue, through the sporting bodies – UK Sport, Sport England and the Sport and Recreation Alliance –
    from when lockdown was introduced, as to how sport could resume, and what it might look like. That information has been shared both ways with the DCMS, and we continue to do so.

    “Horsescotland has been doing similar with the Scottish government, Sport Scotland and sports associations.”

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