Stay local and no ride judges as showing prepares to restart *H&H Plus*

  • The Showing Council has updated its blueprint for the resumption of competition. H&H finds out about the changes, and speaks to the council and organisers about what they will mean, for shows and competitors

    THE Showing Council has released an updated showing blueprint in response to the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

    The evolving document was first sent out in July 2020 as a guide for the resumption of showing in England. The most recent changes include the recommendation to “stay local”. Competitors are not allowed to ride for more than one stable at one show and judges will not ride, although this is under review.

    “It’s had an interesting evolution,” Showing Council chair David Ingle told H&H. “We initially released it as the showing community had so many questions regarding the recommencement of shows after the first lockdown. Since then, it’s become apparent that something was really needed. Every time there was a change to official guidance, the blueprint was revised.”

    “This year we’ve felt a greater sense of responsibility; the blueprint now goes out to more than 200 organisers, from six countries.”

    Some organisers had questions over the phrase “stay local”.

    “The roadmap has now changed from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay local’, ”Mr Ingle said.

    “With this in mind we advise competitors also to stay local; this means not driving past one show to get to another, and not travelling the length of the country to attend an event.

    “The advice against people riding animals from different stables is to do with social distancing; if someone is jumping on different horses they’re mixing with multiple bubbles. It’s the same with ride judging, though I’m keen to see this return as soon as possible.

    “We are constantly in talks with British Equestrian. Our job is to help mitigate any risk so we can get moving again and have fun while complying with the guidelines. Show organisers should register so they can receive the updated blueprint from us.”

    British Show Pony Society (BSPS) area 14 show secretary Lesley Chubb is gearing up to host the area’s first 2021 show this month.

    “Show organises have more responsibility than ever,” she told H&H. “The workload before the show has increased tremendously. We now require all vehicle registrations and names of those attending with each animal.

    “Our show lived on entries on the day, and this is now a thing of the past. We also have to close entries a day earlier due to the amount of information to be processed, and must provide ‘not before’ times for each class at least 24 hours before the show. We may have to look into paid security, too, which will increase costs. We have been provided a great template from the BSPS, but the week before the show will be manic.”

    Ms Chubb said the blueprint will change competitors’ showing experiences but she urged them to take responsibility for their actions and comply with requirements.

    “It will be impossible for us to police the stay local rule, as we don’t know each individual’s circumstances, but for now it’s about using common sense,” she said. “Competitors should keep up to date with shows’ communication on their website and Facebook pages, too.”

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