William Funnell: ‘This is a disaster for our industry’ *H&H Plus*


William Funnell reflects on the impact of Brexit and Covid on the sport

Many British riders, myself included, should have been heading to one of the many tours in Europe by now. But, of course, things are very different this year and we’ve been waiting it out at home, weighing up not only how Covid is affecting everything, but the impact Brexit has had, too.

The main knock-on from Brexit has been the extensive paperwork, not to mention cost, involved in transporting horses across the Channel since 1 January. The forms we had just over a month ago that certified us able to drive in Europe are no longer valid.

I had hoped it would all have been sorted before we went to the Sunshine Tour, which is why I’ve waited until now, but it’s still as clear as mud. If people like Scott are forced to move their stables to Europe, it would be a disaster for our industry.

I actually voted leave during the referendum but in hindsight, if I’d realised the full rigamarole it would cause, I certainly would have thought twice.

All in all, I worked out it’s costing me an extra £300-plus to take each horse over the Channel now. I’m going to have to win a lot of classes to pay for it all…

Ref: 4 February 2021

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