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British Eventing answers your questions about returning to sport

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Cross-country riding

With sport predicted to restart in July, British Eventing has shared its draft plan to answer your questions regarding how competition will be run with competitor and volunteer safety in mind

While the government guidance issued hasn’t yet provided equine enthusiasts with the opportunity to get back out on the competition circuit, British Eventing (BE) is working towards recommencing sport from 4 July, depending on its ability to ensure safe, socially distanced competition, which it feels confident is possible.

Following a survey on returning to competition, BE has provided a Q&A to help you feel confident about the safety of the sport and how competition days will be run.

1. When will entries open?

Each organiser has provided a decision to run date, which is the date by which they’ll make a decision as to whether they want to run and begin to prepare. Entries will only open when we’re sure the government guidelines will allow us to run, so entries will be open seven to 10 days ahead of the decision to run date, which will also act as a ballot date. Should entries be insufficient by this date, the organiser may cancel the event. All the dates will be available on the BE website, with the ballot and entry dates displayed clearly.

2. What if the government introduces another lockdown?

It’s currently uncertain as to whether our insurance will cover any further lockdowns due to a dispute with the underwriters. We’re preparing for a worst-case scenario that pandemic cover won’t be available, and so have agreed a pandemic refund policy with our organisers. The refund will be a minimum of 30% of the entry fee, including the start fee, plus any VAT, up to three days prior to the start of competition. This is only the case for pandemic-related cancellations, and each organiser is welcome to return more money if they’d like to. We recommend that members check the refund policy for each event prior to making their entry, and this information will be available on the BE website. If the underwriters agree that cover for future lockdowns is included in the policy, then all refunds will come via the policy, rather than through the organisers.

3. How will eventing be different when it restarts

The competition day will inevitably be different, with social distancing needing to be maintained, however we’ve aimed to minimise risk for all competitors, volunteers and officials. Competitors will have to stick to their allocated times and, while warm-up times won’t be allocated, there will be a limit to the number of competitors permitted in the warm-up at any time. These numbers will be clearly displayed outside the warm-up area and calculated based on the space available and social distancing requirements. Entry fees won’t be increasing, but venues will run on restricted numbers, so riders with multiple horses may not be able to ride the five per day that has previously been permitted. These details will be published on the event schedule on the BE website. Dogs will still be permitted at venues, due to overwhelming response from members, while outdoor catering will be allowed provided social distancing is maintained.

4. What about other disciplines?

While BE has put forward its plans to resume competition, British Dressage (BD) and British Showjumping (BS) have opened up training and training shows respectively. Both training and training shows will be subject to social distancing guidelines, and it’s essential for competitors to familiarise themselves with the government protocols to keep everyone safe. Training shows will run under the usual BS rules, with each showing offering one of the following three categories – up to 1.10m for horses, pony classes or 1m and above for horses. The dates and details for training and training shows will be available on the BD and BS websites respectively.

For more information, visit britisheventing.co.uk, britishdressage.co.uk and britishshowjumping.co.uk



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