In the latest statement from its CEO, British Eventing has given members an idea of how Eventing competition will look when the sport recommences.
A high level summary of what can be expected has been published in a two page document: BE Sport Resumption – A Socially Distant Model. It outlines restrictions on the number of people attending and how venues will maintain social distancing.
The main principles of the document are to meet all Government and BEF requirements on social distancing, to create an environment for safe sport to continue for all our stakeholders, to ensure a competition structure and fixtures list that event organisers are willing and able to deliver and to membership are ready and safe to compete.
Phase One of the plan focussed on fitness and training with all riding and training activities following the latest guidance from the BEF.
During Phase Two – Train to Compete – BE aims to work in partnership with organisers, venues and coaches to support and guide training and hybrid competition formats to prepare members for a return to competition.
- When competition does resume, it will be under strict guidance and control from BE and BEF with a number of key changes and protocols put in place.
- No extra public, spectators, companion horses, non-competing horses or dogs at any time
- Non-compliance with social distancing protocols by any BE member will result in horses being disqualified from competition and no future entries being accepted until further notice.
- Venues must strictly follow all guidelines and protocols that are in place for the safe continuation of the sport.
- Riding membership may be encouraged or mandated to provide a volunteer shift in return for entries to allow the sport to resume.
- Any operational changes and protocols will be captured in the full changes /amendments where necessary and will be a condition of entry.
- Rider Responsibility; up to date information, alert levels and protocol updates will be available on BE and BEF Website and riders will need to check these prior to training and competing.
In the run up to events, start fees and any additional fees will be paid online. The entries process will remain the same but withdrawal, refund and substitution policies may be subject to change.
The decision to run date will be set by event organisers as the point when they can evaluate their ability and willingness to run the event and what classes to run. And in order to control the number of people and competitors on site this will result in a reduction of overall competitor numbers within a day whilst multiple rides in a day may be reduced. Competitors would also be requested to print their own bib numbers from a standard template.
The plan also outlines the number of people who can attend;
- Single horse riders– maximum of two people on venue (Rider plus one support)
- Riders with multiple horses (2 or more) – maximum of three people on venue (Rider plus two support)
- Owners will be allowed on site (maximum one owner per horse).
- During an event, social distancing protocols will be in place at all times. To facilitate this the following will be implemented;
- Lorry Parking – 10 metre space in between parked lorries and trailers.
- A ‘Just in Time’ policy which would give riders an arrival and exit time to ensure gathering restrictions are met.
- Warm Up of Phases – Working on the principle of a defined horse length between and around riders. A standard policy of time allowed in the warm up area for each phase may be set.
- There will be no onsite refreshments or trade stands.
- There will be no scoreboards or screens and all scores will be accessed on line either through BE Website or other Live
- Scoring platforms on mobile devices.
- There will be no formal prize giving, with any prize money paid by BACS.
Jude Matthews said in her statement “It should be remembered that we all have a responsibility to minimise risk – both of a further outbreak of infection, and to ourselves in terms of injury and therefore pressure on the NHS. As yet, the lifting of restrictions does not permit the restart of competition. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to work on a model for a ‘socially distanced’ sport, and we are working with our organisers to ensure that plans are viable and achievable. However, we all need to continue to be flexible and adapt our plans as further information and guidance is released by the government. The safety and welfare of our members and associates remains key, as does taking the necessary steps to protect the health of the nation