Updated ABRS statement regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, issued 20/03/2020.

Posted on 20th March 2020

On 18/03/2020 the BEF released an updated statement which states, “As the umbrella national governing body in Great Britain, the British Equestrian Federation continues to support its member bodies as they implement decisions based on this latest government advice, in addition to working to safeguard the health and wellbeing of stakeholders and staff in this public health emergency.

As a Federation, we are advising the cessation of all organised equine activity in a bid to support the government recommendations. We have a role to play in helping with the management and control of the coronavirus in the interests of public health, but also to negate any calls on our health and emergency services.”

As this statement was conflicting to other Member Bodies, we asked the BEF for clarity who said, “The BEF’s stance is that we are advising the cessation of all organised equine activity to support current Government recommendations, which includes riding lessons, clinics and going to riding centres because these are not considered essential travel. However, we want people to enjoy time with their horses – getting outside for some fresh air and staying active is encouraged as long as social distancing and the Public Health England hygiene and wellbeing advice is followed. This is aimed at those who own their own horses and must travel in order to care for them.

“We appreciate that this advice will have significant impact on the industry, and we can’t control what people personally choose to do or impose restrictions, but the BEF must be seen to be supporting what the Government are advising. We’ll continue to monitor, follow and promote their messaging, and the plan is to publish further updates for the sector in the next few days.”

As a member body of the BEF we support their recommendations, and as advice is changing on a daily basis we trust that our centres will act appropriately.

We met, and are in dialogue with, our local MP to try and secure these rate relief and grants for riding centres. Additionally we are trying to secure employment relief.

If successful this would mean that riding centres will receive up to 100% business rates relief for 2020/21. Additionally these businesses with a rateable value of between £15000 and £51000 will be provided with a grant of £25000.

Those businesses who get small business rate relief may be awarded a grant of £10,000.

We are working hard in your interests. If we have any success we will update you with news of this as soon as we can.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance have issued some FAQ’s on COVID-19 business relief and funding for businesses impacted by the outbreak.

Read more on the help and relief available here.


Other useful information

NHS Guide to Coronavirus.

Moral and Legal Obligations as an Employer (from the Equestrian Employers Association).

Advice for Employers on Paying Staff and Reducing Hours (from the Equestrian Employers Association).

BEF Official statement.

BHS Help for Schools.

HMRC Coronavirus helpline 0800 0159 559

The Government advice page for businesses is currently being updated at 2pm each day and can be found here.

We are here to support you at this challenging time and will continue to keep you updated via our website, on Facebook and via email.


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