07 Nov 2020

Lockdown #2 Update 7th November

Updated BE Guidance:  https://www.britishequestrian.org.uk/news/covid-19-england-lockdown-travel-in-scotland-and-post-firebreak-advice-for-wales

The clarification on how the lockdown legislation is interpreted in the context of riding continues, with British Equestrian representing the combined views of the member bodies.  Further clarification was received last night from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and where this changes the ABRS’ Lockdown 2 Q&As, these are highlighted in RED.  British Equestrian are still seeking further clarity from Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) regarding some possible equine welfare issues within the guidance and this is likely to lead to further guidance being published in the coming week.  While we all would like total clarity, there will remain areas of ambiguity; riding establishments will need to interpret the rules and guidance in the context of their specific circumstances.  Members can contact the ABRS office for advice.

  • Q: Do I have to close my riding school or livery yard?
  • A: No, the legislation did not include the mandatory closure of riding schools or livery yards, Riding centres and schools may remain open and deliver formal training and education but owners need to comply with the overarching legislation associated with how people can meet and interact outdoors.
  • Q: Does that mean I can still provide lessons?
  • A: Yes, but there are restrictions.  The legislation allows for coaching on a one-to-one basis, and for riding centres and schools to deliver formal training and education.  Formal training comprises courses such as the CIEC, BTEC etc.  Education could include where a school regularly books a riding as part of their curriculum.
  • Q: Can my livery clients come to the yard?
  • A: Yes, clients can travel from their homes to provide care for and to exercise their horse(s) but journeys should be as short and infrequent as possible
  • Q: Can my clients ride their horses?
  • A: Yes, outdoor exercise (individual or with members of their household (own or linked), or one other person who is not a member of their household) is permitted in a public outdoor place.  This should be done for exercise purposes only (horse welfare) and ideally start and end at the yard where the horse is kept.

Note:  we are trying to seek clarity on what is a ‘public outdoor place’.

  • Q: Is hacking allowed?
  • A: Yes
  • Q: Can horses be boxed and travel for exercise?
  • A: Yes, to a public outdoor place such a park, forest or beach for exercise (where horses are permitted) but journeys should be as short and infrequent as possible
  • Q: Can I use my Arena?
  • A: Yes, subject to social distancing and number restrictions.   Clients may box and travel their horse(s) a short distance to use a private arena for exercise purposes.
  • Q: Are visits by vets, equine dentists and physiotherapists permitted?
  • A: Yes, subject to social distancing.
  • Q: Are competitions and organised training permitted?
  • A: No, All competition and organised training has been suspended by British Equestrian.
  • Q: Can I hire equestrian facilities?
  • A: No, you may not travel to a venue and pay to ride on the premises (arenas, farm tracks, gallops, jumps, cross country schooling, etc.).  Venues which normally offer this service should suspend hire.
  • Q: Can I still coach?
  • A: Yes, Coaches may continue to operate.  Sessions should be delivered on a one-to-one basis.  There are no limits on the number of sessions a coach may provide each day.