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Covid Advice For Outings in the Trailer or Horsebox

Crucial breakdown advice has been shared with horse owners as covid restrictions ease.

Highways England has launched a campaign to help drivers feel safer as the nation moves out of lockdown, including what to do to do in an emergency if you are driving a horsebox or towing a trailer.

Last year, horseboxes were involved in 631 breakdowns on motorways operated by Highways England.

The key message of the new campaign is that if you get into trouble on the motorway, go left. If you are unable to exit the motorway at the next junction or service station, try to go left into an emergency area or hard shoulder.

“Safety is our top priority and we know that no one plans to break down but the unexpected does happen,” said Stuart Lovatt, Head of Strategic Road Safety for Highways England.

“We also know how important animals of all shapes and sizes are to their owners which is why it is important to know what to do in an emergency.

“By following simple safety advice, go left, we want all those travelling on the motorway to feel more in control and confident.”

What to do if you breakdown while transporting your horse

The advice to drivers who experience a problem with their vehicle is to leave the motorway if possible. But if that is not possible, Highways England recommends the following:

Go left

  • Put your left indicator on and move into an emergency area, onto a hard shoulder, motorway service area, left-hand verge or A-road lay-by.

  • Switch your hazard warning lights on, even during the day. If it’s dark, use sidelights and in poor visibility use fog lights as well.

  • On a motorway without a hard shoulder, it should be possible for most vehicles experiencing a problem to reach an emergency area. These are spaced regularly and are marked by a clearly visible orange road surface and blue signs featuring an orange SOS telephone symbol.

Get safe

  • If it is safe to do so, and you can get out with any passengers, exit your vehicle on the side furthest from traffic. If it is not safe to do so, stay in your vehicle and wait for help.

  • Keep well away from moving traffic and your own vehicle. Get behind a safety barrier where there is one, and where it is safe to do so. If you’re on a verge, be aware of any unseen hazards such as uneven ground or debris.

  • Never wait in your horsebox or trailer.

Get help

  • Contact Highways England on 0300 123 5000 and then a breakdown recovery provider.

  • If you are unable to exit your vehicle and get to a safe place, have stopped in a live traffic lane or feel your life is in danger, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelts and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.

Des Payne, Safety Team Leader at The British Horse Society, stressed that equestrians should never enter the horse compartment in the event of a breakdown on the motorway or major A-road.

“Don’t unload your horse unless the police or agencies have granted permission,” he said. “The safety of you, your horse and those in vehicles around you is paramount and therefore we strongly advise that all possible steps are taken to minimise the risk of a breakdown or incident occurring.

“It’s vitally important that thorough vehicle checks are carried out before every journey, regardless of how frequently you use your mode of equine transport.

“It’s also important that trailers are professionally serviced at least once a year, as like servicing a horsebox, ensuring all areas of the vehicle have been rigorously examined. Before towing, it’s crucial that all trailer components are fit for purpose.

“There are multiple checks that should be carried out on your mode transport and a detailed list of these can be found at bhs.org.uk/transporting-horses.

“The BHS also recommends that you take out quality breakdown cover specifically for equine recovery, otherwise a rescue, particularly from a motorway, has the potential to be very expensive.”

by Rachael Turner, Your Horse Magazine

Find out what’s inside the latest issue of Your Horse

Horse on a hack

Advice for Horse Owners & Livery Yards in England | Covid 19 Spring 2021 Response

The advice detailed below is applicable to ENGLAND only.
This advice and information is to help support horse owners and those who care for horses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

April 01 Update

We understand how frustrating the events of the past week have been for you all and how the uncertainty around the use of indoor schools has not helped with your plans to reopen your businesses from 29 March.

Behind the scenes, we have been continuously consulting with the relevant Government departments, the BHC and the BEF to establish the clarity which we need for indoor arenas to be used within the terms of the Covid Regulations. The Cabinet Office has taken the position of treating all sports in the same way, which as we know is illogical in respect to indoor buildings and this removes the exemptions we had all fought so hard to achieve.

Clearly, there are some restrictions for indoor schools in place, however, we can now see a path to these restrictions being lifted and there are a wide number of activities we can undertake in the days and weeks ahead.

As we move towards Steps 2 and 3 there are many positives for our sector which will hopefully support our return to near normal operation for the summer. Below we have added to the Cabinet Office Roadmap for equestrianism to highlight the activities which you can still offer. Please remember that all activities are subject to the necessary Covid risk assessments being in place and we always recommend that you check with your insurance provider or local authority for further clarification if required.

Please be assured, we are continuing to work hard to lobby the Government to bring forward the dates we can use indoor arenas without restriction.

*The Cabinet Office text is in black

*The BHS guidance is in red text

Step 1

From 29 March

1. Outdoor riding arenas are permitted to open from 29 March. People can use these venues in a group of up to six people, with people from the same household or support bubble, or in a group of any size from up to two households.

2. From 29 March, formally organised outdoor sport, including outdoor riding lessons, training and competitions, are also permitted. Such organised activities can include a larger number of participants, provided that appropriate steps are taken to make them COVID-Secure in line with the law. At this stage, these gatherings must only include participants, not spectators or the parents of participating children.

  • Outdoor lessons for children and adults can take place in riding schools, livery yards and British Riding Clubs and there is no restriction on group sizes for lessons. For lead rein lessons, there are no restrictions on the number of leaders/helpers permitted as these are considered to be part of the “workforce”
  • Coaches can coach adults and children outdoors with no restriction on group size
  • Outdoor competitions can resume.
  • The use of indoor arenas is restricted to one adult
  • For competitions, the “workforce” is not counted when observing restrictions on numbers

3. Indoor riding arenas remain closed until Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April). A place is classed as indoors if it would be considered to be enclosed, or substantially enclosed, for the purposes of section 2 of the Health Act 2006(a), under the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006(b). The smoke-free regulation’s definition can be found here. In practice, this means that we define indoors as a place that is considered to be enclosed or substantially enclosed for the purpose of the smoke-free regulations. A structure would likely be outdoors if more than 50% of the area of its walls are open.

  • An Indoor arena which has a minimum of 50% of its walls which are open to the outside elements can be classed as an outdoor facility and can be used without restriction
  • There are two exemptions in the Regulations which permit Children’s lessons to take place indoors: Indoor sports facilities can be used for children who were under 18 on 31 August 2020 and indoor sports facilities can be used where doing so will allow parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical attention or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can already attend these settings regardless of personal circumstances.
  • Individual adults can use an indoor arena where they are the owner or loaner of the horse and the horse is being exercised as part of its daily care to meet the welfare needs of the horse. For safety reasons this ridden exercise can also be supervised

4. However, the closure of indoor arenas does not prevent access to indoor arenas for training or competition by elite sportspeople, for the purpose of providing veterinary services in relation to any animals at the riding centre, or for the care or exercise of any animal by its owner at the riding centre. Employees of the riding centre may continue to access indoor arenas, including maintaining the property and care for or exercise the animals located on-site.

  • Horses can continue to be exercised in an indoor arena, individually by an adult, to provide the necessary care and exercise required by the horse
  • Children can ride in groups in indoor arenas

5. Horse hire to the general public for outdoor use can take place from 29 March, subject to social contact rules.

  • Riding schools can open to the public subject to the arena use restriction in point 2 above

6. Organised indoor horse riding for disabled people who are not elite sportspersons is permitted, where provided by a business, charity or public body and where the organiser takes the required precautions. The closure of indoor riding arenas does not prevent access to such venues for the purpose of fitness-related activity for persons with a disability.

  • Riding lessons and coaching can take place in an indoor school for disabled people

Step 2

No Earlier than 12 April

7. Use of outdoor arenas remains restricted to a group of up to six people, people from the same household or support bubble, or a group of any size from up to two households, unless as part of formally organised outdoor sports, subject to the conditions set out above.

  • All of the above in Step 1, and in addition:
  • Riding lessons, training and coaching are recognised as being formally organised which means that there is no restriction to group size, for adults and children.
  • Outdoor competitions can resume. The use of indoor arenas is restricted to one adult taking part in a competition for instance
  • For competitions the work force, including volunteers is not counted when observing restrictions on numbers


8.
 Indoor arenas are permitted to open for use as a single household or bubble indoors. Indoor activities such as group riding lessons that bring people together – even if they do not mix with other households – must not run until Step 3. Indoor activities are only permitted if there is an explicit exemption – relevant exemptions include activities that form part of the core curriculum of formal education or professional/work-related training/development, elite sports training or competition, or organised sports for children or for the disabled (with relevant gatherings permitted to include participants, not spectators or the parents of participating children).

  • Lessons for all children (under 18s), regardless of circumstance, can take place indoors in riding schools, livery yards and BRC, with no restriction on group size for lessons.
  • Coaches can coach children indoors with no restriction on group size for lessons
  • Individual adults can use an indoor arena where they are the owner or loaner of the horse and the horse is being exercised as part of its daily care to meet the welfare needs of the horse. For safety reasons this ridden exercise can also be supervised
  • A single household or bubble can ride together indoors but cannot mix with a coach
  • Children’s (U18) competitions can take place indoors subject to gathering restrictions which disallow spectators of attendance by parents. There are no restrictions on numbers of stewards, judges etc. as these are considered to be part of the “workforce”

There is an exception in place which allows indoor schools and classrooms to be used for Education and Training and the following activities are permitted:

  • BHS Career Pathway, training and assessments
  • Coaching Certificates (formally UKCC)
  • Apprenticeships
  • UCAS points assessments
  • CPD including First Aid and Safeguarding
  • CPD for Accredited coaches
  • Coach training including Ride Safe, Pony Stars, Challenge Awards
  • Assessor training

Step 3 

No Earlier than 17 May

9. The intention at Step 3 (no earlier than 17th May) is that riding arenas must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors; or in a group of no more than 30 people outdoors, unless an exemption is in place.

Further details will follow, however the initial interpretation is that:

  • Organised outdoor sport can take place without restriction on numbers of participants
  • Organised indoor sport will be subject to restriction on numbers
  • Spectators can return to events within the restriction on numbers

See also:

Update for England from 29 March – Group Sizes

Sport England have confirmed that where outdoor sport is an organised activity, there are no limits on group sizes when outdoor sport can resume on 29 March. Organised outdoor sport and physical activity must be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity and follow sport specific guidance where appropriate. This means that there are no restrictions on group sizes for riding school lessons, BRC training sessions or coaching. The full Sport England FAQs can be found here:

Frequently asked questions on the national coronavirus restrictions | Sport England

Covid 19 Response – Spring 2021

The Government in England have announced a four step plan to ease the lockdown and we have interpreted the guidance of the Covid 19 Response – Spring 2021 for riding schools, livery yards and coaches. With the exception of riding schools which also operate as an FE College the current restrictions do remain in force until 29 March. From 29 March riding schools can open again for lessons. The table below details the easements which come into effect at each of the four steps. Further updates and changes will be added to the website when they become available.

Covid measures are still required for all activities and further details can be found here:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Full details of the Spring 2021 response can be found here:

COVID-19 RESPONSE − SPRING 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

National lockdown measures in force until 29 March can be found here:

National lockdown: Stay at Home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Note 1. Out of School Settings

Where businesses have been listed as having to close in the National Lockdown measures they are unable to offer out of school provision. Riding Schools are listed as businesses which must remain closed until 29 March National lockdown: Stay at Home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Covid 19 Response – Spring 2021 states that:

The government’s intention is then for out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers to be able offer provision as normal, to all children, from the start of the school summer term. This will be no earlier than 12 April, and will be confirmed as part of step 2 of the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021.

*The guidance below remains in place until 8 March 2021*

 

Follow the NHS & Government advice

We must all be vigilant to maintain our social distancing with people outside of your household/support bubble.

Ensure you have sufficient hand washing facilities. After using shared yard equipment, such as wheelbarrows or the hose, wash your hands. All shared equipment will need to be disinfected.

Useful websites:

Travel to the yard

Horse welfare is critical and travel to the yard is essential for owners, loaners and sharers. Exercise forms part of the care plan for your horse to maintain health and wellbeing.  If your horse is kept on a livery yard, there may be rotas introduced or you may have the option of buddying up with another horse owner, for example, one person attends in the morning and the other in the evening. Where this is an option, this will help to reduce the number of people attending the yard.

There is no requirement for owners to have documentation to travel, such as having their horse’s passport to prove they are travelling to visit their horse.

Am I allowed to transport my horse?

updated 20/01/21
Transporting horses for welfare reasons or a veterinary emergency would be classed as essential travel.

Travel for the purpose of collecting purchased horses is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home, but may be permissible where reasonably required for the animal’s welfare. This will be dependent on the relevant circumstances, including if the collection cannot wait until lockdown has ended. If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

Wherever possible the exercise of your horse should start and finish at the premises where the horse is kept. Horses should not be transported for lessons and coaching. If your horse needs to be exercised for welfare reasons and there is absolutely no other safe place to ride where you keep your horse you may transport your horse to access safe hacking. The decision on whether it is deemed essential to transport the horse remains with the owner or loaner of the horse. If the transporting of a horse is undertaken then you will need to justify the essential travel reasons if stopped by the authorities. Transporting of horses for recreational reasons e.g. to meet with a friend or for a change of scenery is not considered essential.

Livery/Shared Private Yards – Being Prepared

If you are ill or have to self-isolate, you should not travel to attend to your horse. Therefore, it is important for yards to have contingency plans prepared in the event that horse owners or staff won’t be able to attend the yard due to self-isolation or illness.

If horse owners are planning to go abroad, it is essential to make provisional plans in case the Government advises that self-isolation is required for those returning from specified countries or those with transit stops in specific countries. Therefore, it is important horse owners ensure there is an additional 14 days care cover plan in place in case Government make changes to the list of countries with no self-isolation requirements.

It is important that everyone on the yard, complies with the social distancing rules and guidelines set by the yard manager to protect all staff and clients. It is vital that yard owners or managers and their clients continue to talk with each other and consult on any proposed changes.

  • Rotas are an option to ensure social distancing between clients and staff or yard owners. You should still avoid coming into close contact with others in tack rooms, kitchens and offices etc.
  • Livery yards do not need to close to their clients, regardless of the livery package that is offered. Horse owners, loaners and sharers can still attend the yard to exercise and care for their horse. Yard owners should review their Covid-19 risk assessments.
  • If you are struggling to pay for your livery package, speak to your yard owner at the earliest opportunity. There may be options available to change your livery package or to set up a payment plan.
  • If you have a professional attending the yard, for example a farrier or vet, ensure you notify your yard manager.

If you are a BHS Approved Centre, please contact the Approvals Team on approvals@bhs.org.uk or 02476 840509 if you need any advice.

Buddy up

Having someone to buddy up with on your yard to ensure that, in the event that should you become ill or have to self-isolate, the care of your horse is provided for.

Check that your buddy / buddies are covered by insurance if handling or riding your horse. If they are a Gold member of the BHS, they will be covered by our public liability insurance* (*terms and conditions apply).

We still recommend that your buddy attends the yard at different times to you so that you isolate from each other and reduce the risk of you both being ill or have to self isolate at the same time.

Write a care and emergency plan for your horse 

Due to the different scenarios where you would be required to self-isolate, it is better to be prepared and have a plan in place to ensure the care of your horse(s) in advance, rather than in a panic if you are not able to attend the yard.

Write down your horse’s current routine and if any changes are made, ensure your buddy or yard owner are notified. If your equipment is locked away, ensure your buddy or yard manager has a spare key or knows the combination codes to locks. Include details of your farrier and vet and how to contact them.
The BHS has produced a template care plan that can be used for the individual requirements of your horse. As this is a template, there may be additional information that you’d like to add for your circumstances.

Ensure your Yard Manager and / or buddy know what to do in the event of an emergency for your horse. This is good routine practice to have in place, in the event that if you are uncontactable, and a serious decision needs to be made for your horse such as referral to an equine hospital for potential colic surgery.

Download our Covid-19 care plan template.

Can I ride/drive my horse?

Yes, you can still ride, drive and exercise your horse. To help ease the pressure on the NHS consider the type of activity you are doing and ensure you remain within your and your horse’s capabilities. All organised activities and competitions are not permitted.

If horses are on a shared agreement, individuals can between them, continue to care for and ride the horse but with additional precautionary measures. As the equipment is likely to be shared between individuals from different households, this will need to be cleaned when used. It is advised that gloves are worn wherever possible especially when using shared equipment.

Hacking

You are allowed to hack out on your horse. All rights of way remain open. When hacking out you can do so with people you live with, your support bubble or with one person from another household.

If you are in the same household / support bubble then you can ride out altogether.

Be aware that some routes may be busier than normal, so be mindful of other people including walkers and cyclists.

Wherever possible the exercise of your horse should start and finish at the premises where the horse is kept. Horses should not be transported for lessons and coaching. If your horse needs to be exercised for welfare reasons and there is absolutely no other safe place to ride where you keep your horse you may transport your horse to access safe hacking. The decision on whether it is deemed essential to transport the horse remains with the owner or loaner of the horse. If the transporting of a horse is undertaken then you will need to justify the essential travel reasons if stopped by the authorities. Transporting of horses for recreational reasons e.g. to meet with a friend or for a change of scenery is not considered essential.

Hiring Arenas

Arena hire is not permitted, however arenas can be used for exercising horses which are stabled at the livery yard.

 

Can I have a riding lesson on my horse at the livery yard?

Yes, on a 1 to 1 basis, a lesson can take place on the yard where you keep your horse.

Guidance for Coaches

Yes, the Government guidance states that you can travel to work where you cannot work from home, but the overarching message of the lockdown is to stay at home. We advise that Coaches should:

  • Travel to work where they are unable to work from home
  • Read the Government guidance and assess whether face to face coaching is a necessity
  • Only undertake1 to 1 instruction at the location where the horse is kept. Arena or facility hire is not permitted
  • Where a coach has their own facility they should only coach clients where the horse lives on site. Clients and horses should not be travelling for lessons
  • At all times ensure COVID secure practices are observed
  • Check with their insurance provider before undertaking any activities
  • For APC’s insured through SEIB, it has been confirmed insurance will remain valid as long the coach as you abide by all government guidance

Viewing, buying and selling horses

updated 20/01/21
If you are a private individual (i.e. not acting in the course of business):

  • You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse.
  • Travel for the purpose of collecting purchased horses is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home, but may be permissible where reasonably required for the animal’s welfare. This will be dependent on the relevant circumstances, including if the collection cannot wait until lockdown has ended. If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.
  • In cases where the collection of the horse is necessary for welfare reasons, buyers should make the necessary arrangements; this might include using a licensed transporter to collect and deliver the animal, or if necessary, collecting it yourself. Covid-secure guidelines must be fully implemented when collecting purchased horses for transportation.
  • It is not a reasonable excuse to leave your home for the purpose of viewing or visiting a horse that you might/intend to buy.

If you are viewing or purchasing a horse in relation to your work/business

  • Those buying or selling horses as part of their work may travel where reasonably required. If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

Advice for Road Users

The Government has issued travel guidance advice. This gives important considerations when traveling in all circumstances. As many horse riders are drivers, this advice is useful to know, especially when you are considering travelling with you horse.

Governments travel guidance

Insurance

Your BHS membership liability insurance is valid during the Covid 19 outbreak. If you are not insured with the BHS, it is advisable to check if there are any restrictions with your insurance provider.

Animals and Covid-19

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), has advised that the current spread of Covid-19 is being sustained through human-to-human transmission. There have been reports of animals being affected by the virus for example, n July 2020, Covid-19 was confirmed in a pet cat in the UK. Currently there have been no reports involving horses. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.  It is advised that people continue to wash their hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

Keep up to date with your veterinary practice

Many veterinary practices are posting on their Facebook page and website, their practice’s current policies regarding Coronavirus and visiting yards. If your horse needs a vet and you are self-isolating or ill, do not attend in order to help protect the health of their staff. Many practices may be able to bring an additional practice staff member to hold your horse if no one is available at the yard.

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has published horse health guidance videos to help support horse owners during the Covid-19 outbreak. The videos cover a wide range of subjects and are available to view here.

Individual veterinary practices and vets will complete their own risk assessments for all types of procedures. Ultimately, it is their judgement to decide if a procedure can be undertaken safely, which your vet will discuss with you. It is vital that horse owners ensure that social distancing is adhered to at all times and follow the guidance of their vet if a visit takes place. If you have a nervous or fractious horse: if they are needle-shy, for example, it is important that social distancing isn’t compromised.  To prepare your horse for procedures and help improve the safety of the handler and your vet, BEVA have produced a series of ‘Don’t break your vet!’ videos.

Additional information is available from:

Routine Procedures and Vaccinations

Veterinary organisations have issued guidance to veterinary practices. Unlike the first lockdown, vets are not restricted to emergency work only. Vet practices are advised to assess what is essential for animal health and welfare at this current time or if it could be delayed until after the lockdown has ended.

Further information is available from:

British Equine Veterinary Association
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

 

Farrier visits

Your farrier is best placed to discuss your next visit in relation to the specific, individual requirements of your horse.

Further details are available from:

Medication

If your horse is on prescribed medication, ensure you have sufficient supplies in stock. If you have any concerns, contact your vet practice.

Equine Physiotherapy

Equine therapist member bodies are advising and updating their members accordingly. It is important to liaise with your horse’s physiotherapist to discuss their current protocols.

Saddle and Bridle Fitting

The Society of Master Saddlers has advised its members that those continuing to work must do so safely, with adequate measures in place and following any official regional regulations and guidelines. In addition to comprehensive guidance for its members, Client Advisory Notes have been issued and are available to view here.

Horse Indoor Arena

BEF and BHS Issue Statement Relating to Indoor Arena Use

The BEF (British Equestrian) and BHS (British Horse Society) have issued an updated statement regarding the use of indoor arenas in England following communication conflict regarding government guidelines.


After nearly a week of discussions, British Equestrian had confirmation on Wednesday 30 March from the Cabinet Office, via the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), that the use indoor arenas in England remains restricted under the most recent legislation.

British Equestrian

In a campaign lead by British Equestrian, the British Horse Society, the Pony Club and the Olympic governing bodies, clarification was requested following a change in legislation, released on Friday 26 March, which ordered indoor riding arenas to remain closed except for some exceptions.

Our previous agreement with government that equestrian indoor venues would be classified as outdoors due to their agricultural and airy nature no long applies. This is because the classification of what makes a venue ‘indoors’ has been now been determined using section 2 of the Health Act 2006, which relates to smoke-free regulations.

Defra has provided a roadmap in line with the step-by-step process that’s been outlined by the government for the use of indoor schools/arenas in England, which outlines:

  • An indoor structure is classed as a place that is considered to be enclosed, or substantially enclosed for the purpose of smoke-free regulations – detail provided in the Defra roadmap.
  • A structure would likely be classed as outdoors if more than 50% of the area of its walls are open. Further details as to what constitutes an outdoor structure can be found in the smoke-free regulations.

 

Step 1 – from 29 March

  • An indoor riding arena may be used for the following exceptions:
    • Elite sports people – this is largely restricted to athletes on the World Class Programme at P1 and P2 level
    • An owner of an animal kept at a riding centre
    • Employees of a riding centre in order to care for and exercise horses or provide veterinary services
    • Organised sport and leisure activity for disabled people and children as part of their care is permitted indoors
    • Activities that form part of the core curriculum of formal education or professional/work-related training/development
  • Outside the above exceptions, indoor riding arenas must remain closed until Step 2, which will be no earlier than 12 April.

Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April

  • Under Step 2, indoor arenas will be allowed to open for use as a single household or bubble. There should be no mixing of households until at least Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May). The above exceptions will still apply.

Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May

  • At Step 3, the intention is that indoor arenas may be used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – a group of six people or two households.

This is Defra’s current confirmed position and we ask the equestrian sector to operate in line with the above at this time.

Collectively, we will continue to make the strong case for the use of equestrian indoor riding arenas with government in a bid to get agreement on their use at an earlier stage. We have support from a number of MPs and Whitehall staff, plus Sport England, who have worked strongly on our behalf. We thank our member bodies for their support and input this week and, with the support of the British Horse Council, we will not let this situation rest.

Iain Graham, British Equestrian Chief Executive said;

By working together and presenting a united case, we put forward as strong argument. However, the position remains that indoor arenas are to stay closed on the whole. We all share the disappointment and frustration that we know a number of venues, proprietors and the equine community will be feeling. However, we will continue the campaign on everyone’s behalf, with the support of Sport England, in a bid to get indoor riding facilities fully open within the government’s stage 2 timeframe which we hope will be 12 April.”