Whilst it is very positive that clubs and areas are planning to return to competitions and a number of events have already run successfully I do feel the Area Committee should agree a Resumption policy in respect of refunds and covering host club losses in the event of lockdown or reduced entries.
Looking at the proposed schedule of events in the run up to Christmas there is a higher risk that they may be cancelled either through lack of entries or local/national lockdown being introduced.
With this in mind I think it only right that the Area Committee and clubs should be aware of this.
Points to Consider:
If a local lockdown stops a section of members from being able to travel to qualifier should they receive a full or part refund. Yes/No?
If venue is within lockdown area should entry fees be refunded. Yes/No?
If host club/Area makes a loss by running or having to cancel will Area funds be used to compensate for loss or will that fall to individual clubs Yes/No?
Whilst organised 'Covid Secure' sports events run under a National Governing Body (BRC/BHS Qualify by being members of British Equestrian Federation) Sports Resumption planning are able to run it is still subject to on going local/national restrictions that can and will change as we progress into the winter months.
Are we confident all the Covid Secure measures are being planned for by host clubs and can we as an area provide additional assistance to help them achieve this. Yes/No?
Should the Area Committee agree a Resumption Fund from existing area funds and once this is used or hopefully added to, should additional funding be released taking into account future planning for Area Management of Qualifiers. Yes/No?
My motive for raising this matter is not to be negative about running but to ensure we run in line with regulations and guidelines and that the financial implications of this are fully understood and risk managed to ensure that when we do return to happier times, that we are in a strong financial position to rebuild with potentially fewer members and an increase in general costs as the Country recovers.
British Riding Clubs Update
Summary of COVID-19 Restrictions in each Nation
(Updates appear underlined)
The following table shows BRC’s current interpretation of the most recent government guidance and is subject to change, as and when government advice is updated.
Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey
These guidelines must be read in collaboration with your own government guidance at the time. This may alter some of the guidance, i.e. numbers allowed to meet in groups or distance for permitted travel.
Local Lockdowns / Restrictions
With local lockdowns increasing across the country, please note that no BRC activities are permitted within a local lockdown area where sporting activities are prohibited, or where travel restrictions are in place, until these are lifted by the government. If local restrictions prevent people from entering or leaving an area without a reasonable need, then leisure and sporting activities are not usually permitted. Please ensure you check your local council restrictions carefully and follow them accordingly. Organisers have a responsibility to not accept entries from members who live in areas with mandatory travel restrictions. However, it remains the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they check the latest situation in the area they are living in, or travelling to, and ensure that they comply with all requirements.
In England, information on areas with additional restrictions can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19 The new three tier system effects BRC activities as follows:
Areas in Tier 1 / Medium Risk = No effect on organised sporting activities
Areas in Tier 2 / High Risk = No effect on organised sporting activities (indoor schools are classed as covered arenas, not indoor facilities)
Areas in Tier 3 / Very High Risk = No-one should be travelling in or out of these areas for competitive or training activities as they are considered non-essential. Some areas may also have travel restrictions within the area, so this must be checked on an area-by-area basis.
To check which Tier a location is in, you can use this post code checker: https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions
In Scotland, information on areas with additional restrictions can be found here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/ and generally include no non-essential travel in or out of the area. Under these circumstances, BRC activities would not be classed as essential travel. Some areas may also have travel restrictions within the area, so this must be checked on an area-by-area basis.
In Wales, further information can be found here regarding the lockdown being imposed from 18:00 Friday 23 October until Monday 9 November: https://gov.wales/national-coronavirus-fire-break-to-be-introduced-in-wales-on-friday This prevents any BRC activities from taking place during this time, unless they are held virtually. See the below table for details.
In Northern Ireland, further information can be found here regarding the lockdown being imposed from Friday 16 October until Friday 13 November: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2020/224/contents/made. This generally prevents any indoor BRC activities from taking place and limits outdoor activities to groups of 15. See the below table for details.
First Aid Qualifications
In line with a recent HS announcement, the deadline for requalifying if you have a volunteer first aider with either an Emergency First Aid or First Aid at Work certificate, has been extended. For all BRC activities, these certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or 6 months from the date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021. For more information, please see https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/first-aid-and-medicals/first-aid-certificate-coronavirus.htm?utm_source=Communigator&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NL300920G&utm_content=#qualifications
Explanatory Tables in next Section
Please note, while this guidance is current at the point of publication, it may quickly be superseded following further government updates, or changes to the situation.
Q. What should I do if my horse is due a vaccination in the next few months and will any lapse of vaccinations affect me entering BRC events later in the year?
A. During this unprecedented time it is really important to follow the advice given by your vet. In respect of future BRC qualifiers and Championships, please rest assured that we will be understanding of any issues with regard to six monthly boosters not being given and 12 month boosters that may have been given later than they should have been due to vets cancelling routine appointments at this time. We will issue a further clarity as the situation develops.
Q. Can my riding club organise training or other activities that are non-competitive and will we be covered by the BRC insurance policy?
A. No. BRC have issued guidance stating that all BRC organised activities should cease with immediate effect until 30 June. If you were to run your BRC insurance could be compromised. The reason behind this is that in accordance with the government's advice, organised sports activities are non-essential. Therefore, we should be reducing travel and social interaction for non-essential activities and not adding extra pressure on the emergency services, should an accident occur.
Q. We have a committee meeting or AGM coming up. How can we go ahead with these?
If these can be managed virtually, then they could still go ahead. There are a number of online platforms that can be used for virtual meetings. These include:
• Microsoft Teams
• Go To Meeting
• Cisco Webex
• Google Hangouts
• House Party
If it is not possible to get enough participants to run these virtually, then the planned meeting / AGM should be postponed until later in the year. Remember to communicate this to all members, so that they are fully aware.
Q. Our club owns premises. Can individuals still hire the arena and use the facilities, one at a time?
A. No. Any type of sports ground falls under the government category of ‘assembly and leisure premises’, and so now must remain closed.
Q, Can I continue to travel to care for my horse?
Horse welfare is critical and grooms or the sole carer for a horse should travel to provide care for horses. Where horses are kept in livery, the BHS advises that horse owners respect the protocol put in place by the yard owner or manager and work as a team to agree a care plan for your horse(s).
Q. Can I continue to ride my own horse?
We are getting a lot of questions in relation to riding your horse, for which there are no specific government guidelines at present. We advise that it is not appropriate to put unnecessary pressure on the emergency services and everyone should make their own individual decision as to whether riding is necessary at this time.
Q, Can I continue to visit my instructor or have an instructor visit my yard to continue with my lessons?
The BHS advises that in line with government advice, no unnecessary travel takes place during this time. That would include travelling your horse for a lesson, or having an instructor come to you for this purpose.
Q. Can my farrier still attend to my horse?
A. The British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association have advised their members, “Farriers provide a vital role in maintaining the welfare of many equines. It is our understanding that you may travel to work but please carefully consider if this is essential. Please adhere to the highest levels of biosecurity and be seen to be adhering to them. We encourage you all to consider very carefully your movements and what you class as being essential.”
Q. Is my horse at risk from COVID-19?
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) the current spread of Covid-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission, and, to date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.
Q. Does my club have insurance for the events we have had to cancel where costs have already been incurred?
A. You would only have insurance for your events if this is something that your club has arranged independently. Abandonment cover is costly, and BRC do insure some of the larger Championships, but this would not include your club activities. Also, abandonment cover is usually just for cancellation due to bad weather, and it does not cover cancelling because of disease.
Q. We had a venue booked for an event and had paid the deposit. They are not willing to give the deposit back. Is there anything we can do?
A. Do you have a contract with the venue which detailed cancellation costs? Sometimes, this would state a fee such as 50% to be paid if the event did not go ahead. It would certainly be a good idea to try to negotiate with the venue - perhaps they could keep a credit note for you to use in the future. We all need to try and work together to keep all our organisations going.
Q. What can we do instead to keep the momentum of the club going?
A. We would encourage committees to still meet virtually if possible. Keep planning for events after the 30 June as we would expect uptake to be high. Perhaps you could do a virtual quiz for members or judge some photo competitions or virtual awards. Take the time to write about your club and some recent activities and send that to us for publication in Rider. You could also think about taking some BHS Challenge Awards, members could use their time away from
competition to study for the awards. Encourage teams to set up WhatsApp groups, you can discuss training tips and generally cheer each other up!
Q. I am struggling to continue to care for my horse due to the current situation. What can I do?
The health and welfare of your horse is your priority. If you have any concerns please contact your vet, yard manager or the BHS and we will do our best to assist you. You can contact us via telephone on 02476 840517 (calls may be recorded for monitoring purposes) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What can I be doing to help minimise risk of spreading the Coronavirus?
Whilst use of antibacterial products on all equipment may help maintain cleanliness and support biosecurity, not all products will specifically combat spread of Coronavirus. Continue to follow recommended approaches such as below
• Wash your hands more often than usual. Wash for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or with your sleeve if you don't have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Immediately wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel
• Be prepared to self-isolate – plan how it will impact on your day-to-day requirements
• Plan ahead for your situation, which might include alternative care for your horse if you need to self-isolate
• Use health services wisely
• Stay up-to-date with trusted sources of information such as https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Q. Where can I find further information and support?
A. The BHS has further guidelines available here: https://www.bhs.org.uk/advice-and-information/coronavirus-covid-19
You will find advice for the following groups:
• Horse owners
• Yards, centres and schools
• Business owners
There is also a useful article on commonly asked questions on Horse & Hound here: https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/coronavirus-horse-riding-equestrian-businesses-grooms-riders-710146
Welcome to the British Riding Clubs- Area 20 Website.
Britain is divided into 23 Areas for the purposes of BRC administration, with 440 Clubs & approx 34.000 members, extending from the Orkneys to the Channel Islands & Northern Ireland.
Area 20 covers North Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire &much of Staffordshire. There are 23 affiliated clubs & Centres with a total membership of Approx 2,000.
The Area committee consists of a Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer. The Area 20 Liaison committee holds meetings 3 to 4 times per year, attended by representatives of the affiliated Clubs, and supported by the Area Representative, to co-ordinate Area activities throughout the year. This includes the organisation of Qualifiers, provision of Subsidised Training to affiliated Clubs, by use of the Area training grant which the Area receives every year.
Although all Clubs affiliated to BRC are autonomous, the Area committee can provide support where problems occur within the Club structure.
There is a considerable amount of Safety & Administrative legislation these days, the Area disseminates information and advice from BRC HQ.
To find an Area 20 club in your vicinity, on the 'your local club' page, click on the link for details of who to contact, or use the ‘Contact us’ page, to seek advice from the Area.
Riding clubs cater for riders and horses of all abilities and experience. Whether you have a new young horse that needs to learn its job or an experienced horse that needs to be re-schooled or enjoy new experiences, your local riding club can provide the opportunities you seek.
For you, the rider, your riding club provides ready access to experienced and skilled local instructors and to national trainers at highly competitive rates. In addition you will find a ready welcome from a new group of friends and acquaintances with interests in common and access to people with the experience and skills to help you.
In addition to their own training clinics and workshops, riding clubs also have access to a national network of training and development opportunities provided by British Riding Clubs. Your membership of an affiliated club ensures that you have access to insurance, discounts and a whole host of other benefits. Why not join?
British Riding Clubs (BRC) exists to provide support and encouragement to amateur riders of all levels – from the dedicated competitor to the happy hacker.