Following the UK Prime Minister's broadcast on Sunday 10 May, the Board of
British Equestrian has convened to discuss their position on riding and
training in the current coronavirus pandemic. Although the crisis remains at
stage four, according to the government's COVID Alert Levels, the spread of
the virus is under control and the peak has now passed. While there has
been no major relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the government did
announce some changes that enable us to review our advice for the equestrian
The recommendation to only ride or drive where strictly necessary was in
place to negate any extra burden on the medical and emergency services.
However, with the NHS now operating within capacity, the equestrian public
can exercise their own horses, or those in their care, as they require,
including hacking. This must be within any UK government guidelines,
including the restrictions on travel that remain in place in Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland. Social distancing must be observed at all times, as
should public health, hygiene and biosecurity requirements.
We continue to request that riders, drivers and vaulters consider the risk
of their activity, and to ride or exercise where it is safe to do so and
within their capabilities and fitness levels for them and their horse. Those
residing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should remain within the
boundaries of the premises where the horses are kept, where at all possible.
In addition, for riders in England only, the government's relaxation on
travel for exercise and call to return to work where you can't do so from
home, means that one-to-one training is also now permitted. Coaches can
travel to yards for individual face-to-face training in controlled outdoor
environments, while riders can also travel to have one-to-one lessons, as
long as social distancing is adhered to throughout.
Coaches, for both face-to-face and online training, must ensure that the
necessary measures, risk assessments and safeguarding provisions are put in
place, including checking insurance cover with their providers. They should
only ride a client's horse where any shared clothing, tack or equipment has
been appropriately disinfected and social distancing of two metres can be
maintained at all times.
Riders are now permitted to transport horses to a venue for an individual
lesson or facility hire outdoors. They may meet with one other from outside
their household, which may be a coach or other participant, all with the
proviso that the appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices are in
place. Those involved in travelling to or from a venue must all be from the
same household. Venues should conduct full risk assessments and ensure that
the required public health, hygiene and social distancing measures are
The British Equestrian Board and Chief Executive will continue to monitor
the situation closely, based on direction from the UK government to
strengthen lockdown or tighten travel restrictions, which could lead to a
revision in the position on riding and training in England. We will also
review any specific requirements across the devolved nations and work with
regional bodies to provide specific advice, as the respective governments in
each country may continue to enforce different restrictions.