The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has given the green light for the team sports of mounted games and polocrosse to resume, following their approval of plans submitted by British Equestrian.
Equestrian team sports were halted in March of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 10 July 2020, DCMS released the Return to Recreational Sport Framework, which contained guidance designed to minimise the transmission risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus) during team sports and to enable participants to make informed decisions about their own risk. Using this framework, British Equestrian has worked with the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, the United Kingdom Polocrosse Association and The Pony Club to produce bespoke action plans and risk assessments for mounted games and polocrosse.
Each risk assessment identifies ways to lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to reduce the number of people in the vicinity of the field of play. This then allows event organisers to make modifications to the activity or rules of the sports as required.
A Return to Equestrian Team Sports Action Plan has also been produced by British Equestrian and the member bodies, which details a standard approach to the management of events in England, including team training sessions and competitions, for equestrian team sports. This action plan will sit alongside DCMS’s Return to Recreational Sport Framework, which must also be implemented by organisers, and government social distancing guidelines.
“It’s great news that these sports have been given the go-ahead to resume,” commented British Equestrian’s Head of Participation, David Butler. “We are very grateful for DCMS’s decision, and I’d like to thank our member bodies for the hard work they put into preparing these action plans and risk assessments. Participants, officials, volunteers and other stakeholders can now return to the sports they love, happy in the knowledge that everything possible has been done to keep them safe.”
An application for horseball to resume, compiled by British Equestrian and The British Horseball Association, is currently in production.
The Return to Equestrian Team Sports Action Plan and the sport-specific action plans and risk assessments are available here.