COVID-19 Information in conjunction with Horse Sport Ireland

Bio-secure Protocol for ECVOA Centres on  Schooling, Training and Show days.

All riders attending will be asked to confirm that they and their staff have read these protocols and will fully  co-operate with the Covid 19 Compliance Officer on site.

Attendees are required to bring their own supply of anti Covid 19 disinfectant materials for their personal use.

General

The Equestrian sector is aware of the major public health threat posed by the Covid 19 pandemic and the importance of the measures we must take to reduce transmission of the virus.

We realise that Ireland may have to live with this virus for many months, or longer, and there will have to be a new norm for doing business and for social interactions. We realise that person to person transmission through close contact, and environmental contamination with viral laden droplets, are the main contributing factors to viral transmission. We think our sport is amenable to physical separation and this, coupled with environmental sanitation and good hygiene, should enable us reduce the likelihood of transmissions. Equestrian sport lends itself to complying with the necessary physical separation to prevent viral transmission.

In reopening our Equestrian Venues we are introducing protocols for venues across Ireland in a phased manner and all will be adhering to Government guidelines. We have introduced additional measures, unique to equestrian sport, for your safety.

Please watch the short accompanying video to familiarise your party with these protocols.

Phase 1 – May 18th.  Centres propose to re-open, subject to Government permission.

Bookings will open for arena hire, subject to a maximum of 4 participants.

  • Private Schooling slots on-line with venues directly.
  • Private training slots for coaches and riders to book on-line directly with venues.
  • No catering services.

Phase 2 – June 8th

Bookings will be open as above for private schooling with the addition of

  • Organised Schooling days adhering to protocols on numbers.
  •  Catering services  – take out only.

Phase 3 – June 29th

Bookings will open as above for private schooling and schooling days with the addition of

  • Organised venue training shows or leagues, with the possibility for Affiliated events, all behind closed doors.  Numbers to be restricted to guidelines published at the time by Government. These may include all disciplines, and catering with restrictions outlined below such as takeaway only.  No spectators or additional family members except riders, drivers, grooms etc.

Phase 4 – July 20th

All above activities with addition of

  • Possibility of National events in conjunction with all disciplines and affiliates as venues wish to host.

Phase 5 – Aug 10th

All above activities with the addition of

  • Full calendar activities within the new normality including stabling and catering functioning with full access. Spectators within guidelines of social distancing until further notice.

Should any phased dates be adjusted by Government, our timeline will be amended in accordance with these changes.

Advance Bookings will now be compulsory for all Equestrian Activities at Centres

ECVOA Protocols

ENTRY TO VENUES

At the time of entry any person displaying symptoms associated with Covid-19 (Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath or Breathing Difficulties), people who have been in close contact of a confirmed case, people who are considered in a high-risk group, or those caring for somebody in a vulnerable category  should not attend.

The new norm will involve greater segregation and physical separation than heretofore. As a result, as phases allow, events may have to be smaller and, to maintain separation, may have to run slower.

Infrastructural changes will be provided to toilets, walk ways, carparks, seating areas etc to ensure physical separation is possible but also simple to comply with.

There will be no tolerance of non compliance and everyone will receive instructions with their entry to inform them of what will be required of them.

Any individual found in breach of the guidelines will be asked to leave and will be barred from participation at future events.

The following protocols have been developed in order to safeguard the health of our attendees and staff, to minimise the amount of time the attendees spend at any equestrian venue and to ensure that minimal contact between attendees at equestrian venues during schooling, training or competition days is achieved, consistent with Department of Health, HSE and other Government guidelines.

  1. Sanctions. PHASE 1 onwards
    1. Should attendees refuse to co-operate with the Covid 19 Compliance Officer and the venue owner on matters relating to social distancing or other anti Covid 19 protocols, they will be asked to leave and banned from future events.
  2. Preparation of the venue prior to re-opening.  PHASE 1 onwards
    1. Official Dept of Health signage posted at entrances and along entrance and exit routes as well as at critical points.
    2. Entrance and Exit routes clearly marked where applicable.
    3. Parking spaces should be allocated prior to arrival of the attendees.  A minimum distance of 5M should be observed between vehicles.
    4. Stables and viewing area closed off.
    5. Social distancing marks painted on ground at Critical Points eg. Show Office, toilets, catering outlets.
    6.  Catering facilities will not be made available during Phase 1 of reopening and updates will be circulated should this change.
    7. Protective Screens placed at Show Office (however minimum or no contact should be required at show office in early phases of opening).
    8. Hygiene Stations, stocked with hand washing facilities and spray bottles of disinfectant, paper rolls etc, will be strategically located.
  3. Competition Entries – PHASE 1 onwards
    1. All bookings for schooling, training or shows will be done online as phases allow. Please see individual venues for their relevant online systems or to be directed to affiliated sites.
    2. Entry fees will be pre-paid where possible.
  4. Start Lists. – PHASE 1  onwardsWill be circulated for bookings of schooling or training sessions and (in later phases), shows. Start Lists will
    1. Include start time of class, number of competitors, running order and will be capable of being edited in order to facilitate competitors with multiple entries where appropriate.
    2. Allow 2.5 minutes for each horse, 10 minutes for course change.
    3. The pre competition course walks will only allow a limited number of competitors in the arena at any one time to ensure adequate physical separation.
    4. Start lists will be posted on the show website the day before competition or as stated on time of booking.
  5. Arrival at Show – PHASE 1 onwards
    1. On arrival at the Vehicle Park the attendee will be directed to their pre-allotted space.
    2. Minimum of 5 metres between vehicles.
    3. Use the facilities at the Hygiene Station provided.
    4. The attendee will be advised in advance of their route to warm up arena and given a general brief of the precautions currently in place for their protection. This is given at the time of booking on-line by reading the protocols and watching the video provided.
    5. Horses are to be tacked up at the vehicle parking area. Parties that travelled together should ensure to keep within your group and ensure all activities with your horses are maintained within this group
  6. Warm up arena.- PHASE 3 onwards
    1. Maximum of 6 horses in the warm up area.
    2.  Warm up will not be required at this level until phase 3 of these protocols with schooling phases using the booked arena for warm up purposes  
    3. Vertical and Oxer warm up fences will be provided. The central median for grooms to stand in while horses are warming up will be adapted to ensure social distancing guidelines can be observed at all times.
    4. Physical separation must be observed in warm up area.
    5. Multiple warm up areas may be provided, if available.
    6. Hygiene Stations with hand washing facilities and spray bottles of disinfectant, paper rolls etc, will be strategically located in the vicinity of the warm up area.
    7. Venue staff will regularly spray down the practice fences with disinfectant solution.                                                  
    8. Bring extra Hygiene Products for your own use & help us by cleaning down relevant areas after use ( ie hoses )
  7. Warm Down Area and Wash Bay. – PHASE 1 onwards.
    1. Maximum of 6 horses in the Warm Down area.
    2. Vacate as soon as possible and leave by designated route to Wash Bay.
    3. One combination only in Wash Bay; quick hose down and vacate as soon as possible.
    4. All equipment to be rubbed down with disinfectant by departing groom.
    5. Hygiene station to be regularly checked and re-stocked, as necessary.
    6. Horses can be rugged up and walked off in vehicle Park area, prior to loading and departure.

        PHASE 3 onwards – Details for 8, 9 and 10 will be published on the venue website FOR PHASE 3, when applicable.

  • Competition Arena.
  • Catering on site
  • Judges, Officials
  • Public Address System.

Government Health warnings as related to Covid 19 will be played on a continuous loop, every 30 minutes, over the venues PA system.

Any additional messages from the Covid 19 Compliance Officer can be relayed to the attendees over this system.