It is with great disappointment and sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It is the first time since the Event’s inception in 1961 that we have had to cancel. We must however act responsibly, and our absolute priority is the health and safety of our community, including everyone directly involved with the event; our visitors, sponsors, competitors, owners, helpers, trade exhibitors and contractors. Particular thanks are due to our insurance brokers and underwriters who have guided us through this period.
Sir Richard Jewson, Chairman of the Burghley Horse Trials Committee, commented: “One of the joys of being involved with Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is to be continually reminded how much this iconic event is loved by the many who create, take part and attend. We are so appreciative of the support and co-operation that we have received at this difficult time; not least from our title sponsor Land Rover. We wish everyone well in these uncertain times. We must now focus our efforts on planning the 2021 Event and which all of us are sure will be a special celebration.”
All enquiries should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org ; the 2021 event will take place from Wednesday 1 September to Sunday 5 September.
Following the UK Prime Minister’s broadcast on Sunday 10 May, the Board of British Equestrian (BEF) 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 sector.
The recommendation to only ride/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/vaulters consider the risk of their activity and ride/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 cannot 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 implemented effectively.
The BEF 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.
BEF Chairman Malcolm Wharton commented; “Right across the country most people have upheld their societal responsibility to help with the management of the pandemic and the equestrian community has certainly risen to the challenge. These have been testing weeks with many riders separated from their horses, coaches and grooms, often without income, and riding schools without their clients – whatever our situation, none of us have been unaffected.
“Many have followed our advice to the letter and some have continued to ride, but as safely as is possible and I thank you all for your support. Conditions are right that we can soften our message, as we all know the proven health benefits, both in terms of physical and mental well-being, that exercising with horses brings. We need to remain vigilant, stay alert and not take any undue risks, so that we can continue to ease towards the full resumption of activity, when the time is right.”
British Equestrian will issue a further update on equestrian premises (riding schools, livery yards, training establishments and therapy centres) in due course.
A number of the BEF member bodies are releasing their own operational plans, detailing the stages towards a resumption of organised training and competition activity, when it is safe to do so. The BEF is finalising an umbrella plan to complement those plans and act as guidance for the equestrian sector and all of its stakeholders. We believe that wider equestrian activity and some horse sports can adapt well to any social distancing requirements and should be in a position to get underway quickly, once conditions permit and government gives the go ahead.
The Directors of the All England Jumping Course have released an official statement regarding the cancellation of both of Hickstead’s international fixtures in 2020.
Following further government advice, it is with regret that we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel both of our international events for this year, the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting originally scheduled for 24-28 June and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ at the Longines Royal International Horse Show from 21-26 July. At this time, the health of our staff, competitors, officials, sponsors, trade exhibitors and visiting public is our top priority.
We are currently working with the relevant showing societies to ensure that qualification where possible will be carried over to the 2021 Longines Royal International Horse Show.
The Hickstead office remains closed but all stakeholders will be contacted directly by email and will receive a refund as per our terms and conditions in due course. Competition prizes and gift vouchers will be valid for the corresponding day next year.
It is still our intention to run our four-day national show, the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships, from 3 – 6 September.
We wish to thank all of our partners and stakeholders for their continued support during these unprecedented times. We look forward to welcoming you back to Hickstead in the future.
FEI.TV, the FEI’s online television platform, will be providing all its coverage of past events and special equestrian features free of charge to everyone while live sport is on hold until end of June.
Under normal circumstances, FEI.TV live-streams all major FEI Series and Championships, with an extensive range of replays, special features and historic events coverage available on-demand combining to provide unparalleled coverage of equestrian sport year-round.
But with no live sport, access to FEI.TV will be free and existing subscribers will be compensated for the months of April, May and June. They will get automatically refunded on their account. All content on the platform, including VOD, will be freely available to all users who will need to register, meaning that fans can re-live all the action from past events so there’s no need to miss out on your fix of equestrian sport.
“Premium content like this usually sits behind a paywall and is normally available only to subscribers, but while there is no “live” sport, we want to give equestrian fans the chance to binge-watch for free during this terrible pandemic”, FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus says.
This week’s Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas were one of the early high-profile victims of the Covid-19 outbreak when they were cancelled in mid-March. But Jumping and Dressage fans now have the opportunity to relive some of the very best moments of the FEI World Cup™ Finals from the past five years – 2015 to 2019 – live and free on FEI.TV, FEI Jumping and Dressage Facebook pages, and FEI YouTube channel daily. And if you can’t watch it live, catch it on replay on FEI.TV
For fans of the other equestrian disciplines, FEI.TV has lots more unique content, ranging from FEI Vaulting and Driving World Cup™ highlights to wrap-ups of the FEI Eventing and Dressage Nations Cup™ series.
An additional broadcast offering has been made available by the FEI, equestrian sport’s global governing body, providing free access to video archive footage to TV broadcasters in EBU member territories across Europe through its partnership with EBU, and to key territories in the rest of the world via its partnership with IMG.
“Our broadcast partners are struggling to fill their air-time without live sport, so this initiative has been put in place to ensure that they have access to top equestrian footage and, together, we can keep our fans around the world happy with their daily dose of equestrian content”, Straus says.
Photo caption: Trophy envy: Swedish Dressage athlete Patrik Kittel tries out the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ trophy for size, whilst compatriot, former European Champion, Peder Fredricson takes hold of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ trophy. (FEI/Liz Gregg)
Looking for some alternative entertainment during the lockdown? The Full Course Showjumping Podcast, is brand new podcast hosted by International Showjumper Will Fletcher and Commentator Sam Gerrard-May. Discussions cover all things show jumping, from current news to upcoming events, debates on numerous topics and interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport. Guests so far include international riders Scott Brash, Harriet Nuttall, James Wilson and Joe Stockdale, plus a special episode with Nina Barbour who explains about Equestrian Relief. You can listen on Apple or Google podcasts, spotify and other main podcast providers or search online.