As you may be aware Horse Sport Ireland have proactively engaged with Government partners in respect of Safe Sport resumption. This week HSI delivered a comprehensive submission to Government, aimed at ensuring that considered protocols and procedures can be put in place to allow an incremental resumption of equestrian activity, when current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and it is deemed safe to do so by the Department of Health and An Taoiseach. Horse Sport Ireland has been engaging with government and has advocated the uniqueness of equestrianism in the context of safe sport return
In order to deliver succinct proposals to Government, Horse Sport Ireland engaged in the first instance with its disciplines – Showjumping Ireland, Eventing Ireland and Dressage Ireland and the equestrian venues to understand the readiness to return. It is important to note that this proactive engagement will serve as platform for all equestrian disciplines to resume when it is permissible to do so. The genesis of the protocols and submission is about traceability and control measures which can be implemented in a safe environment to protect human health and to minimize any risk of the spread of Covid-19. While we have provided examples of operating procedures from our disciplines of Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage, the focus is on the operating protocols and measures which are robust and will allow the resumption of sport and the training of sport horses which are intrinsic elements of the Irish Sport Horse Industry and production cycle. The focus in the first instance is to achieve approval to recommence.
We are aware that some affiliates have already briefly discussed some return to sport protocols in context of their own discipline and membership. As such, Horse Sport Ireland would ask that affiliates now take the time to peruse the submission to government and devise draft protocols for their specified discipline taking guidance from the submission. It’s important to note that we await feedback from Government on the protocols and some elements may change. However, it is worthwhile that affiliates take the time to consider their respective activity and the risks that need to be mitigated. It is importance to stress that in the event that Equestrian sport is permitted to resume it is likely that significant restrictions will be placed on the sport in the context of a return and a phased basis is likely to be applied.
Avalon Everett, Head of Sport, Legal & Governance
Horse Sport Ireland, 1st Floor, Beech House,
Millennium Park, Naas, Co. Kildare, W91 TK7N.
Tel: +353 (0)45 854 509 www.horsesportireland.ie