Equine queries

The Northern Ireland Executive has recently reviewed the current COVID restrictions and announced a number of relaxations.

The following rules now apply.

Riding schools/Equestrian centres

Indoor activities at riding schools and equestrian centres are permitted. The numbers permitted are determined by venue and subject to completion of a risk assessment where the number of persons involved is greater than 15.

Outdoor activities at riding schools and equestrian centres involving no more than 500 persons are also permitted. A risk assessment must be completed where the number of persons involved is greater than 30.

Equestrian events, training and horse racing

Outdoor elite and non-elite equestrian competitions, training and horse racing events are permitted in gatherings of up to a maximum of 500 people. A risk assessment must be completed where the number of persons gathering is greater than 30.

Spectators are considered to be a gathering in their own right separate from participants. Up to 500 spectators are permitted to attend outdoor events.

Indoor competitive equestrian events  are also permitted irrespective of whether they involve elite or non-elite participants. The numbers permitted are determined by venue and subject to completion of a risk assessment where the number involved is greater than 15.

Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning

Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning (EATL) can take place on an indoor and outdoor basis.

Where EATL takes place indoors, the numbers permitted is determined by venue and is subject to completion of a risk assessment where the number of persons involved is greater than 15.  Outdoor EATL is permitted in gatherings of up to a maximum of 500 persons. A risk assessment must be completed where the number of participants is greater than 30.

General requirements and considerations

In all cases, the operator or organiser of equestrian activities, training or events should take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus. This includes implementing any preventative and protective measures identified in the risk assessment and complying with any relevant guidance issued by a Northern Ireland Department.

The risk assessments required may determine that a lesser amount of persons than the maximum allowed can safely be in attendance during any equestrian activities, training or events.

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