There were smiles all around when Western Cape Equestrian Sport received the notification that they can return to action after they were prohibited from doing so due to the national Lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 virus.
Sylvia Bruckner, president, said they received formal permission from the Department of Sport and started putting protocols in place to ensure a smooth return to their sport.
All disciplines of Equestrian Sport can return, except for polo and polocrosse, which are contact sports.
Sylvia said the first 6 weeks of the Lockdown were particularly difficult, as they were not allowed to see their horses and had to rely on other people to take care of them. When Lockdown level 3 was introduced people were permitted to exercise their horses but now they were given permission to train and compete.
Only 50 competitors at a time are allowed and each competitor is only allowed to have one groom and one coach. No spectators are allowed either.
Sylvia says the ruling on one groom could prove problematic for some riders, as some horses are quite difficult to handle on your own, especially when it’s a stallion. Some horses are okay but with others you need extra assistance, for instance to hold the horse when you are getting on.
Now Equestrian Sport is ready to start their program, likely on July 18, as they still have to appoint Covid-19 officers at every venue. Those officers have to be trained and complete their online training courses.
All clubs are expected to follow the following protocols, as agreed upon with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
- Non – contact Sport, should only be limited to training and matches;
- Your organisation must ensure that all Clubs are compliant and provides operational plans;
- Reduced number of players and participants in field;
- Testing of Players and participants is compulsory. (If such is included on the application may be ignored);
- Training venues must be disinfected and cleaned every day;
- Control measures must be put in place;
- Monitoring and Compliance must be assured;
- Compliance Officer must be appointed;
- Clubs must also appoint Compliance Officers;
- All training venues names must be submitted within 24 hours after receipt of the permission;
- No spectators are allowed at training and matches;
- Attendance register must be kept by compliance officer for all people entering the sporting venue;
- All people entering the sporting venue must wear a mask and be screened;
- Any person with high temperature may not be allowed to enter the sporting venue; and
- Areas declared as Hotspot should be avoided subject to the advisory from the Department of Health and extra precautionary measures must be in place if allowed to train and play matches.
Note further that the department may deploy officials to /monitor compliance and such officials may be allocated a specific identity document.