Still more and more equestrian events are cancelled. Now the FEI has published plans how events can be organized safely, mentioning the date 1st of July as starting point for FEI events.
In the last two weeks more announcements battered equestrian sport, spreading news that CCI Burghley, CSI Madrid, CSI Berlin and CCI Waregem are cancelled. But despite all those events not taking place, there is some light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. The World Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced plans created at the headquarters in Lausanne (CH) that will help organize equestrian shows in Corona times.
The return to play policy, as it is called by the FEI, focuses on competition safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. National Federations and event organisers now have a guideline that is meant to help in regards of limiting the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19, when FEI events are taking place. The Policy includes general best practice recommendations for organisers and is to be implemented in conjunction with any requirements imposed by the domestic authorities.
Although the Policy is meant to be a help for organisers, the FEI will be strict when it comes to sticking to the new rules, that are expected to become the “new normal” for quite a while. FEI Medical Committee Chair Dr Mark Hart assumes, that the pandemic will last for at least 12-24 months.
In consequence the FEI emphasizes that it is mandatory for FEI event organisers to conduct the risk assessment together with their National Federation and domestic government and public health authorities. Events for which the FEI has not received the completed risk assessment and mitigation measures plan will be comsequently removed from the FEI Calendar.
“The FEI is committed to assisting National Federations and FEI event organisers by providing resources to effectively assess the risks potentially posed by Events from the planning phase and mitigate such risks through relevant measures. As we anticipate the gradual return of competitions, we must do everything we can to mitigate the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19. This is a matter of public health, and it’s also how a sport can demonstrate to public authorities that it is ready to resume activity.”