Update on COVID Rules

Please note the rule below have been integrated with the Area 5 rules (https://www.fndponyclub.org.uk/bookings/rules-for-competitions-during-the-pandemic/). By purchasing a ticket to any Branch activity, you are agreeing to these updated rules.

As we are now approaching the branch winter programme and will be holding rallies indoors, we ALL need to be extra careful and ensure that we abide by the guidance given by Pony Club head office. The Pony Club – Rules for rallies and training during the Pandemic:

  • If any member or anyone in their family shows any symptoms or is suffering from coronavirus, they must not attend any pony club activity, until they are healthy or have had a negative test result.
  • Do not bring any non riding siblings or friends to pony club activities.
  • If siblings have to wait for their time to ride, they must stay in their vehicle.
  • All attendees must observe social distancing, currently 2m.

Only members of the same family bubble should travel together preferably only one adult per member. They are requested to stay clear of the teaching area, preferably in or around their own vehicles.

  • The present Pony Club rules state that Instructors should keep a 2m distance from each Member, therefore tack checking is the responsibility of the person accompanying the Member, before the start.
  • Do not help with poo picking and pole lifting, this will be done by the Instructor in the arena. However please ensure the area around your trailer/lorry is cleared before you leave.
  • Please be aware that there will be no toilet facilities so you must make your own provision for this.
  • No dogs.
  • Vaccinations will be accepted as long as they are within the 12 month
  • All Payment for rallies and competitions must be done online.

We are relying on the parents and members to abide by these rules. If anyone attends activities and has COVID-19 symptoms, we will have to suspend activities.

Face coverings in indoor spaces

From 14 September, it is now the law in Wales that you must wear a face covering over your mouth and nose in all indoor spaces.

The requirement applies to everyone aged 11 and over. However, you may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if (for example):

  • you are not able to put on or to wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment;
  • you are accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate; or
  • you are escaping from a threat or danger and don’t have a face covering.

To provide any protection to others, face coverings need to be made, worn, handled and disposed of in a certain way. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of three layers in a face covering. Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose. When putting coverings on, and while they are on, you should only handle the straps, ties or clips. Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose. You should also wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before and after removing.

For more information about this law, please visit https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public

East Cheshire Branch – Winter League and Spring Festival Qualifier Show Jumping

Sunday 4th October at Somerford Park. Please see the attached schedule for details. Entries must be received by 28th September.

Please note this is effectively two competitions in one.

  1. The Area 5 Winter League Competition for which amended Rules are attached. Note – the principal change from previous years is that this is now a SINGLE PHASE competition.  
  2. The Pony Club Spring Festival Qualifying Competition replaces the former Dengie/Winter Series Competition. This will also be run as a SINGLE PHASE competition.

SINGLE-PHASE explained: All riders compete over a single round which is divided into two sections. The first section will either be UNTIMED or on a TIME ALLOWED basis and the second section will be timed. Results will be decided on least number of total faults for the two sections but in the case of a tie, the second section time will decide priority. Unlike two-phase, all riders will be eligible to complete the whole course, that is there will be NO ELIMINATION for those incurring jumping faults in the first section.

Please note, it is likely that any competition will come under the scrutiny from local enforcement agencies

We are planning to use TWO arenas and thus the risk of the delays experienced last year (for which we apologise once again) should be eliminated.

We are all in difficult and uncharted territory regarding the risks of COVID-19 and we will do our best to make the competition as virus risk free as is reasonable practicable. Please assist us by being aware of the risks and working to avoid them by following the guidelines, including:

  • Limiting the number of people accompanying the rider (ideally rider + one per horse) and DO NOT bring dogs;
  • All those attending are encouraged to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing guidelines (2m or 1m + protection) wherever possible;
  • Arriving no earlier than published “not before” time for class. On arrival we will confirm identity of rider and record details of those accompanying – records will be maintained for 21 days (GDPR);
  • Leaving as quickly as possible after class(es) completed – there will NOT be any awards ceremonies and rosettes will be e-rosettes sent after the event;
  • Do NOT gather in groups of more than six people;
  • Comply with parking attendants instructions and leave 5-10 metres between other vehicles;
  • Have passports with up-to-date vaccination confirmation available for checking on arrival and BEFORE UNLOADING. Ideally, members proof of current vaccination will be checked by their own branch and confirmed as in order to ECBPC in advance of the competition in which case it MAY not be necessary to check on arrival but they MUST BE CARRIED IN ANY EVENT;
  • There will be no on-site secretary available so please ensure all queries/changes are communicated by email;
  • Competitor numbers will not be issued, but you may print your own using this link –  https://files.pcuk.org/competitions/Competitor-Number-Template-v1.0.docx    otherwise riders need to state their name and branch before entering the arena and may need to confirm to the judge;

Guidance for riders during competition:

  • Follow the instructions of stewards promptly and at all times;
  • We will endeavour to provide both pre-warm up and warm-up area. The pre-warm up will continue NO poles;
  • Access to these areas will be only be with permission of the steward;
  • Coaches are NOT allowed in the warm-up area – a helper for younger competitors may be permitted at discretion of steward;  
  • We will endeavour to allow each competitor 12 mins in pre-warm up exercise area, 12minutes in warm up, 3 mins in holding, 3mins in the Ring;

These notes and guidelines are based on the Guidance for Pony Club Activities under COVID-19 restrictions, updated 24th July 2020, available here: https://pcuk.org/media/ywvhdiy4/guidance-for-pony-club-activities-v1-2.pdf. THEY MAY CHANGE – so please keep yourself aware of current rules/guidance.

NOTE: It is understood that British Equestrian has had confirmation via Sport England that equestrian sport and activity taking place in organised conditions under each governing body’s published ‘return to play’ protocols and related guidance, can continue without observing the new restricted numbers – Thursday 10th September 2020 – BUT DO NOT GATHER IN GROUPS OF MORE THAN SIX.

Pony Club CEO Update – 18th September

Local Lockdown

I have summarised the current level of restrictions across the UK in a table, which can be accessed here. I hope this helps clarify the current social and sporting guidance where possible. In addition to the guidance for the four home nations, there are different local conditions in place for The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Some areas of the country have just been placed under specific local lockdown restrictions by the Government, which take priority over the general, national guidance. Some local councils have allowed sport and leisure activities to continue provided they are organised by a National Governing Body, such as The Pony Club, in a risk assessed COVID-19 secure environment. Please ensure you check your local council restrictions carefully and follow them accordingly.

Thank you for all the hard work and ingenuity being used to run activities in these challenging times. It is because we have proven that we can run in a COVID-secure way, minimising the risk of transmission of the virus, that we can now continue with our training and events.

First Aid Qualification: further 3-month extension

The current extension for renewing first aid training was due to end on 30th September 2020. This followed the advice of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which currently states that to qualify for the extension you must be able to:

  • Explain why you haven’t been able to re-qualify
  • Demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so.

Although face to face first aid courses are up and running, in many areas there has not been the course availability. We are therefore extending the first aid requirement for a further 3 months until the end of the year, 31st December 2020. You should make every effort to update your training in this time. Online refresher courses are available, which are valid for 12 months. This may be a good option to take the pressure off finding a face to face course if necessary. A reminder that a coach with an expired first aid certificate can still teach, providing that there is an official with an up-to-date first aid qualification present.

We are reviewing the CPD requirement deadline, also currently extended up to the end of the year. There are many Pony Club CPD opportunities online, listed on our website, further sessions and topics are planned. In addition, there are several BHS CPD opportunities that may be appropriate, please check with your Area Rep or the office.
Disclosure checks and Safeguarding training can be undertaken online so these must be kept in date.