The Hungarian Equestrian Federation has announced, as first National Equestrian Federation in a European country that went into corona lockdown, that it will officially restart its national competitions under strict health and safety regulations.
The Hungarian Equestrian Association has drafted regulations for indoor competitions in its country. To begin not more than 500 registered people can attend an indoor show and social distancing has to be maintained at all possible times.
Hungary is taking the lead as Western/Central European country to return back to a normal way of life, as quick as possible, yet within the measures of safe and controlled environment.
Hungary is scheduled to play host to the 2020 European Children and Under 25 Championships at Stable Unikornis in Pilisjászfalu near Budapest, on 18 - 23 August 2020.
The Unikornis organizing committee has also requested to host the European Junior/Young Riders Championships and is, therefore, taking the lead in relaunching competitions in safe yet practical environment.
Hungarian Rules for Indoor Competitions
For indoor competitions the general epidemiological and health protection rules have to be followed. The 22 set rules are
- 1. Keep a distance of 1.5 meters (hereinafter referred to as protective distance) and it should be maintained: at the race office, horse transporters, in the vicinity of the pits, at the warm-up and racing tracks, in the motorhomes, at the jury, at the track show, at the buffet, etc.
- 2. It is mandatory to wear a mask or a scarf or shawl covering the nose and mouth indoors. Stables are considered enclosed spaces.
- 3. The organizer of the competition may apply stricter conditions regarding the mandatory wearing of masks.
- 4. Gathering in groups is prohibited at the entire closed competition. Groups of more than three people are not allowed.
- 5. A competitor may be approached by a pre-registered person determined by the commissions. In the case of a multi-day competition, registration is valid for the entire duration of the competition, registration of another person is prohibited. On the day of the competition, the total number of registered participants, including official staff, may not exceed 500.
- 6. For proper registration and verification, people attending the competition including staff must wear wrist bands, or other forms of identification such as(eg photographic accreditation).
- 7. All entrances of the competition must be securely closed, only the horse transport gates and a personal entrance may be used for traffic.
- 8. The organizer of the competition must provide information for the commission in advance regarding the number of registered technical staff and their position.
- 9. The organizer of the competition must provide registration and entry for the three officials of the Hungarian Equestrian Association. The officials can check the compliance of closed competition rules at any time.
- 10. The organizer must provide instructions to the technical staff regarding the rules of the closed competition. The organizer must constantly monitor compliance with the rules.
- 11. The organizer of the competition must pay special attention to the hygienic condition of the washbasins, showers and common areas. In the washrooms, soap and paper hand towels must be provided at all times during the competition and hand sanitizer must be placed in common areas.
- 12. By submitting a competition notice, the organizing association declares that it undertakes the obligations of all closed competition rules and is responsible for their observance.
- 13. Competitors accept all entries for closed goal competitions by submitting their entries. At the time of entry, competitors will declare that neither they nor the persons they have registered have been abroad for the 2 weeks prior to the competition and show no signs of coronavirus disease.
- 14. The commission shall schedule the competition agenda in accordance with point 2.
- 15. During the course demonstration, it is mandatory to keep a protective distance and it is recommended to wear a mask or a scarf or shawl covering the nose and mouth.
- 16. There can be no physical contact when announcing results.
- 17. The race office must be set up outdoors, only those working in the office can be closed. It is recommended to run an online race office.
- 18. The auditorium and stands at the competition venue must be closed. Registered participants are not allowed to use the auditorium.
- 19. The organizer and restaurant operator at the competition venue must comply with the applicable rules of hospitality.
- 20. Compliance with the rules for closed competitions is the responsibility of the organizing club and the competition director. In case of violation of the rules, the organizing association can be sanctioned by the Board of the Hungarian Equestrian Association.
- 21. In the event of violating the rules by the competitors and their registered participants, the President of the Jury may suspend the competitor's further competition (for that day or, in the case of a closed competition, for the entire competition period).
- 22. Each participant is attending the closed competitions at their own risk.
Stable Unikornis in Pilisjászfalu will organize the first national competition in three weeks on 5 - 7 June 2020.
Pilisjászfalu Aims to Host Four European Championships in August 2020
Arie Yom-Tov is the driving force behind Stable Unikornis, which has offered the FEI to host not only their alreadt two allocated European Championships for Children and Under 25 riders, but also substitute for Hartpury which cancelled the Junior/Young Rider Euros last week. Pilisjászfalu would then host four European Youth Championships in August.
Yom-Tov's new proposal, pending FEI approval, is:
- European Children and Junior Riders Championships on 11 - 16 August 2020
- European Young Rider and Under 25 Championships on 18 - 23 August 2020
- CDI-W World Cup Qualifier in Pilisjászfalu on 27 - 30 August 2020
With Hungary spearheading a restart of equestrian competitions, Yom-Tov hopes that other countries will follow suit.
"We hope that other countries will follow us," Yom-Tov told Eurodressage. "We must be careful, but we should continue our life and the sport with a full care and security provided for all participants, that's the way in which other countries and federations should follow."
He continued: "We see already that many countries started to give some allowances to organize small national competitions. In The Netherlands they will start doing training shows at OIympic Stable in Uden. I got phone calls from officials from both big and smaller European dressage countries, all in support of the proposed European Youth Championships."
Yom-Tov stresses that flexibility and safety are essential in order for competitions to carry on "post-covid-19". European countries are easing their lockdown measures at different speeds and this might pose problems for team selection procedures. However, necessity is the mother of invention, also in sport.
"In many aspect everyone will be creative by trying to find solutions for the qualifications and for other issues as well," said Yom-Tov. "Hungary is the first country that came with complete regulations and solutions to start organize national competitions. I am sure that when the news spreads, other countries will follow step by step."
Photos © Anett Somogyvári - Astrid Appels
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