Do hope that everyone has survived the lock down and all the restrictions that have been imposed, it has certainly been a really tricky time for everyone. I am really hopeful that next week we will have some definite plans to re start. I am sure, you are like us, and really keen to get some definitive plans from BE. Whilst I really appreciate that it is difficult to be certain about anything, now the hand brake is coming off it would be good to get some guidance for the re start.
I am hopeful that we will be able to start at Aske, I know this is a big question mark, but I do feel that the restrictions will allow this to happen, and if not that weekend very soon after that. I know that you will all need warning for this so that you can start to get work & fitness back into horses so they are ready in time. I am aware that there were a few challenges at Aske last year, but rest assured these will ALL be sorted for this year!
Osberton is very firmly in our sights as the big end of season event. Whilst plans are still fluid, my conversations with the local authorities are really positive and should enable us to run. The young horse classes are all in the air and I am waiting on BE to confirm the 4YO format, but I do believe that many would like a few end of season goals to work toward. Young horses do not really want to go a whole year with no further education at key times in their lives. I am sure that the early events will be a little more straight forward and on the minimum distances so that riders can get horses back into fitness carefully
We are a working on plans for volunteers to ensure that they are safe and able to fulfil their roles. I know that things will look a little different in places, but let us use this time to experiment on ideas that may enable us to have a more efficient and slimmed down sport that will work just as well for all.
Thank you to all who filled out the rider survey, it was great to get your thoughts on the re start and plans for the rest of the season. We had a huge response which was encouraging so we are now working through your thoughts. I know that there are a number of issues still to be resolved, and as the restrictions lift we will be able to iron these out. It is really good news that out door markets are allowed as this means that we can have trade stands if carefully monitored. I am very aware that owners are concerned about some of the restrictions, they are all as keen as any one to come and see their horses run. I am very hopeful that we will sort this as I appreciate this is key point for them. It may mean that for the first event or two we ask owners to give us a little time to get all the plans in place, I know there will be lots to ensure we get right, however once we have a working model I see no reason why owners should not be welcomed to events as long as they abide by social distancing rules. Lets face it we are all now allowed to meet in groups of 6, and encouraged to travel to places for exercise, so I see no reason why this cannot work at events. But it still needs a little time and thought; and hopefully all will bear with us as we get up and rolling.
I feel for all those furloughed, we have no staff in the office, but hope that we might be able to bring them back slowly as the season allows. I am sure that many of you are suffering the challenges of furlough, I hope that you get your return to work soon and able to get back to some degree of normality.
Looking forward to seeing you all out and about soon – fingers crossed. Till then stay safe and alert