Coronavirus (COVID-19)

May 4, 2020 – Equestrian Canada (EC) would like to share a return to business operations framework with the Canadian equestrian community in anticipation of the conclusion of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This decision is made with heavy hearts and an acute awareness of the significant ripple effects. Our flagship ‘Masters’ Tournament was scheduled to be a “best ever” edition in 2020. Highlights were to include the world’s best horses and riders competing at the biggest tournament in show jumping, wonderful shopping, exhibits and entertainment programs. These included the RCMP Musical Ride, Fire Fit, the World Blacksmith Championships, Friday’s ‘Evening of the Horse’, military colour and the wonderful voices of the Tenors, just to touch the surface.

In light of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Equestrian Canada and Equestrian Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) Canada-wide are warning the horse community to bunker down, cancel events, and rescind all equine-related activities. Those who choose to ignore these recommendations should do so with the knowledge of risks involved, from a social, ethical, and legal standpoint. “The NBEA [New Brunswick Equestrian Associaiton] strongly recommends that riding establishments and coaches confirm with their respective insurance companies to ensure compliance if you continue to offer programs and services during this period."

The suspension of Equestrian Canada (EC) sanctioned competition has been extended to June 30, 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Return to activity (i.e. reopening of riding schools, lesson barns, coaching businesses and training facilities) will be determined by reopening plans from the appropriate provincial government bodies. A document supporting the return to business operations will be shared by EC on May 4, 2020.

April 24, 2020 marked the day the doors at Westerner Park, in Red Deer, AB, were scheduled to open for the 14th Annual Mane Event. Instead, the current COVID-19 situation has forced the horse expo to open “virtually.” A Mane Event Facebook Group has been created exclusively for exhibitors who planned to be in Red Deer. They will be able to post their products and services online, and The Mane Event will publicize the “virtual” event through social media and its email mailing list, asking visitors to support them.

On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Alberta has banned all gatherings of more than 15 people for an indefinite period of time and the City of Calgary has declared a state of local emergency. These steps, as well as our continuing concern for the health and well-being of our community, means we are unable to host the 2020 edition of the Calgary Stampede.

With many horses seeing their exercise schedules suddenly reduced or eliminated, questions have cropped up if this creates a higher risk of colic. Our National Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines is clear: horses must have some form of exercise or turnout, unless under stall rest for medical reasons or severe environmental conditions make this temporarily impossible. Equine Guelph encourages concerned horse owners and care takers to assess their risk and adjust management practices, to help reduce their chance of colic using a free online healthcare tool: The Colic Risk Rater.

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