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UPDATE 15 JULY - IMPACT ON EQUESTRIAN SPORT DUE TO GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS ENFORCED AT 11:59PM 8 JULY

Updated: Tuesday 15 July 2020


Summary of new COVID-19 directives, Greater Melbourne and Shire of Mitchell (Replaces the Update from 13 July)

We have had further clarification regards the update from DHHS concerning riding horses off property. Under the update it is permissible to leave your property for exercise including to float your horse to an outdoor facility, including your club (if it is open – riders may need to book). You may only exercise with 1 other person or your family group, plus an instructor.

  • You can only leave the property to exercise your horse if there is no safe place to exercise where it is kept.
  • If you travel your horse for exercise it can only be done with one other person, family members and an instructor IF REQUIRED for safety purposes.
  • An instructor would only be required off property for safety reasons. There would be no other reason to justify promoting an instructor.
  • Riding lessons are not considered an essential activity.

Below is a summary of restrictions please see the attached IMPACT STATEMENT for full details.  Changes are highlighted in yellow.

FOR ALL AREAS OUTSIDE OF GREATER MELBOURNE AND SHIRE OF MITCHELL

Activity remains the same as prior to the lockdown announcement on 8 JULY 2020.  Please refer to your COVID-19 Return to Riding Plan. You may do all of the things that your plan permits (except travel into, or allow members to participate from within, the Greater Melbourne region or Shire of Mitchell).

Members bordering NSW or resident in NSW, may require a permit from the NSW government in order to cross into NSW to participate in cross border activities, or to return to NSW from activities in Victoria. Please contact the NSW State Government for information on crossing into, or returning from, NSW.

FOR AREAS INSIDE OF GREATER MELBOURNE AND SHIRE OF MITCHELL

You must remain at home, the only reason to leave your home are to:

  • Care and care giving
  • Travel to work or study if you cannot work from home
  • Shopping for food and essentials
  • Exercise

SUMMARY OF RESTRICTIONS

INDOOR FACILITY

  • No indoor facilities may open. A facility that has a roof and no walls is not considered indoors.

CLUB GROUNDS

  • No rallies or organised training, coaching or competition
  • Club grounds may remain open for exercise of horses only, if the landowner allows grounds to remain open
  • While riding at an outdoor facility, the focus should be on exercise. There should be NO organised Club or group Equestrian activity within the restricted areas.

SOCIAL DISTANCING& SANITISING

  • 2 people in any group, unless family members from the one household
  • Sanitising and social distancing in place – 1.5m spacing.

COACHES

  • Professional coaches who earn a bona-fide living from coaching may travel outside or into the Greater Melbourne region or Shire of Mitchell
  • Volunteer coaches may not travel for the purpose of coaching at all.
  • Coaching by professional coaches may take place at private and/or agistment facilities.
  • Coaches may instruct at public grounds (including club grounds) if those grounds are open and can meet all of the guidelines under 'Outdoor facilities' and 'Outdoor Recreation and Exercise'.
  • Coaches should only be instructing on the condition of safety purposes to enable the rider to undertake exercise and to safely exercise the horse on animal welfare grounds. See joint PCV, EV & HRCAV information.
  • You can only ride your horse outside with one other person or household members, and an instructor if required for safety reasons.
  • Those receiving instruction can only do so with one other person or household members. There should be NO organised CLUB activity.
  • Those receiving instruction should not travel outside the restricted zone nor travel distances for coaching. All movement should be kept local.

EXERCISING YOUR HORSE

  • Riding your horse is considered ‘exercise’ for mental and physical health and is also permissible on animal welfare grounds. Riding away from the property where the horse is housed should ONLY be done if there are no other safe options at the property where the horse is housed. If you can only ride your horse “off property” please do so locally.
  • If you reside in a restricted area, you may travel outside the restricted zone to care for you horse on an animal welfare basis.
  • If your horse resides in a restricted zone, DO NOT float your horse outside the restricted zone except for necessary travel on animal welfare grounds.
  • Government has been clear that you cannot enter or leave metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire for the purpose of exercise or recreation.
  • The only permitted reason for leaving or entering the restricted zones is for the WELFARE OF THE HORSE and not to participate in ANY ORGANISED COMMUNITY SPORT OR EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITY SUCH AS RIDING LESSONS. The distinction between essential and non-essential is that animal welfare is regarded as essential, and riding lessons are not.
  • You are only permitted to ride with one other person or members of your household and while riding, you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others. You cannot ride with another person in a manner that would mean you are less than 1.5m apart.

FLOATING YOUR HORSE

  • You may float your horse to a club grounds or other place to exercise.
  • You may float your horse to a local outdoor facility if you cannot ride safely at the property where the horse is agisted or kept.
  • If your horse resides in a restricted zone, DO NOT float your horse outside the restricted zone except for necessary travel on animal welfare grounds.

HORSE CARE

  • You may travel for the purpose of caring for your horse, including to where it may be agisted, and you may travel outside or into the Greater Melbourne region or the Shire of Mitchell. This includes for the purpose of exercising your horse.
    Note: if you and your horse both reside inside the Greater Melbourne region Shire of Mitchell you cannot leave these regions to exercise.
  • If you reside in a restricted area, you may travel outside the restricted zone to care for your horse on an animal welfare basis.
  • Where facilities have more than1 horse agisted, a roster system is required

The only permitted reason for leaving or entering the restricted zones is for the WELFARE OF THE HORSE and not to participate in ANY ORGANISED COMMUNITY SPORT OR EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITY SUCH AS RIDING LESSONS. The distinction between essential and non-essential is that animal welfare is regarded as essential, and riding lessons are not.

While there has been some further definition by DHHS, we must remember these new restrictions within the Greater Melbourne area and Shire of Mitchell are there for a purpose, which is to slow the spread of COVID-19. We would urge members to use common sense and keep all travel for exercise with your horse local to your area.

SEE FULL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES IN DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD

  • Documents to download

Documents to download

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