Since the suspension of all in-person EC events, we have engaged our operational committees, competition organizers, officials and provincial/territorial partners to prepare for the eventual return to competition. It is our aim to develop an aligned approach with these key stakeholders and subsequently disseminate the necessary information to all involved as provinces/territories start to reopen.

EC supports an early, safe return to sport. In active collaboration with our Provincial/Territorial Sport Organization (PTSO) partners and competition organizers, we are working to establish how we get back to offering sanctioned events, as well as how we will learn and adapt from the first few competitions to run.

It is imperative that we map our return to both activity and competition in this new environment right the first time; if we don’t, there could be ramifications that damage equestrian sport and perhaps even all sports down the line. We must demonstrate that we can ensure the safety of not only the competition participants, but all Canadians who may come in contact with them.

While our sanctioning process ensures competitions are compliant with the rules of play for equestrian sport, EC does not have expertise in the human biosecurity and health protocols necessary for managing COVID-19. Public health authorities at the local, provincial/territorial and federal levels are the experts in that field and we will continue to rely upon them as we establish best practices.

There are a lot of grey areas as we work through questions about ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and public health authority requirements. For example, what are the responsibilities of EC as a sanctioning body versus those of the competition organizer? How do we engage with public health authorities? What is the liability exposure in our new environment?

These questions are complicated and have large public health and legal implications. Significant time is required to ensure that the appropriate conclusions are reached in agreement with our key stakeholders before competition recommences.

We would love to hear from you. What are you looking forward to when you return to competition? What do you feel will make for a safe return? What are your questions about EC sanctioned competitions and COVID-19 protocols? Reach out at rhuebert@equestrian.ca.

Also, be on the lookout for additional resources specifically related to the return to EC sanctioned competition. Information will be available soon upon the publication of the EC’s return to competition guidelines for competition organizers.

We look forward to the end of EC’s suspension of sanctioned competition on June 30, 2020, and expect to see a few competitions on the calendar for July. See you back in the show ring soon!

Sincerely,

Rachel Huebert
Manager, Technical Development

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