Weekly Equestrian Canada COVID-19 Wrap-Up
As Equestrian Canada (EC) wraps up the second week of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we wanted to send an update on the steps already taken and those planned to help protect the Canadian equestrian community to the best of our abilities.
What EC has done to-date:
- Created EC’s online statement on COVID-19 as the go-to reference for staying up-to-date with EC operations, decisions, recommendations and resources.
- Closed the EC office and moved to a remote work environment until further notice.
- Suspended all EC run in-person events, clinics and activities effective March 14, 2020, for four weeks (until April 12, 2020).
- Cancelled all EC sanctioned competitions effective March 16, 2020, for four weeks (until April 12, 2020).
- Initiated regular meetings with the Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) to ensure a united response to COVID-19 nationwide.
- Published a joint recommendation with PTSOs sharing best practices for equestrian farms and facilities concerning limiting the transmission of COVID-19.
- Worked to identify out-of-country individuals and equines and support their return to Canada in partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and United States Department of Agriculture.
- Initiated conversations with the appropriate federal government bodies and financial institutions to advocate for the financial support of equine and equestrian industries.
- Published a communication outlining support and resources for equine farms and equestrian facilities.
- Published a survey to gather business profiles of equine farms and equestrian facilities in order to clearly understand and present the industry in advocacy efforts.
- Hosted a National Equine Disease & Welfare Surveillance Call with nearly 600 attendees that addressed the impacts of COVID-19 on the equestrian community and how farms, facilities and individuals can best prepare.
- Held a brainstorming session to identify online opportunities for continued learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Worked with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Athletes’ Commission in support of the decision to not send Canadian teams to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.
- Worked with the COC and CPC to push for the postponement of the Games to 2021.
What EC is working on moving forward:
- Ensuring EC’s online statement on COVID-19 stays up-to-date and accessible.
- Regularly reviewing suspension/cancellation periods and the need to extend those timelines as required for in-person events, clinics, activities and sanctioned competition. An update will be sent early next week with further information regarding suspension timelines.
- Establishing a working group of EC staff and veterinarians on the development of a graduated return to sport framework that will ensure the health and welfare of horses upon competition reinstatement, in partnership with PTSOs and select competition organizers.
- Meeting twice a week with the PTSOs to develop joint initiatives and shared resources.
- Meeting weekly with the EC Board of Directors.
- Continuing communication with the CFIA and CBSA to support out-of-country individuals and horses.
- Continuing to advocate for the financial support of equine farms and equestrian facilities with the appropriate federal government bodies and financial institutions.
- Collecting and analyzing data from the survey gathering business profiles for advocacy use.
- Gathering, developing and sharing additional financial resources for equine farms and facilities.
- Monitoring updates from the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and FEI in regards to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will be postponed until no later than summer 2021. The Canadian Equestrian Team will maintain its slot allocations for dressage, eventing, jumping and para-dressage.
- Monitoring the changing competition landscape and need to adapt selection criteria for the Games as required.
- Constantly analyzing our response efforts to ensure that we are in line with the appropriate government, health and sport authorities, as well as to ensure that no member of or participant in the equine and equestrian industries is left behind.
EC is making every effort to ensure continuous, thorough and up-to-date communication concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. EC’s complete statement on COVID-19, including regular updates, can be found on our website here. For the running list of cancelled/postponed clinics and events, click here.
Thank you for your cooperation and engagement as we work diligently to keep our community safe and informed. We are counting on each and every member of the Canadian equestrian community to make responsible decisions based on the information available, the conditions in your geographic area and the recommendations from your local public health authorities.