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Guidance for Northern Ireland

Updated 14 April 2021

The lockdown in Northern Ireland had been extended and, while the government has provided a roadmap for easing restrictions, no firm dates have been issued. On this page, we've tried to compile some of the key stakeholder questions to help you understand what the current situation means for you and your horse. 

Can I travel to care for my horse?

You may travel to meet the care and exercise requirements of your horse, but journeys should be kept to a minimum where possible.

What activities can I do with my horse?

Horses may be ridden for exercise purposes. You may take part in structured activities with your horse in groups of up to 15 people. including coaches. For informal activity, such as hacking, the limit is ten people from two households. Public indoor facilities are 

How many people can I meet with?

You may meet outdoors in groups of up to 10 people, including children, from no more than two households. In a non-domestic indoor setting, up to six people from a maximum of two households may meet. 

Can equine practitioners visit my horse?

Farriers, vets, dentists, physiotherapists and other equine practitioners can continue to operate, provided that they have COVID protocols and risk assessments in place to maintain safe working conditions.

I’m a coach – am I still able to work?

Coaching may take place within the permitted numbers, meaning that a coach can teach groups of up to nine from one other household because coach is one household. Structured outdoor training must be organised by an NGB/affiliated club or individual and take place in groups of up to 14 plus the coach.

I OWN A RIDING CENTRE – CAN I STAY OPEN DURING LOCKDOWN?

Sadly, riding centres must remain closed during this time. 

When will competition resume?

Competitions are currently only permitted for elite athletes. 

WHERE CAN I FIND FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPORTING SITUATION IN Northern Ireland?

Sport NI, the governing body for sport in Northern Ireland, has produced sector-specific COVID-19 guidance, which is available here. General government advice can be found here.