Friday May 7, 2021
For National Pony Club updates and information please go to pcuk.org
LATEST NEWS FROM THE OFFICE

The Pony Club statement on Covid-19 

Latest Update: 24th March 7pm

Thank you to all our members, families and volunteers for their continued support and understanding in these challenging times. After the announcement from the Prime Minister last night we are all aware of the need to stay at home and keep ourselves and others safe. Our Branches and Centres are full of ideas for home activities to keep you in touch and busy but more ideas are always welcome. Please share social media posts with the hashtag #PonyClubCarryOn so that we can all see what fun things are happening around the country.

As well as looking after each other, we all want to look after our horses and ponies. We have added to our previous advice the latest update from the British Equestrian Federation (“BEF” – our parent body, which includes the Olympic Equestrian Sports, RDA, BHS and World Horse Welfare as members). The information includes useful advice on managing the care of horses, whether at a yard or home and further notes on riding, veterinary and farrier care. To view the full document, please click here: https://bef.co.uk

Statement from the BEF;

“The British Equestrian Federation urges all members of the equestrian community to strictly adhere to the Government’s directive to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to travel. The welfare of horses, and other livestock, is still essential, making your travel as an employee, owner or volunteer to provide care valid under the current guidance. Please keep your own health and safety in mind, as well as that of everyone around you.”

Summary of the BEF information headings:

  • Guidance for looking after horses at a shared yard:
    • Practising good hygiene and other tips for going to the yard, at the yard, leaving the yard and arriving home
  • Prepare for self-isolation
    • make a plan for someone to care for your horse if you are ill or unable to get to them,
  • Riding
    • There is currently no Government guidance that we are aware of to stop riding, it is down to an individual decision if this necessary. It is sensible to avoid activities with an increased risk of injury and be mindful of other people if you must hack out. Unnecessary travel is to be avoided, including lessons or training and transporting your horse for anything other than emergency care.
  • Equine professionals
    • Please contact your own vet for their current policy on essential visits, which may include booster vaccinations.
    • Farriers are permitted to work, please contact yours for advice if needed.

 

The Pony Club Shared Resources

“The Pony Club Shared Resources” is a Google Drive that has been set up to save and share ideas and resources. For branches, Go to https://drive.google.com and log in with the branch email and click the “Shared with me” tab. Centres will be given a login through their centre coordinator..

We plan to share these alternative activities across social media, so please do take photos and post with the hashtag #PonyClubCarryOn so that we can share nationally some of the great ideas and fun you are all having.

Video Conferencing

There are many solutions for face-to-face online contact which will be useful for meetings, discussions and also sharing live activities. We are using Microsoft Teams for our staff and national committee meetings, we also recommend Google Hangouts as a useful tool. Online Tutorials are easily available.

Online Competitions

We are working with partners to set up and deliver online competitions.

Dressage Anywhere
The Pony Club and Dressage Anywhere have teamed up to offer a special Online Dressage Championships for all Pony Club members. Dressage Anywhere is a great way to compete online from anywhere, without having to leave your yard. Simply register for free, choose a class to enter, then ride and film your dressage test and upload it for judging. You’ll receive a link to download your score sheet and be in the running for rosettes!
This year each monthly competition from April 2020 to July 2020 will be a qualifying round towards The Pony Club Online Dressage Championships 2020. There are classes from Walk & Trot all the way up to Open level. All you need are two scores at 60% or above to qualify! Go to www.dressageanywhere.com to get started.

Horse Events
Horse Events are promoting three separate competitions; a Virtual Team Challenge and Virtual Dressage.. All have classes and prizes for Pony Club teams and members. Find out more on https://www.horse-events.co.uk/events/virtual/

It is important to keep in contact and enjoy activities within the government guidelines. Please continue to keep yourself and your friends and family safe.

Help and Advice

Horse and Pony Welfare

We are working very closely with our partner organisations to promote the best animal welfare in these challenging times. Please ensure you make a contingency plan for looking after your animals if you fall ill or are unable to get to the stables / field. The RDA has produced some useful advice in association with World Horse Welfare and they are happy for us to share these practical and useful tips; https://www.myrda.org.uk/assets/CORONAVIRUS-EMERGENCY-PLANNING-FOR-EQUINES-March-2020-V1-PDF-1.pdf

Financial Information

Please follow this link for useful financial advice from the government: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has confirmed that equestrian centres are classed as leisure and therefore are eligible for business rates holiday 2020/21 as well as the wider package of measures for government support https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

 

Government Advice

The Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is frequently updated as things develop, so please check it regularly at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Your questions answered

Please note: advice continues to change so questions and answers are updated regularly

What happens if my disclosure check expires during this period of self-isolation?

Coaches and officials will need to keep disclosures up to date. Please contact your branch or centre to help with this as they hold the login details.

  • DBS: You can renew your DBS check through the online portal offered by Disclosure Services.
  • Access NI: You can renew your ANI check through the online portal.
  • PVG: We will continue to process PVG application forms on a regular basis. However please allow extra time for these to be processed due to the additional restrictions currently in place.

 What happens if my safeguarding expires during this period?

All face to face safeguarding courses have been cancelled until further notice. We will continue to monitor this over the coming weeks. Whilst face to face courses are postponed, coaches will be able to update their safeguarding online. You can enrol for the online courses – (http://events.pcuk.org/online-safeguarding-and-child-protection-equestrian-workshop)

 What happens if my first aid qualification expires during this period?

When activities resume, a qualified first-aider must be present. Should an individual coach’s qualification expire during the current period, they will still able to coach, provided there is someone with an up-to-date qualification present. They must renew their first aid training within three months after activities resume.

 What happens if my CPD expires during this period?

We will be providing an extension to your CPD during the COVID-19 period. This extension will give you an initial three months to update your CPD. The situation will be reviewed regularly in light of any new information we receive.

Have all Pony Club activities stopped?

Following the directive from the government to stay at home, all Pony Club Activities involving getting together mounted or unmounted are stopped. We are promoting the health and welfare of our members, their families and our volunteers. Branches and Centres are sharing many innovative ideas such as online learning, quizzes and competitions.

Is my Pony Club insurance affected by Covid-19?

The Pony Club members third party insurance is still in place and will cover all our members (including branch, centre and centre plus members) for their use or ownership of a horse or pony, in exactly the same way as normal. 

Where can I find further information about the virus?

The Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is frequently updated as things develop, so please check it regularly at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The wider equestrian community

For more information on how the other equestrian member bodies are coping with this situation, please visit the British Equestrian Federation website, www.bef.co.uk

 

 

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    • Biosecurity Policy 2020

Pony Club events bring together large numbers of horse/ponies in one place as such we understand the risk posed to the equine community from the spread of infections and diseases. We are committed to the implementation and continuous improvement of
biosecurity practices and controls. The purpose of this policy is to assist in safeguarding of horses/ponies from the introduction and spread of harmful infections and diseases and outlines some basic biosecurity principles that should be adopted.

Passport

1 These are legal documents and must always be kept safe and secure.
2 A valid passport and vaccination record:

a. must accompany the horse / pony to all events
b. must be available for inspection by the event officials
c. must be produced on request at any other time during the event

3 You may be requested to upload a copy of your passport when submitting your entry to any Pony Club event.
4 The Pony Club are entitled to carry out Passport integrity checks, this may be pre-event and/or during the event.
5 Any horse or pony which poses a risk to the health of others will either be isolated or sent home.

Microchipping

1 In June 2018 a new law requiring horse owners to microchip their animals was introduced to prevent abuse and improve welfare, deter theft and fraudulent sales as well as being helpful in managing disease outbreaks, mapping the horse population and ensuring rapid communication with owners.
2 From October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys. The new Central Equine Database will then allow local authorities and police to track down the owners.
3 If horse owners do not microchip their horses by October 2020 they could face sanctions from their local authority including a compliance notice and, as a last resort, a fine of up to £200.

Vaccinations

1 Horse/ponies which are unvaccinated or whose vaccinations are not up to date pose a potential risk to the health of other animals attending the event as well as any resident at the venue and we are conscious that we need to be vigilant in seeking to avoid the spread of this disease.
2 All horses and ponies attending the Pony Club events are required to be vaccinated, in accordance with Pony Club rules (see Health and Safety Rule Book page 63). As a minimum, the rules require:

a. No horse / pony may compete (or be present at the event as a companion) unless it has a Record of Vaccination against equine influenza completed by the veterinary surgeon who gave the vaccination, signed and stamped line by line, which complies with the Minimum Vaccination Requirements.
b. The Minimum Vaccination Requirements for a horse / pony are that it has received:
c. a Primary Vaccination followed by a Secondary Vaccination given not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days after the Primary Vaccination; and
d. If sufficient time has elapsed, a booster vaccination given not less than 150 days and not more than 215 days after the Secondary Vaccination and further booster vaccinations at intervals of not more than a year apart.
e. At competitions at Area level and above including Grassroots Regional Championships and the finals of the Winter Series competitions, the most recent booster injection must have been given within the six calendar months prior to the date of the competition.
f. No horse / pony may compete on the same day as a relevant injection is given or on any of the 6 days following such an injection.

3 NOTE: We also remind owners of the importance of vaccinations and to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. The vast majority of confirmed cases reported by the Animal Health Trust are in unvaccinated horses. We continue to recommend that if it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination,
owners should discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

4 A reminder – you cannot compete the horse/pony on the same day or any of the following six days e.g. if a horse receives a vaccination on a Monday the earliest you can compete it would be the following Monday.
5 It is your responsibility to ensure the vaccinations are up to date. A copy of the horse/pony’s vaccination record may be required to be attached with entries to Pony Club events. Spot checks will be undertaken, and random passport / integrity checks will also be carried out at the event.
6 For welfare reasons, other vaccinations should be up to date, including tetanus. Vaccinations for diseases should be undertaken at the advice of your veterinary surgeon.
7 Any horse or pony which poses a risk to the health of others will be sent home.

BEF Advice

1 The Pony Club continues to follow The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) advice.
2 The BEF continues to urge all horse owners to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. This is vital to help prevent the spread of Equine Flu. If it has been more than six months since the last vaccination, they strongly recommend that owners discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon and the Pony Club
endorses that advice.
3 If BEF advice changes, this policy will be reviewed and amended accordingly.

Water at National Championships and large events

1 For bio-security and practicality reasons, water may only be available in troughs. To prevent cross-contamination you MUST only use the buckets provided to dip into the trough and then fill your own buckets / water containers.
2 Competitors’ own buckets must NOT be dipped into the troughs.
Hay nets must NOT be soaked in the troughs.
Horses must NOT be allowed to drink from the troughs.
3 Abuse of this system or theft of the dedicated buckets may result in the competitor being eliminated from the event and potentially future events.

90th Book

We are producing a lovely commemorative coffee table book to celebrate the first 90 years of Pony Club history. The first 900 people to pre-order the book will get their names in print.  The book, including having your name in print will retail at £30 and is a great gift.  All we ask is the name and Branch/ Centre that the individual was or is associated with. We have had requests for names to be included ‘in Memoriam’ which I think is a lovely idea.  Please email Charlotte@pcuk.org to pre register.