Canada has had relatively few cases of COVID-19 relative to other areas of the world: 846 diagnosed cases and 10 deaths. Still, the country has taken assertive steps to contain the virus, including closing its border to foreigners earlier this week. Today Equestrian Canada (EC) issued a memorandum of steps the governing body is taking to suppress the pandemic and mitigate its impact on the sport.
- Effective March 14, 2020, All EC run in-person events, clinics and activities will be suspended for four weeks (until April 12, 2020). After two weeks, a review will take place to assess whether the suspension will be extended or if activities may resume. For the current list of cancelled/postponed EC clinics and sanctioned competitions, click here .
- All EC sanctioned competitions are suspended for four weeks (until April 12, 2020). After two weeks, a review will take place to assess whether the suspension will be extended or if competitions may resume. For competitions that do run, there will be no accumulation of points, scores, qualification or rankings towards any EC awards program or team selection, and there will be no posting of results starting March 16, 2020. EC also strongly recommends that equestrians refrain from participating in or attending competition for four weeks.
- Team Selection: EC high performance and discipline staff will continue to meet regularly and explore any necessary potential adjustments for team selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and the North American Youth Championships. EC will review all current nomination/selection criteria, implement alternate qualification pathways should they be required and communicate changes to criteria or documents once they become available.
- EC encourages Canadians in the U.S. to return home with their equines as soon as possible to avoid further travel complications and border closures. EC is working closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expedite the return process for equines to Canada from the United States. If they have not already done so, EC recommends that all Canadians abroad register with the Government of Canada here.
- The EC office will be temporarily closed and staff will be working remotely. Please expect delayed processing times for items sent via mail or courier, including FEI Passports. There will be no coverage of competitions during this time, whether via press release or social media.The return to office date is set for April 6, 2020; however, given daily changes to the status of the COVID-19 outbreak, there may be adjustments to this schedule.
EC outlines a number of other guidelines, including participation in international competition, recommendations for equestrian facility operations, insurance and business support resources, biosecurity protocol in the statement which can be viewed here.