Equestrian Sports NZL has taken an aggressive measure in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, announcing today that it cancel all ESNZ events in jumping, dressage and para-equestrian, eventing and endurance for a three-month period effective immediately. This will be reviewed at the end of April or as required.
The organization issued the following press release today:
The decision has not been made lightly and is in response to the Government directive on mass gatherings. The cancellation does have a financial effect on the sport and is disappointing but it is the responsible course of action. Many other sports have reduced or cancelled sporting gatherings including club games and training.
ESNZ Chair Lynda Clark said the board’s first priority was the safety of people and it had a duty of care to look after its members, officials, volunteers and riders at this time. “Social distancing needs to be practiced and we cannot do this effectively if we are condoning the continuation of events,” she said. This applies to any event using ESNZ rules including those with a group member affiliation.
“We care about our people and we need to make sure we are not compromising members, officials and volunteers. We are aware that an early end to the season will be disappointing for some but we need to make a decision to provide clarity to organising committees and to ensure people can make plans.” Awards dinners and social engagements should be postponed. A decision on the ESNZ AGMs will be made in the next two weeks.
Officials and volunteers should not feel compelled to officiate at any events in the next three months if they are asked, personal safety is of the utmost importance. ESNZ organising committees, including area groups, and those using ESNZ rules, should not be running any events, winter series or practice days, in the next three months. The best plan is to ride your horse but in an environment where other people have not congregated or where social interaction is possible. Personal responsibility is key.
These are unprecedented times and the situation continues to develop in New Zealand and around the world. ESNZ will endeavour to keep everyone informed as much as possible. The Government has indicated there may be a tightening of the rules around mass gatherings in the next week. We will review this situation as it comes to hand.
A Covid-19 page has been developed on the ESNZ website with cancellation notices, updates and any information that comes to hand. Please use this to keep up to date.
For ESNZ staff, there are travel restrictions in place and all staff are being asked to be vigilant. No hotel accommodation is permitted and the central office will be monitored daily. A business continuity plan is in place should the office need to be closed.
For further information please contact CEO Dana Kirkpatrick on [email protected]