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International jumping resumes this week: “We hope it will give a real boost to our sector and help put our sport firmly on the road to recovery”

Monday, 15 June 2020
Interview

Photo © Sunshine Tour For the first time since March, when lockdowns were enforced globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CSI events are back in the calendar – both in Europe and in the US. Photo © Sunshine Tour.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

For the first time since March, when lockdowns were enforced globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CSI events are back in the calendar – both in Europe and in the US. This week, in Grimaud, France, Hubside Jumping hosts a CSI4* and CSI2* event – followed by three more consecutive weeks of international jumping, while in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, the Sunshine Tour-team has international CSI2* events scheduled over the next two weeks. In Luhmühlen, Germany, RV Der “Montagsclub” hosts a CSI2* event, following their national shows at the same venue. In the US, both Split Rock Jumping Tour and Traverse City Horse Shows host CSI2* events this week. All events will be jumped behind closed doors, and under Covid-19 safety protocols.

World of Showjumping got in touch with the Sunshine Tour’s general manager Teresa Blázquez to learn more about how their organizing committee has worked to be able to host one of the first European CSI events after lockdown, in a country that was among those hit the hardest by the pandemic. 

“Spain has been one of the countries most severely affected by the Covid-19,” Blázquez opens. “For this reason, the Spanish government was obliged to set down the harshest confinement measures seen in Europe, leaving the Spanish population confined for two months until the pandemic was under control.”

“The government has carefully controlled a gradual and staged reductions in the restrictions on movement. Only provinces that have entered Phase 3 of the recovery, may hold competitions with the proviso that there is no sign of any increase in cases in the area,” Blázquez continues. “Andalucía, and especially our locality of the province, has been one of the least affected with only one positive case of Covid-19 confirmed and this was one and a half months ago in Vejer de la Frontera.”

Photo © Sunshine Tour "Someone had to start up the sector again and we sincerely felt that with the dimensions and facilities of our installations plus the vast experience of our team here, we would be able to follow the sanitary protocols and hold a safe show,” Teresa Blázquez says. Photo © Sunshine Tour.

“The main challenge for us has been the uncertainty of how the pandemic would progress in our area and what safety measures and guidelines the Government would put in place for each recovery phase,” Blázquez tells. “Another challenge was that once we had decided to host these three shows and the schedules were approved by both the Real Federación Hípica Española and the FEI, the Spanish government unexpectedly announced – overnight – the closure of all borders,” Blázquez says. “Naturally, we assumed that this would mean that the majority of competitors that could come would be Spanish or residents here in Spain. Riders coming from outside Spain would have to elect to travel down themselves in their own horse trucks to Montenmedio, as in this way there were no restrictions placed on entry to Spain – nor would they be required to complete a quarantine. Transporters were exempt from these quarantine regulations.”

“However, with patience and a lot of hope we have finally managed to organise these three shows here at Montenmedio, hoping that it will give a real boost to our sector and help put our sport firmly on the road to recovery. Someone had to start up the sector again and we sincerely felt that with the dimensions and facilities of our installations plus the vast experience of our team here, we would be able to follow the sanitary protocols and hold a safe show.”

“The Sunshine Tour-team has outlined our own Covid-19 protocol considering all of the directives of the FEI policy that is effective from July 1, as well as of our national federation and the health authority. The protocol has been published on our website, and of course forwarded to all participants in the show,” Blázquez says. “Both we and the participating riders are content with these rules, and the riders are greatly appreciative of the efforts we have made. There will be 350 horses competing here and 15 different countries will be represented.”

“These competitions will open up the new season post confinement and we hope that we have helped to motivate other organisers and show centres to start up again. We feel that, all in all, we have managed to kick off the sector in a safe and measured way,” Blázquez closes off. 

 

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