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The British Grooms Association’s Lucy Katan: “British grooms should not travel to other European countries as of January 1st”

Monday, 21 December 2020

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.
Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



The British Grooms Association (BGA) has issued urgent advice for British grooms concerning travels abroad to other European countries. The UK is set to leave the European Union (EU) on January 1st but as a trade deal is yet to be reached, the BGA has major concerns when it comes to health care and travel insurances for British grooms with residence in the UK. 

World of Showjumping spoke to BGA’s founder and executive director Lucy Katan who explains that without an agreement between the EU and the UK in place on January 1st, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid – meaning that grooms travelling to other European countries will not get free access to health care. The Covid-19 pandemic complicates the situation even further, Katan tells: As the Foreign Office’s advice is to avoid any nonessential travel to other European countries, anyone travelling will not be covered by their travel insurance policy.

“As far as we are aware, there is at this moment no policy that will cover for health care for British grooms travelling abroad,” Katan says. “My concern is that we will have British grooms in Europe with no health care provision, and accidents happen! As a parent, I think that is very concerning. Our current advice – and I know it is harsh – is that British grooms should not travel to other European countries as of January 1st. I think it would be irresponsible without travel insurance or health care provision confirmed.”

“If there wasn’t for the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation would be different,” Katan explains. “Even without EHIC, you could still count on your travel insurance – with Covid-19 however, this no longer applies. If the UK will find an agreement with the EU and the EHIC remains, then grooms will have access to health care in other European countries. But as the situation is today, we do not know if that is going to happen.”

“The problem is that many grooms often are left without a lot of choice,” Katan says. “Their rider might tell them that they are going to the Sunshine Tour, and in case the grooms don’t want to travel, a replacement can be found. My worry is that under the current circumstances, grooms can risk being put in a really difficult situation which can lead to mental health issues.”


Click here to read the full advice from the BGA.

Click here for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's information for UK nationals living in the EU, EEA EFTA, Switzerland and Ireland, including guidance on residency, healthcare and the Withdrawal Agreement.

Click here for information about the European Health Insurance Card.


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