This information is current as of today 20 March ’20, but may be overridden by any changes announced by government. It’s a guide only, so please refer to the relevant government web sites for more details.
CURRENT NSW RESTRICTIONS
The current NSW Government Restrictions only allow for gatherings of up to two people, but the very strong message is “If you can stay at home, you should stay at home”.
The NSW Government Health Orders, effective 30 March 2020 state:
A person must not, without reasonable excuse, leave the person’s place of residence. Examples of a reasonable excuse include leaving for reasons involving:
obtaining food or other goods and services; or
travelling for the purposes of work or education if the person cannot do it at home; or
medical or caring reasons.
Failure to comply by individuals may result in maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months or a fine of up to $11,000 (or both) plus a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues
The following guidance is provided by Equestrian NSW to our members.
Horse Welfare and Care
If you’re caring for your horse at home, take necessary precautions to ensure your health and safety. Don’t transport your horse to ride somewhere else, as it’s considered non-essential travel.
If you agist a horse at a property you may continue to treat and care for your horse, including feeding and exercising, ensuring you maintain good physical distancing and hygiene practices. Only use your own grooming kit, tack and do not share equipment with other people. Where feed or equipment may be stored centrally, take care to use good hygiene practices around door handles and other points which other owners may touch. Please note, you should contact your agistment facility who may have enacted specific rules related to their facility.
If you own or operate an agistment centre, you may continue to operate your facility and treat and care for the animals on your agistment and maintain the facility.
Vets and other professional services (e.g. farriers) are permitted to attend where required, whilst adhering to social distancing and hygiene requirements.
The NSW Government has stated that people may travel for their work, but that the floating of horses to coaching facilities is considered non-essential travel.
This means that coaches may travel to you, and that coaching can only take place at private facilities and must only be conducted outdoors on a 1 on 1 basis, consistent with social distancing and personal hygiene regulations.
The Federal Government has a range of assistance packages that are available to equestrians, including:
JobKeeper: which provides $1,500 a fortnight to small businesses, to keep people employed. This is also available for sole traders.
Boosting Cash Flow: Small and medium sized businesses with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will be eligible. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.
The payment will be delivered by the ATO as an automatic credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.
Eligible employers that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000.
Eligible employers that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.
Please click on the following link for more details
At all times we encourage you to stay safe, practice good hygiene and respect your community and fellow equestrians.
For further information, please email the Equestrian NSW office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9620 2660.
Chief Executive Officer – Equestrian NSW
Mobile: 0417 244 593
Q. Can I go to my agistment centre and feed my horse(s)?
A. You must confirm with the owners, whether you are able to attend your agistment facility, to care for and maintain your horse. Agistment facilities are required to ensure social distancing requirements are maintained and proper hygiene is practiced.
Q. What if there are several people at my agistment centre?
A. Agistment facilities are required to ensure social distancing requirements are maintained. In the event there are other persons at your agistment centre in contravention of the distancing requirements, please notify the owners immediately. At all times practice social distancing and other transmission reduction measures consistent with the NSW Government’s guidelines.
Q. Can I exercise or ride where I agist my horse(s)?
A. Exercising is considered essential to the care and welfare of horses. Agistment facilities are required to act in accordance with NSW Government regulations. Before proceeding, please contact your agistment facility as rules within private facilities may vary. Note: The NSW Government has advised that all Indoor sporting and recreation facilities are closed. Equestrian NSW interprets this to include covered arenas.
Q Am I able to hire out my privately owned facility to horses not agisted at my property for the purpose to ride or exercises horse(s)?
Q. Can a professional trainer of horses still operate?
A. As long as the trainer is training a horse(s) already located at their property or the trainer is travelling to a private premises for the purpose of their work then professional trainers may continue to operate so long as it is in accordance with the NSW Government’s current restrictions.
Q. If I have an accident riding/exercising or attending my horse, am I still covered by insurance?
A. Gow-Gates has reaffirmed its advice that in order to ensure ongoing coverage under the insurance program, all parties covered by the Equestrian Australia insurance, including members, coaches and affiliates must adhere to the relevant governing body and governmental guidelines and demonstrate reasonable care.
Q. Should I wear gloves when using facilities at my agistment.
A. Members should always practise good personal hygiene consistent with NSW Government guidelines. Your agistment centre may require that gloves are worn. Please contact your agistment centre for advice specific to your facility.
Q. If I am leasing a horse or share a horse with another rider, can we still share responsibilities and attend the horse facility?
A. So long as lessees act in accordance the NSW Government Restrictions.
Q. I am a rider – can I have lessons or be coached on my own property or where I agist?
A. Coaches, as part of their work, may travel (as essential travel) to conduct their business. In this instance coaches must comply with all NSW Government Regulations including but not limited to social distancing and personal hygiene.
Q. I am a coach – can I continue to coach/train my clients?
A. Coaches may continue to conduct their business. However as floating horses between properties is considered non-essential travel, Coaches should not teach travelling clients.
Q. Can I move my horse from one property to another?
A. Horses may be travelled only on specific advice e.g. veterinary requirement. All other travel is considered non-essential.