The Stewards of the INHSC have confirmed that when the 2020/21 point-to-point season kicks off at Ballingarry in little over a week’s time, it will do so behind closed doors.
Last season ended prematurely with the final two fixtures taking place without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and with Government guidelines currently dictating that all sporting events take place on a behind closed door basis, that situation is to continue into the new campaign which gets underway on September 19.
A range of new measures have also been introduced in order to ensure the return of point-to-point racing is managed safely, with weekly online health screening mandatory in advance of each race weekend, temperature checks on arrival at fixtures and the wearing of face masks or face coverings being made compulsory.
The entrance gate will be strictly policed by IHRB staff ensuring that it is only essential personnel in attendance with the following people only permitted to attend until further notice:
Hunt Officials acting at the Point to Point meeting including:
• Covid-19 Liaison and Compliance Officer
• Clerk of the Course
• Public Address Announcer
• Declarations Clerk and one Assistant (the Assistant should only be inside when absolutely necessary, both Officials must be positioned behind a Perspex screen/face visor)
• Clerk of Scales and one Assistant (the Assistant should only be inside when absolutely necessary, both Officials must be positioned behind a Perspex screen/face visor)
• Person in charge of Numbercloths (this Official must be positioned behind a Perspex scree/face visor)
• Two Mounted Hunt Members
• Starter and two Assistants to check girths
• Judge and one Assistant
• Three Acting Stewards
• Two Veterinary Surgeons appointed by the Hunt
• One Medical Officer appointed by the Hunt
• Fence Marshalls
• Hunt Committee Members to facilitate access and parking at the meeting, compliance with social distancing and any other duties as required
Non-Hunt Officials working at the meeting including:
• IHRB Officials/HRI employees working at the meeting
• Ambulance Personnel working at the meeting
• Qualified Riders riding at the meeting
• Handlers with a horse running at the meeting. Should the Handler be unable to attend the fixture, (s)he may send one Representative to act on their behalf
• One groom per horse running at the meeting
• One additional person per Handlers training establishment with a horse running at the meeting (only where necessary)
• Fence Provider
• DVD Provider
• Journalist/Photographer with prior approved accreditation
• Hunt Committees are permitted to nominate up to five attendees
All the above people will have to leave when their presence is no longer necessary at the meeting.
Online health screening
for these attendees will be introduced and will take place each week on the IHRB website from 9am each Thursday and will close on Friday’s at 8pm.
Failure to complete the screening within this window will result in a person being unable to attend fixtures.
Upon successfully completing the screening, attendees will receive a ticket with a QR code on it which must be presented at the entrance gate for scanning. Attendees can apply for Saturday and Sunday tickets at the same time, with a ticket for each day being supplied to them.
Among the other measures introduced, the weigh-tent will no longer be used, instead being replaced by four administration horseboxes whilst riders will be required to change in their cars.
The IHRB have created this video tutorial to demonstrate how point-to-point meetings will operate safely during this time and the protocols can be viewed in full HERE