Resumption of MGAI Activities

March 28th 2021

We continue to be in a situation of uncertainty in regards to COVID restrictions. MGA Ireland will endeavor to run whatever training and events we are allowed through the 2021 season.

IMGA are also currently planning on going ahead with its programme of events, Europeans in Denmark (Teams all ages, and individuals U18s and opens). World Teams (U18 and opens) has moved to La Bonde in France. World individuals in Wales and World pairs in Newark, England. What is unclear are the regulations for traveling to these events and quarantine requirements going out and coming back. MGA Ireland will run trials for teams (probably in late May or early June) if it looks like we can get teams to these competitions.

Within Ireland, we are hoping that we will get up and running some time soon. When we get going our intention is to run local area training for 2 to 3 weeks. Then we will run individual competitions for about 2 weeks followed by a pairs league for 4 to 6 weeks. Depending on how the season then progresses we will slot in other competitions. Tentative dates for MGAI 2021 are contained on the enclosed list.

Our 4 major competitions for the season are penciled in as follows:

Sat 3 and Sun 4 July 2021 MGAI Individual Championships
Sat 24 and Sun 25 July 2021 MGAI Pairs Championships
Sat 28 and Sun 29 Aug 2021 MGAI Irish Masters
Sat 11 and Sun 12 Sept 2021 MGAI Irish Team Championships

MGA Ireland COVID activities within Living with Covid Government Framework(Oct 2020)

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
1 Level of Activities PermittedArea & MationalArea & NationalCounty OnlyCounty OnlyNone
1.1 Competitions (Events)Permitted – protective measures in placePermitted -with protective measures in place behind closed doorsNoneNoneNone
1.2 Training Sessions (Outdoors only)Training sessions can take place with protective measuresTraining restricted to pods of 15 with protective measures Restricted to Non-Contact (Individuals only, or pairs etc within the same household units). Pods of 15 including arena party. 1 rider- 1 Groom/Arena party per rider from within household unit. Restricted to Non-Contact (Individuals only, or pairs etc within the same household units). Pods of 15 including arena party. 1 rider- 1 Groom/Arena party per rider from within household unit. None
1.3 Attendance (Riders/Grooms/Arena Party)Max 200Max 200Pods of 15. All with Face MasksPods of 15. All with Face MasksNone
1.4 SpectatorsYesNoneNoneNoneNone

Autumn League 2020

Proposed Autumn league dates….Subject to government guidelines.

  • Sun 25th Oct, Punchestown
  • Sun 1st November, Punchestown
  • Sun 8th November, Punchestown
  • Sun 15th November, Abbottsown
  • Sun 22nd November, Abbottsown
  • Sun 29th November, Punchestown
  • Sun 6th December Abbottsown
  • Sun 13th December Punchestown

Format of league to follow. Please note that the running of any of these dates is subject to Government Covid 19 guidelines. As long as all counties in Ireland remain at level 3, it will NOT be possible to run the league on the dates above. Presently, all counties in Ireland are at Level 5 until Dec 2nd. It is unknown at this stage what is the proposed Covid level post December 2nd.

Irish Teams Championships 2020

Important Update re Irish Teams Championships: Following a meeting of the committee Aug 25th, we are now swapping the Irish Masters Pairs competition into 5/6 September and the Irish Team Championships out to 19/20 September. This is because Kildare are in an extended lock down and would not be allowed play on the weekend of the 5/6 Sept. Venues TBC. We are also adding a new pairs competition on Sunday 30 August in Cork at the Showgrounds (some people will already be there for Pony Club on Saturday).

Irish Team Championships 2020

Following a committee meeting Aug 12th, where the imposition of local Covid restrictions in Laois, Kildare and Offaly last Friday which were originally due to expire on midnight Friday Aug 21st but then extended to expire on midnight Sunday August 23rd were reviewed, we have concluded that we have no option but to defer the Irish Team Championships until September 5th/6th still in Co Louth. Approximately 25% of our riders are from the restricted counties, so running the Irish Teams champs which is one of our showpiece competitions without these counties is a non-runner. Any entries already made will be transferred to the new date. Refunds will be made if the new dates are not suitable for any riders already entered. For the rest of the country we are running a pairs competition in Co Meath on Aug 23rd . We are delighted to announce that we are also running an Irish Masters competition for Pairs weekend of Sept 19th/20th , Venue(tbc) using the format seen previously at the Kildare Masters (pairs competition but some races are Individuals).And lastly, NI are running the Celtic Pairs competition Sept 26th/27th and a Teams competition (NI End of Season) on Oct 3rd/4th. Stay Safe everyone!

Games Restart Schedule

Dear members,
Now that travel restrictions are lifted from June 29th, we are able to launch a programme of events, that all members can attend. We have successfully rolled out new Covid 19 protocols for running games competitions which have been used in local practice sessions in both the South East and North East areas. I would urge everyone to familiarise themselves with these protocols.

Initially our focus will be on individual competitions, then pairs and finally teams. I’m delighted to announce that we will be running separate Irish Individual, Pairs and Teams championships during July and August as well as regional events by area. Key dates are
Ø Irish Individuals Championship – 2 day – Stradbally – July 25th/26th
Ø Irish Pairs Championship – 2 Day Venue TBC Aug 1st/2nd
Ø Irish Teams Championship – 2 Day – August 22nd/23rd

In addition, we have a series of 1 day friendly competitions as follows;
Ø July 4th – U12/U14 Individuals – Tipperary – D Blackwell
Ø July 4th – U17/Opens Individuals – Meath – Weldons
Ø July 11th – All Ages Individuals – Stradbally
Ø Aug 8th/9th – All Ages Individuals – Abbotstown

As well as national competitions, local areas are also organising local events.
Further dates will be added for September once we get visibility of MGA NI plans

Its good to be back and looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Covid 19 Update – June 17th

Just to update everyone. The SE area trialed our return to play protocols on Sunday last. The committee met tonight and agreed some minor modifications to the protocols that will be updated this week. We are now looking at commencing national competitions once movement outside our county / 20KM limits are lifted. So we are looking at making a schedule to at least accommodate individuals and possibly pairs competitions in July (dependent on getting suitable venues). I hope that everyone continues to stay well. Regards, Mark

Covid 19 Update – June 2nd

Dear members, as we all moving to hopefully Phase 2 of the Government Covid19 reopening plan and getting ready to a ‘new normal’,  it’s time to update you all re MGAI plans. We have submitted to Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) a document which explores the challenges faced in restarting games competitions in 2020. This document will evolve and should be considered as a ‘living and breathing ‘ document as Government and HSE guidelines are updated. We have a duty of care not just to our members but to our members families and wider society, that we have all required protocols in place so that hosting a mounted games competition will not be a source of spreading the Covid 19 virus. These revised protocols ‘new normal’ are quite extensive and need to be fully understood by all members.

A key risk in Mounted Games is equipment transfer and the potential of equipment becoming a source of transmission. The aim is to restart competitions starting with an individual one day Open competition with a Covid-19 set of protocols in place which can then be reviewed before rolling out the revised protocols to pairs and ultimately teams competitions.  Until these protocols are put in place and tested, no overnight competitions are planned. Any competition is subject to government travel restrictions which is still 20km during Phase 2 starting June 8th.

Key points are;

It will be made clear at the time of entry (T&C’s on entry form) that any person displaying symptoms associated with Covid19 (Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath or Breathing Difficulties), people who have been in close contact of a confirmed case, people who are considered in a high-risk group, or those caring for somebody in a vulnerable category should not attend. 

Entries Taken on-line only.  No cash entries acceptable.  Entries of riders plus arena party must be made on its plain sailing, giving us a record for contact tracing. Any changes to arena party MUST be notified in advance as checks need to be made re active membership and in addition contact tracing lists need to be updated.

Family Units travel together to events with no sharing of lorries/jeeps/ponies outside of the family group.

Entry to games events is restricted to MGA members only including arena party.

In the event the Government introduces a Contact Tracing App, as a condition of entry and participation at an event or activity, the participant will be required to download and install the APP to anonymously log interactions between participants. If somebody tests positive for Covid-19, the app alerts those who’ve been in close contact with that person. This will be stated on booking form.

If face masks are recommended by Public Health guidelines, it will be mandatory for both riders and all attendees to wear the same. Regardless of whether they are mandatory or not, use of them would be a deterrent to touching face & a reminder of the serious nature of current situation. MGAI have decided that we trial during initial first session back so that MGAI are prepared in case masks become mandatory.

On arrival at events MGAI will check that only those entered (both riders and arena party) arrive on site for the competition.

Lorries and Jeeps/Cars must be parked at least 5 metres apart to facilitate loading/unloading.

No tacking up on the side of neighbours door.

Arena Party members stay at all times 2 metres apart. Equipment is colour coded per team/pair/individual and each team/pair/individual own arena party is responsible for the placing, collection and handout of the allocated colour code for that heat. NO arena party member should touch any other teams/pairs/individual equipment under any circumstances  MGAI to issue socks for initial trial individuals competition. Equipment is washed/bleached before competition starts and at the end of each heat.

Separate Sanitiser equipment/materials  to be provided for each Arena party members at separated equipment area by rider at side of arena. Arena party must clean/sanitise hands at the end of each heat 

Sanitiser equipment/materials to be provided for each rider/pair combination behind the start line.  Hands to be sanitized between each race in a colour coded sanitiser area.  Between each race riders and ponies to implement social distancing. 

If a rider places any piece of equipment on his/her mouth, automatic elimination and equipment must be disinfected.

Riders have to stay 2 metres apart in call up locations.

Social Distancing means no visiting other lorries.

No sharing of water bottles.

No offering/sharing of cups for tea/coffee etc.

Toilets- as we only envisage one day events, portaloos will not be provided.  So participants should have their own facilities in their truck / trailer and not share lorry toilet facilities.