Covid 19 Protocols


Like all affiliated Horse Sports Ireland(HSI) organisations, Mounted Games Association Ireland(MGAI) have submitted to HSI a set of protocols to be used in restarting games competitions in 2020. 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. 

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 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. This document will evolve and should be considered as a ‘living and breathing ‘ document as Government and HSE guidelines are updated. 

First one day training session under new protocols was held in the SouthEast region in June and version 1.3 of the protocols document updated June 17th reflects any changes. The detailed list on this page below reflects most uptodate protocols.

First overnight competition planned July 25th/26th Stradbally  – Irish Individuals Competition. Version 1.4 of protocols created.

Protocols revised(v1.6) August 25th in light of updated Government guidelines issued Aug 18th

Protocols revised(v1.7) October 15th Updated to reflect Government issued  Living with Covid 19 Framework


  1. No competitions can occur while travel restrictions which restrict travel to ‘essential travel’ only remain in place
  2. Social Distancing advice continues. 
    1. Keeping a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people
    2. Not shake hands or make close contact with other people
  3. Good hygiene and hand washing advice continues


  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
  3. Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


  1. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  2. Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups.

Risk Mitigation List 

  1. 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. 
  2. If a rider or arena party members has traveled outside of the Country within the last 14 days and are subject to the Government guidelines  of a 14 day quarantine on return, then they will not be allowed partake in an event within the quarantine period.
  3. If a rider or arena party member has been contacted by contact tracing health authorities (or alerted via app) and advised to restrict their movements. then they should NOT travel or partake in any event within the quarantine period, Refer to
  4. 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’
  5. Only outdoor venues will be used.
  6. Family Units travel together to events with no sharing of lorries/jeeps/ponies outside of the family group.
  7. Entry to games events is restricted to MGA members only including arena party.
  8. 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. * Update app now available. Click here to download.
  9. All entrants will be contacted/messaged before arrival reminding them of conditions of entry.
  10. 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. Feedback from initial trial was that facemasks quickly disintegrated after an initial few(3) races and became unusable. Committee meeting June 17th decided that unless masks became mandatory from Government guidelines, MGAI would not insist on use of face masks by riders. HSI Update: ‘In line with FEI recommendations for Equestrian Sport, Horse Sport Ireland are requesting all participants to wear face coverings/masks while attending events. This is for individual safety and that of others
  11. On arrival at events MGAI will confirm that only those entered (both riders and arena party) arrive on site for the competition. A check will be made at gate so that any late swaps of arena party are recorded and its plain sailing system updated so that contract tracing requirements are fulfilled.   
  12. 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. 
  13. Arena Party members (limited to 2 per rider/team) stay at all times 2 metres apart.
  14. Arena party equipment is colour coded and is laid out for each team at side of the arena 2 metres apart. Ideally equipment boxes should be marked out on the ground and allocate enough space to ensure social distancing between arena party members.
  15. 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.
  16. Equipment is washed/bleached before competition starts and at the end of each heat. Equipment will be sanitised using a 0.1% Chlorus (Sodium hypochlorite) solution for a minimum of 1 min contact time before competition starts and at the end of each heat (Based on WHO disinfection guidelines available at  This is made up by diluting 10mL of 10% Chlorus to 1 L water. Games equipment that has been stored for a minimum of 10 days without contact will also be deemed safe.
  17. Unloading trailer & allocating equipment / reloading trailer should be allocated to one nominated person who puts on disposable gloves specifically for the task who hands/collect colour coded equipment to nominated arena party.
  18. Separate Sanitiser equipment/materials  to be provided for each Arena party members at separated equipment area by rider at side of arena as per point 8 above. Arena party must clean/sanitise hands at the end of each race. This is to address the concern of fixing poles for each race as riders will move from one lane to another, poles could be touched by multiple arena party members. We need to be of the mindset that potentially any surface is a potential contaminant.  Disposable gloves are optional but if used to be disposed of at the end of each heat
  19. Separate 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.  Disposable gloves are optional but if used to be disposed of at end of each heat
  20. If a rider places any piece of equipment on his/her mouth, automatic elimination and equipment must be disinfected.
  21. Box to be provided at rider sanitising station with equipment the rider needs at the start line for that race.  They will also return equipment to that box.
  22. Riders have to stay 2 metres apart in call up locations.
  23. Riders should not engage in warm-ups within games arena until lanes allocated. 
  24. Judge and Scorer cannot share the same Lorry or Car unless from the same household. If weather conditions force sharing of Lorry and social distancing is not possible, then face masks are mandatory 
  25. Social Distancing means no visiting other lorries.
  26. No sharing of water bottles.
  27. No offering/sharing of cups for tea/coffee etc.
  28. No Marquees or indoor venues can be used for draws/catering which break social distancing guidelines.
  29. Lorry parties will not be tolerated as this will be in breach of the government Covid regulations.
  30. The government rules apply to us all, so only a maximum of 6 people from 3 households can congregate indoors(excluding Lorries) together, and only 15 people outside. Any breaches of these laws could result in disqualification for the riders involved.
  31. Toilets- portaloos will not be provided at 1 day events. Participants should have their own facilities in their truck / trailer and not share lorry toilet facilities. For overnight events, where temporary toilets are provided, it is suggested that a sanitiser station is located near the toilets and good personal hygiene practices the responsibility of all users.
  32. Camping: All tents to be at least 2 metres apart
  33. Social distancing rules(presently 2 metres) apply at all times during competition including overnight
  34. If outside catering is on site, vendors should be encouraged to provide cashless payment facilities with clearly defined 2-metre markings on ground  for patrons to enforce social distancing when purchasing.

Revised Fall Protocols 

  • Person first to scene. 
    •  Assess findings from social distance and record findings. 
    •  Summon help first aider and / or parent to scene. 
  • First aider should assess the situation and where possible work from a social distance. 
  • The First Aider
  • must have access to the appropriate PPE i.e. gloves, mask, goggles.
  • If the faller requires further medical attention at Accident and Emergency, an ambulance should be called or the parent should transport the member. depending on the situation which should be assessed by the First Aider and Health and Safety Officer. 
  • The Health and Safety officer should attend the site of the fall and record all of the details of the accident or incident for the Accident Report Form and Incident Log. 

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