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.

Covid-19 Update – Mar 19th

Dear members. We hope that you are all keeping well during these extraordinary circumstances. Tonight the MGAI committee have made the decision to defer all activities until further notice. We will resume activities as soon as we are given clearance to do so. This also means that trials on 18/19 April will also be postponed. The committee will decide on when trials will take place by the middle of April (hopefully) – we are potentially looking at dates in May for this (but will depend on returning to some sort of normality!). The Irish Team Championships are now planned for 22/23 August 2020 in McGuinness’ Polo Field in Co. Louth This will double-up as an All Ireland League Date and a Celtic League date – hopefully Covid19 will be sorted by then..“>Take care and remain safe everyone!

Events 2020

Events for 2020: The schedule as planned and circulated has been more or less agreed with our partners in MGANI and Scotland. We are excited that we will host the inaugural Celtic League in 2020. This will be a 3-legged league – hopefully for teams at all ages if we get enough entries (where there are insufficient entries it will run as pairs!). It will combine a teams competition in Co. Louth on 22/23 August hosted by MGAI, 5/6 September in Scotland and 3/4 October in Silverwood hosted by MGANI.

We are also re launching the All-Ireland league with 5 events on the Island of Ireland. This commences 28/29 March in Silverwood Arena (Lurgan) hosted by MGANI (NOTE CHANGED SCHEDULE). This will mean we will not have a pairs spring league event that weekend in Punchestown. It then continues at our Irish Championships over the Easter weekend (11/12 April) in Stradbally, Cork Show 20/21 June, 22/23 August in Louth (McGuinness Polo field) and finishing at the MGA-NI End of season show in Silverwood (3/4 October). Try to get your teams sorted for the season (if we have insufficient entries at younger age groups it will run as pairs). League rules will follow soon!