Members’ Update on “RETURN TO SPORT”.

HORSE COUNCIL BC’S VISION STATEMENT: “A British Columbia where quality opportunities to participate in equestrian sport and recreation are available to ALL”. 


Sport is returning to British Columbia. It is resuming in accordance with the phases outlined the Provincial Government’s Restart Plan. At the designation of the Government of BC, viaSport was assigned the task of creating a set of guidelines on how sport would resume safely during this pandemic – the Return to Sport Guidelines (RTSG). These guidelines were made public following extensive review by a multi-ministry oversight committee consisting of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, WorkSafeBC and guided by the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Authority.

On June 1, 2020, viaSport released the long anticipated COVID19 Protection – Return to Sport Guidelinesalong with many Return to Sport resources and tools.

Each Provincial Sport Organization (like HCBC for the equestrian sport) has been asked to produce sport specific Return to Sport guidelines. These sport specific guidelines are to be approved by each sport organizations’ Board of Directors, creating a pathway for that sport’s gradual return to activity.
Horse Council BC and the other provincial sport organizations have also been working closely with one another, and with Equestrian Canada, to try to ensure the highest possible degree of cohesion across the country.

The return to sport plans are to reflect increased loosening of restrictions over the next 12 – 18 months.
These plans must be in compliance with orders and guidance from the Provincial Health Authority.
They must be made available to the public both by being posted, clearly visible, on the wall of the organization’s facility, and posted on their website.

Horse Council is finalizing its guidelines, and anticipate having our sport specific Return to Sport guidelines out to the community on Friday, June 19, 2020. A virtual Board of Directors’ meeting will take place prior to that, to obtain the Board of Directors’ approval, as mandated by viaSport and the government.

These guidelines, and the resources shown on the HCBC COVID19 Resources Page can help you, our members, start building your Return to Sport COVID1919 Safety Plan.

As equestrians we are lucky, not just because we have horses in our lives, but because our activities lend themselves to an earlier return than many other sports. For now group size limits remain at 50, and strict adherence to physical distancing and enhanced hygiene requirements are cornerstones of RTS plans.

Working together, we will all navigate our way to a new normal! And while doing so, let us keep Dr. Bonnie Henry’s words in mind….”be kind, be calm and be safe”.

I, and all HCBC staff, are always available to answer questions as they arise.


Lisa Laycock
Executive Director, Horse Council BCc1e/2020-horse-council-bc-membership-renewal-9321902?e=[UNIQID]