COVID-19 Statement and Updates

Last Updated: May 29, 2020, 9:30am

Collectively we’re experiencing a lot of changes and firsts right now. As members of Horse Council BC and the equine community you remain at the forefront of everything we do as we work through these challenging times. We also want to re-assure you we support the health and welfare of horses and their people.


HCBC, with guidance from the Government of British Columbia, will continue to monitor the situation and advise on this status as new information becomes available.

All members are reminded to follow the advice of British Columbia’s Chief Medical Officer and all levels of Government. Additional details and up-to-date information can be found on the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control webpage.

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control

BC Ministry of Health

Federal Ministry of Health Current COVID-19 Updates

Return to Sport/Activity Resources:

Return to Sport Message from the Honorable Lisa Beare 

BC’s Return to Sport FAQ

Government of BC’s Key Steps to Safely Operating Your Business Checklist

Return to Competition Guidelines for the Sport Horse Following a Break in Training Due to COVID-19 from Equestrian Canada.

Resources from WorkSafe BC for Employers:

  • Like essential services during the pandemic, all employers must demonstrate that they can operate safely. In fact, all employers are required under the Workers Compensation Act to ensure the safety of their employees at work.
  • As local businesses, non-profits and organizations plan for their restart, WorkSafe BC is here to help.
  • WorkSafe BC will work with industry associations to ensure the direction and guidance they provide to their members meets the requirements set out by the Provincial Health Officer.
  • WorkSafeBC will work with employers and workers through educational materials, consultation, and workplace inspections to help them restart safely.

Employers will be required to:

Sectors that have operated during the pandemic may need to update their COVID-19 Safe Plans to fit with updated Health and Safety Guidelines, best practices and resources.

WorkSafeBC, COVID-19 and returning to safe operation – Phase 2 https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates/covid-19-returning-safe-operation

For resources, visit the WorkSafeBC website or call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 1-888-621-7233

Office Operations

Beginning Tuesday, March 17 the HCBC office will be closed to the public and all HCBC staff will work from home until further notice.

Mail and in-person service as well as shipments from the HCBC Online Store will be unavailable. Membership renewals are available online anytime or by phone during regular office hours (8:30 -4:30) at 1-800-345-8055.

Staff can be reached by email or phone Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. There will be no in-office activities or in-person meetings until at least April 12 at which time that will be re- evaluated. Please expect delayed processing times for items sent via mail or courier.  Staff extensions and emails can be found here: https://www.hcbc.ca/index.php/about/our-staff/

***We are experiencing some technical difficulties with our phone system, if you are having trouble getting through, please contact us by email**

Events & HCBC/EC Sanctioned Competitions

Updated March 30th 2020

Following the most recent information provided by the Province of British Columbia regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Horse Council BC has suspended all activities effective Monday March 16th through to June 30th (subject to change). This includes, but is not limited to, all HCBC and Equestrian Canada Sanctioned competitions, events and clinics.

The initial return to competition was set for April 12, 2020, but has been extended due to federal government and public health authority directives to limit COVID-19 transmission. 84 EC sanctioned competitions were scheduled during the timeline of March 16 to June 30, 2020. No competitions will be sanctioned by either EC or the Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) for the period of suspension. Read the full statement here.

Equestrian Facility Operations

In an effort to minimize the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), Equestrian Canada (EC) and the Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) recommend the following as best practices concerning equestrian facility operations, consistent with the recommendations of applicable health authorities.

CapriCMW Update: COVID-19 Precautions for Equestrians and Commercial Equine Enterprise Operations:

COVID-19 – FAQ – Equine – May 28 v2 -Updated May 28

Additional resources for Equestrian Facilities and Businesses:

  • Financial Resources for Equine Farms and Equestrian Facilities – From Equestrian Canada, a list of resources for equine farm or equestrian facilities from financial to insurance.
  • Wage Subsidy Calculator – To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).  This important economic measure provides a 75% wage subsidy of up to $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks, preventing further job losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
  • B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers – B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
  • BC Ministry of Agriculture Survey   *This survey is extremely important, please take the time to complete it as soon as you can. The Ministry is trying to understand the economic impact that the COVID-19 virus has on our members, facility owners, coaches, instructors and other stakeholders.
  • Western Canadian Farriers Association Health Protocols – Resource for health protocols from the Western Canadian Farriers Association
  • Equestrian Canada Recommendations for COVID-19 Return to Business Operations  – This document is designed as a framework for equine and equestrian facilities to develop a return to business operations plan based on protocols provided by provincial and federal health organizations post-pandemic. Facilities that develop a plan based on this framework will be prepared to resume operations as soon as provincial and federal legislation allows.
  • Sport Law and Strategy Group, RETURNING TO PARTICIPATION UNDER COVID-19: UPDATING YOUR WAIVERS AND FORMS information for businesses

Government resources for Equestrian Facilities and Businesses:

Farm/Agricultural Resources:

Member Support Resources:

Webinar Series:

These free webinars provided members with an opportunity to participate in an interactive Q&A seminar about insurance and the equestrian industry and how it relates to you during these challenging times. Featuring Mike King our insurance provider at CapriCMW Inc.

Coaches and Instructors – Watch it back: Click here

Facilities – Watch it back: Click Here

Individual HCBC Members – Watch it back: Click here