The news for this and the past several weeks has been all about the Covid19 pandemic, as if you need us to tell you that. The UK has now been on lockdown for three weeks and this week will be an important milestone in the management of this terrible disease mapping out the likelihood of lifting lockdowns and allowing sport to resume etc etc.
Before we have our weekly rant at some and commendation of others, we want to say how terribly sorry we are, to hear the news that Dr. Bechtolsheimer died last week. We send our condolences to his family. Dr. B as he was known was well known in the equestrian world, particularly dressage, mentored several British representatives who competed at the Olympic Games over the last twenty years. Carl Hester, Kirsty Mepham and of course his daughter Laura Tomlinson together with Lara Butler, who was Olympic reserve. He also supported other British events other than dressage, always quietly, without fuss and usually anonymously. He will be sorely missed and particularly sad that he dies at a relatively young age of seventy one.
This is rather a sombre news bulletin like all other news from the media – What a surprise! Anyway, now we are going to give you a little interlude, a short video showing that dressage is not always serious and how in 2000, members at an event at Keysoe let their hair down on the catwalk!! compared by the then chairman of BD David Holmes. Click below.
As we understand it at present, both British Dressage and British Showjumping have already committed themselves to banning all competition and training until the end of May. This, however hard for everyone we commend. The FEI have also stipulated again that there will be no equestrian sport until the end of May. Racing is behaving rather differently. In Germany and France and Ireland, there is a move to re-start behind closed doors as soon as possible. In the UK, the BHA are of the same opinion and are looking at opening a few race courses where they believe they can do this without causing further Corona virus outbreak. This is folly for two reasons in our opinion. Firstly, like wealthy football clubs, who have announced they were going to lay off staff but keeping their ridiculously high paid players on their current wage, have quickly had to change their minds due to the backlash of media and public outrage. This we suggest would be the same for racing. If they were to re-start before governments and authorities felt that it was completely safe to do so would create a similar backlash. People would simply ask, why should the wealthy few continue their lives uninterrupted? It would be a complete PR disaster for racing. Secondly, with all the travelling lads, lads who lead up horse before the races, the trainers and owners, plus those who would be necessary to run the races, stewards and other staff, to say that there would be little or no risk of any contamination between people would be like suggesting that Donald Trump would have been a better captain of the Titanic. A completely crazy notion!
The editor Bernard Simpson has been involved with horses and the industry for over 40 years. Together with his wife, he bred many flat racehorses including some which were Royal Ascot winners. He is also experienced in equine media using video, photography and journalism. Bernard currently lives in Wiltshire. He and guest authors now present this blog and hope you like our articles.
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