The VERA SMC has held an emergency meeting tonight to discuss the current COVID-19 situation and the Stage 3 restrictions being enforced by our State Government. As a result of these restrictions all community sport, which includes endurance riding, has been stopped from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 5 August 2020.
Horse riding can still occur provided members meet the restrictions determined for this activity which include staying close to home, maintaining social distancing, wearing face coverings and riding with only one other person and an instructor.
The Department of Health & Human Services website details the restrictions: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sport-and-exercise-regional-victoria-covid-19. Please ensure that you all stick to the restrictions to avoid any fines for breaches.
We know that this will be disappointing news but this is only a short term halt that is necessary for the health of many Victorians. We are endurance riders and we will endure this situation.
In light of the lack of rides on the calendar and possible restrictions on training opportunities for members the SMC, in conjunction with David and Trish Reeves, have decided to cancel the State Champions for 2020. This is, again, disappointing but necessary given the uncertainty that is our lives thanks to coronavirus.
Now that we’ve delivered the bad news here’s a couple of good news items. Bek Williamson has offered to organise a virtual ride again to help keep us all motivated. Over the next week or 2 Bek will pull together the details of the virtual ride and post them on the VERA FB page. Please join us all in this event to keep up the fitness levels for both ourselves and our horses.
The other good news is that David and Trish Reeves have indicated they are happy to offer up the Dergholm ride still. Running a State Championships without any lead up rides is not ideal and we want everyone to be able to come along and get at least one or two rides in before the season ends, COVID-19 allowing us of course!
There will be a number of ride distances with, most likely, an elevated ride with a few points at which riders can retire. We are still working through the details of what will be offered with Trish and David so we’ll keep you updated as soon as more information is made available.
Thank you for your understanding. Please stay safe, follow the restrictions and take care of yourselves. Please also make sure that you make your mental health a priority during this period of lockdown and seek help if required.
Today the Victorian Premier has announced that regional Victoria will be returning to Stage 3 restrictions. As yet the full extent of these restrictions are not known but should become apparent over the next few days. The VERA SMC is continuing to monitor this situation and will provide advice, as soon as possible, on whether we will all be taking a bit longer break from endurance. Please remember to follow all regulations, start wearing your face covering whenever you leave home from tomorrow and, most importantly of all, stay safe.
If you wish to seek a refund on your VERA membership please make an application via the VERA Secretary, Ellen Prestage.
These are tough times for all of us so please let’s all stick together and plan for the day we can all catch up again. Take care.
The VERA SMC would like to advise that we will be again offering half year memberships. This membership will be available from 1 July. The Membership Application form is available on the VERA website under the Forms menu. If you have any questions regarding this membership please contact our Membership Registrar, Sandra Feil.
The VERA SMC is sorry to announce that the Snake Valley Dash ride has now been postponed. The Ride Organisers have decided that it is too risky to proceed with the increasing number of cases in their local area.
VERA would like to thank Renee Henry and Sheree for their efforts in trying to pull this ride together in these difficult times that we in Victoria find ourselves in at the moment.
We know that it is disappointing for members and the SMC share this disappointment with you. Please all remember to stay safe, following government regulations and take care of yourselves. Thank you for your understanding.
According to the latest information provided by our Premier the following changes to the COVID-19 restrictions will be implemented from 22 June:
From 11:59pm on 21 June, full-contact training and competitions may resume for people 18 years and under. Non-contact sporting competitions for all age groups can also begin from 11:59pm on 21 June. Adults can resume full-contact training from 13 July and full-contact competition from 20 July.
Gathering limits will not apply to participants and those reasonably necessary to conduct the training or competition (e.g. umpires, coaches).
It is possible that these restrictions may change if the new case numbers continue to increase but the VERA SMC have decided that we'll give it a go and start to organise some rides. Watch this space as we confirm with Ride Organisers that they will be running their rides. It will be great to see you all again.
VERA's Merchandise Officer, Mezcal Manners, has been working pretty hard over the last few weeks getting together the start of our VERA merchandise line. Our Webmaster, Mark Gabb, has also been burning the midnight oil to get our website updated to include a merchandise page. Go to the Merchandise page and check out the new items.
We'll add some more product lines once we have seen how successful these items are. Please note that the pricing has been kept as low as possible so that take advantage of these COVID-19 bargains.
The VERA SMC would like to advise of a rule clarification handed down from AERA following their meeting yesterday. This clarification is in regard to horses wearing hoods into the vet ring. AERA has determined that hoods will not be permitted to be worn in the vet ring. Could all riders competing in any endurance, intermediate or introductory rides please take note of this clarification to ensure compliance in the future?
Thank you for your cooperation with this matter.