Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Show goes on for Horse Society Botswana

Horse Society Botswana (HSB) is taking advantage of the government’s decision to allow non-contact sports to host games.

This past weekend, the HSB hosted a Circles in the Sand (CIS) graded dressage and jumping show at the Circles in the Sand Equestrian Centre in Tlokweng.

The event is ‘the first for the HSB since the third lockdown within the Greater Gaborone.’

Held over two days, the show, which featured riders of all ages across categories, started on Saturday morning with the dressage.

Often referred to as a highly skilled form of horse-riding exhibition, the dressage showcases the horse and rider performing different but predetermined movements.

“Dressage is a discipline that showcases the synchronisation of movement between the rider and the horse,” HSB Communications and Branding officer Wiseman Ben explained.

He explained that throughout the dressage, the horse and the rider ‘are given orders from one point to the other, which they have to execute.’

“During the execution, the judges look at the smooth movement between the rider and the horse. They also look at the posture of both the rider and the horse,” he explained.

On the second day of the event on Sunday, the athletes and their equine counterparts competed in the jumping show.

Unlike the dressage, the jumping show is a timed event in which the horse and the rider do a set of jumps around the course.

The jumps are also said to differ in height, with the highest jump for Botswana’s fledgling Equestrian show set at 1 meter.

Meanwhile, the HSB Communications and Branding officer Wiseman Ben says, as a noncontact sport, they have been given a go ahead by the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to host events.

Ben says as such, the event was held in strict adherence to the existing COVID 19 protocols.

Whereas the event would usually attract spectators, for the weekend event, the HSB Communications officer says they had low numbers, mostly riders, officials and horse owners.

“We had opted to keep our numbers very low and we also had less than twenty (20) horses competing,” Ben explained.

“The event was also held in a big open space and this also allowed for those present to observe social distancing,” he added.

To ensure strict adherence to COVID 19 prevention protocols, Ben also had an attendance registry.

“We had a very strict no mask no entry policy and everyone attending had to register their name and contacts. They were also subjected to temperature screening as required,” Ben explained.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.