The equestrian centres of the Hauts-de-France are in a state of disarray and will have to work hard to get back in the saddle.

About a month after their reopening, the 500 equestrian centres in the Hauts-de-France were looking for a second wind. Some had disappeared and others could follow by selling anything that could be sold second-hand such as saddles . During the confinement, the horses continued to be fed and cared for.

They have just entered the quarry.five horses and their riders are struggling on the sandy soil of the Mûrier stables in Marquette-lez-Lille.Mélanie Desrumeaux, co-manager of the place and a graduate in horseback riding, doesn’t miss a thing.for two months, most of the riders have been deprived of their mounts and their renewed reunion is a pleasure to see.Mélanie Desrumeaux explains: “For two months, we had almost no financial income, our members continued to pay their dues but those who are “à la carte”, i.e. 30% of the members, stopped paying”. The problem is that the 40 horses in the club and the 20 privately owned continued to require care, food, of course, but also manpower to keep them in shape.

” 250 $ per month and per horse ”

Jean-Pierre Tatincloux, vice-president of the Comité Régional d’Equitation (CRE) of the Hauts-de-France, tells us more: “Equestrian centres have had to face an almost total loss of turnover and expenses that have continued to run, in addition to that, it was necessary to continue to feed the horses, and for that you have to count on an average of 250 $ per month and per horse”. And why not leave the quadrupeds in their boxes? “A horse that stays in place gets colic, twists of the intestine that can go to death. He gets ankylosis, his limbs swell.”

Very strict constraints during the takeover

Confinement has already taken over the existence of several of the 500 equestrian centres in the Hauts-de-France.” Some have already closed down for good, confirms Jean-Pierre Tatincloux, there are already some and there will be more. I hope it will be only a small minority.” There are very strict constraints, says the vice-president of the CRE, with a maximum of ten people, five metres between each horse, not counting the hydroalcoholic solution and masks, which are obligatory in the stables”.

Still waiting for financial aid

In short, always less money for additional expenses. Normally, the equestrian centers should receive aid comparable to that given to zoos and circuses. But then again, “no euros have been released and we have no idea how much money will be distributed. We’re told that a decree must come out soon, we’re waiting for it.” To help the riding schools, Jean-Pierre Tatincloux has an idea: “We could go back to VAT at a reduced rate, as was the case not so long ago.” What we call a hobbyhorse.

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