Isaac Hall: “In tough times like these I think it’s very important to find the positives in everyday”

We’re all very aware of the Corona measures in the centre of Europe in countries such as Belgium, The Netherlands and France but we actually don’t know what’s happening in other parts of Europe or in the UK. That’s why we asked Isaac Hall, who’s living in quarantine in the UK at the moment.

Just like anywhere else in the world, the UK is also struggling in these hard times. Luckily, like many others in this industry, I am blessed to live in the countryside and can continue to care for my horses. My name is Isaac Hall, I’m a 23 year-old rider based in Leicester. Together with my family, we breed horses and we produce into them into show jumpers.   The UK has been in lockdown since the 23rd March with our national federation, the BSJA, stopping all competition from the 19th March and with their latest update this suspension of organised training and competitions will continue until the 31st May.

As for when competitions resume, I think it is widely known that we will all have to change a lot and there will be a norm to insure everyone can participate with minimal risk. The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) have released a statement on this matter : “There will be a period of transition as those competitive members will need to get back riding and build their personal fitness levels, as well as training their horse to be ‘competition ready’. Organisers and venues will need to make adaptations in line with any restrictions imposed by government and the competitions themselves may have alternative formats, restricted numbers and different environments to operate within social distancing parameters.”

As for how I have reacted to the current situation, after quite a busy winter season jumping national competitions in the UK and competing with qualifiers for the start of the outdoor season, I have decided to give all my competition horses a break. It has been difficult for me as I was really excited to compete at Hickstead as I qualified and also at the Royal Windsor Horse Show but of course my difficulties are incomparable to most in these times. With the BEF’s latest announcement I will likely start to bring them back into full work over the next few weeks knowing that there will be no important competitions immediately.

At home I have been using this free time away from shows to work on my young horses (only ones I feel I can work safely) and doing a lot of maintenance across the property, from replacing fence posts, painting the stable to rolling the fields. We have also been very lucky to have had two beautiful foals born during this trying time which have been a wonderful distraction, especially for my parents who are both doctors working at hospitals in Leicester. In tough times like these I think it’s very important to find the positives in everyday, it is very easy to become demotivated, especially when our whole sport has come to a halt. But while we are all desperate to get back to shows we need to remember that our health and the health of everyone around us is the most important thing and a change to the way we live for the near future is unavoidable.