Our own horse insurance teams are itching to get back out competing, but with lockdown in full-force, online – or virtual – shows are the only competitions likely to be happening anytime soon.

As these types of events are new to most of us, we had a look at several frequently asked questions surrounding virtual horse shows.

Will I be submitting a photo or a video of me and my horse?

The rules and regulations of each particular online show will make it clear whether you need to submit a photo or a video to enter. Either way, you will need to adhere to social distancing regulations in order for the photo or video to be taken. Perhaps you could get a member of your immediate household to take the photo or video, if you need a close-up.

Do I need to turn my horse out differently for an online competition?

No, he needs to be just as clean as possible! Get that horse shampoo and show shine at the ready, and what a great excuse to give your tack a good going over. We have seen some great things online with top tips for sharpening up turnout over the lockdown time. SEIB Sponsored rider and top show producer, Katie Jerram-Hunnable has put up some super-useful tips on her Facebook page Katie Jerram Equestrian.

How do I get a really sharp photo or video?

Our resident photographer, Sue Robb of SMR Photography suggests always making sure that there is enough space around the horse to get a clear photo – don’t have the background cluttered up with yard equipment. Try to take the photo in the centre of a sand-school, or out in an open field. Also, take any photos, or video with the camera in landscape mode, not portrait.

Who will be judging my virtual class?

The judges’ names will generally be made available in the rules and regulations for the show. Some online horse shows will have the classes judged by the person running the show, others will hire proper show judges to assess the winner.

SEIB’s Search for a Star showing series started off – well over 20 years ago – with competitors sending in photos of themselves and their horses to be judged to determine which horses and riders would go through. The photo judges were none other than top show producers and judges, Robert and Ali Oliver. So the sky – or an appearance at HOYS – could be the limit!

About SEIB

SEIB have been providing insurance for horses for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen. If you’d like advice on your insurance please call us on 01708 850000.