As the world begins to adapt to a “new normal” due to the effects of the Coronavirus, new studies have evaluated the risks of spreading COVID-19 through sport. And there’s good news for equestrians – most disciplines of riding are at minimal risk.
Italy, one of the first countries to be impacted by the virus, has begun to acclimate back to usual, everyday life. In order to better understand the risk of spread, University of Turin and the Italian Ministry of Sport and the Italian Committee (CONI) have conducted a survey calculating the probabilities of COVID-19 contamination through sport. Several Olympic sports were assigned a “risk-indicator” between 0 (almost non-existent risk) to 4 (very high risk). Training conditions, competitions, and audience presence were variables considered to assess each sport.
While equestrian sport received a 0-risk level (as well as other sports like tennis and golf), the risk of contamination increases when riding in a group, such as polo or racing. However, these disciplines are still considered 1-risk level (low). Team sports were found to have a higher probability of contamination, beginning with 2-risk level for sports like water polo. Soccer was determined to be a 3-risk level, while volleyball, basketball, and American football have the highest probability at 4-risk level.