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Hartpury to Host FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders & Juniors in 2022

Photo courtesy of Hartbury Equine Events.

Hartpury University and Hartpury College have been allocated the 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors. The Gloucestershire venue had been due to host the 2020 Championships until they were cancelled in May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The FEI Board reached the decision during a three-day video conference meeting last week, where the allocation of other FEI Championships and key events for 2021 and 2022 was also discussed. The date for the Championships is yet to be confirmed.

British Dressage Chief Executive, Jason Brautigam, commented: “After the huge disappointment that we all felt when Hartpury had to cancel the FEI Junior and Young Rider European Championships that were due to take place in July, we were absolutely thrilled to hear that the college had been successful in their bid to host the event in 2022 instead. This at least provides some consolation after all of the hard work, effort and investment that went into planning this year’s Championships and provides our talented under 21 riders with another valuable target to aim for in two years’ time. We are immensely grateful for the support we have received from all of the team at Hartpury during the COVID crisis and look forward to national and international competition returning to the venue in the near future.”

British Eventing Chief Executive, Jude Matthews, added: “British Eventing is delighted that Hartpury have been awarded the 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors, particularly following the disappointment from having to cancel this year. The team at Hartpury have worked extremely hard on their plans for this year’s competition, and we look forward to working with them to deliver an outstanding competition opportunity for the youth riders in 2022.”

Hartpury previously hosted the 1997 European Pony Championships and annually organises the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, NAF Five Star Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular and NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials.

Phillip Cheetham, Equine Director at Hartpury, said “We are thrilled to have been allocated the 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors. The decision to cancel the 2020 championships was not taken lightly and we were extremely disappointed not to be able to welcome riders and their support teams to Hartpury this summer.

We’re very grateful to the FEI for allowing us to host the event in two years’ time, and we’re extremely excited about providing the perfect environment in which the best young riders in Europe can perform to the best of their abilities. We must also thank the BEF, British Dressage and British Eventing for their continued support.

Our team is extremely experienced when it comes to staging world-class equestrian events and planning has started in earnest. Rest assured that we’ll be pulling out all the stops to put on a truly outstanding Championships in 2022,” he added.

Find more information on Hartpury here.

USEF Mid-Year Board Meeting Day 1 Notes: New President, Rule Changes + Diversity/Inclusion

Image via US Equestrian.

The US Equestrian Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting is taking place virtually this year, from Monday June 22 to Tuesday June 23. A few key notes from the Monday session:

Tom O’Mara Elected President of US Equestrian for 2021-2025 Term

The Board unanimously elected Tom O’Mara as the organization’s new president with his term beginning in January 2021. O’Mara has been a member of the Board for four years and served as Secretary/Treasurer for the past two years. He took on the task of heading the Drugs and Medications/Lab Review Task Force and has been active in promoting varsity equestrian. O’Mara will take office at the 2021 US Equestrian Annual Meeting, currently scheduled for January 12-17, in Austin, Texas.

Noteworthy Updates & Rule Changes 

  • Membership and Horse Recording Fees: The Board of Directors voted not to refund membership or horse recording fees or to extend the term of membership or horse recording for 2020 despite the 11 week suspension of USEF-licensed competitions.
  • Junior Year Reinstatement: While the Board recognized the disappointment that some equestrians in their final junior year may be experiencing resulting from event cancellations, the decision was made not to extend junior member status for members currently in their 17-year-old year.
  • Horse of the Year Points & Awards: The 2020 USEF Horse of the Year program will continue without any changes despite the interrupted competition season.
  • Rule Change for GR845.6 – Accident Preparedness Plan: All competitions must have in place, prior to the start of the competition, an accident preparedness plan and isolation protocol for horses on-site who show signs and/or symptoms of a potentially infectious disease.

Board Approves Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement and Development of Action Plan

The Board approved a public-facing Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement, as well as the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

The Commitment Statement reads as follows:

“Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to US Equestrian’s vision: To bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible.

“We recognize the need to achieve increased diversity and that our growth and success depends on the inclusion of all people.

“We are committed to providing access and opportunity for people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active military personnel, people with disabilities, and those of all ages, religions, ancestries, and genders and gender identities to harness the synergy of diverse talents.”

The Board also approved the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, aimed at delivering specific requirements and goals of US Equestrian staff and programming, as well as provide resources to the equestrian community. US Equestrian is in the process of developing a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion webpage and Resource Center.

Post-Meeting Wednesday Webinar Open to Members

US Equestrian will host a webinar following the Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting to review key board decisions and approved rule changes. Important updates on the COVID-19 Action Plan and return to competition will also be reviewed. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. Please submit your questions in advance. The webinar will take place Wednesday, June 24, at 4 p.m. ET.

Letter from US Equestrian CEO Regarding Racism

As a community of equestrians, we must do all we can to combat racism and make our sport a welcoming place for people of all race and color, as well as gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability. We are very thankful to our national governing body, US Equestrian, for making transparent its stance on racism and discrimination of any kind. 

Yesterday, Chief Executive Officer Bill Moroney issued the following letter to members, which includes a wellspring of educational resources along with steps the organization is taking to uphold its commitment to do its part to fight against racism. 

Dear Equestrian Community,

The protests and political unrest ignited by the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis have dominated the news throughout the world and motivated hundreds of thousands – including many of our employees – to protest peacefully against racial injustice. This has been a difficult and emotional time, and we wanted to share with you the steps US Equestrian is taking to listen, learn, and do more.

Last Tuesday, US Equestrian participated in #BlackoutTuesday and issued the following statement:

We pause in solidarity and support of the black members of our community. We are committed to listening and learning from you. We hear you. We stand with you. We can and will do better. Black lives matter. #BlackoutTuesday

We are energized by the overwhelming amount of support from this community for Black equestrians and your desire for us to do more.

We believe it is important to be very clear: Black lives matter to US Equestrian. We stand firmly against racism and discrimination of any kind and are taking steps to further educate our staff and create a more inclusive and diverse community for all staff and participants.

We are energized by the overwhelming amount of support from this community for Black equestrians and your desire for us to do more.

We believe it is important to be very clear: Black lives matter to US Equestrian. We stand firmly against racism and discrimination of any kind and are taking steps to further educate our staff and create a more inclusive and diverse community for all staff and participants.

1. Educating ourselves is the first step. Going forward, every employee will be required to take Diversity and Inclusion training, as well as Unconscious Bias training, each year.

As we work to schedule these trainings, there are many resources immediately available to our entire equestrian community. We are asking our employees and encouraging our members to take some time and utilize the resources below to educate themselves on the history and importance of these issues.

Resources include:

The Inclusion Playbook

  • The Inclusion Playbook is a Sports Impact project led by a civil rights advocate and former Division 1 athlete with the goal of empowering social change agents to transform communities in and through sports.
  • The Inclusion Playbook is hosting a series of free webinars this summer, beginning this week on June 11 at 2pm ET with “Olympic Impact: Emerging Issues in Sports Diversity & Inclusion.” We encourage all staff to attend. They are free: https://www.inclusionplaybook.com/webinar.

Podcasts

Books (Listed alphabetically)

Film and Television (Listed alphabetically)

Organizations Leading the Way (sampling of organizations leading the discussion, listed alphabetically)

What You Can Do to Drive Change

2. Board approval and implementation of a US Equestrian Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement and Action Plan. Over the past several months, Ashley Swift, a dedicated member of our Communications Department, has been leading this work and her recommendations will be presented to the Board of Directors at the Mid-Year Meeting. There will be opportunities for members and staff of US Equestrian to engage with and contribute to this program.

3. Increased communication to members on US Equestrian’s commitment to do its part to fight against racism. This includes providing members with educational resources – including training on Diversity and Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias – and ways to work to end racism. We know we cannot do this alone, but we can – and will – do our part.

We understand this is an emotional and difficult time for many. Remember, US Equestrian paid fan and competing members have access 24/7 to a mental health first aid hotline at 1-800-633-3353. Please do not hesitate to reach out and take advantage of these free services.

Thank you all for your efforts to spread the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible, and for advancing our goal of increasing diversity in equestrian sport through an educated and open equestrian community.

Respectfully,

Bill Moroney
Chief Executive Officer
US Equestrian

 

MARS Great Meadow International Is Looking Forward to a Safe, Successful Event in August

Good news from MARS Great Meadow International, scheduled to take place Aug. 20-23, 2020 in The Plains, VA: The organizing committee is working hard to move forward with a safe, successful event, with confirmed support from title sponsor MARS Equestrian. The event has released this statement.

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection, winners of the MARS Great Meadow International CCI4*-S. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Five Rings Eventing, LLC is pleased to announce the return of MARS Equestrian™, a division of Mars, Incorporated, as the title sponsor of the Great Meadow International CIC2, 3 and 4*-S.

The MARS Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) takes place in The Plains, Virginia on August 20-23, 2020. At this point, MARSGMI is planning to proceed as scheduled. The Organizing Committee is in the process of developing protocols to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the event, following all local, national, USEA and FEI requirements related to the COVID-19 health crisis. The driving force for all involved will be the health and safety of all competitors, volunteers, and competition staff.

“The sport of eventing may be on hold for now, but when it is safe to return to competition, MARS Equestrian is a perfect long term partner, committed to the future success of MARSGMI. As we navigate this difficult time, we are so grateful to once again have their support, and look forward with hope to a safe, exciting event in August.” said David O’Connor of Five Rings Eventing.

“MARS Equestrian is delighted to return as the Title Sponsor of GMI,” said Geoff Galant, Vice President of MARS Equestrian. “Ultimately, the partnership with GMI is central to our goal of supporting competition in local areas. Finding new ways to connect with fans and business partners while supporting the event is important to us. The team at GMI is working hard to host a top level competition during these challenging times and we support their efforts.”

In the meantime, new for 2020, MARSGMI will offer a national Preliminary division to include more competitors in this destination event.

“Great Meadow is truly a special place in the heart of Northern Virginia horse country,” said O’Connor. “We are especially excited to broaden the reach of this event to be more inclusive of our community members, businesses, and organizations who share our love of open space, animal well-being, and the Piedmont.”

MARSGMI will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and maintain communication with the Great Meadow Foundation, state and local health officials, and the USEF and FEI.

For more information, visit Great Meadow International.

[MARS Equestrian Returns as the Title Sponsor of 2020 Great Meadow International and Is in Close Partnership with the Organizing Committee to Run a Safe Event]

Covid-19 Statement on Status of 2020 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event

Especially since its designation as new host of the CCI4*-L National Championships, the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event is a hugely important fixture on the U.S. fall eventing calendar. Scheduled to take place Nov. 12-15, 2020 in Reddick, Florida, the event has this morning released the following statement on its status.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

The health of our competitors, spectators, officials, volunteers and everyone else involved in the Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day Event production is very important to us. We have been following all related updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to assess the potential impact on the OJC Event. Based on what we know at this time, we feel confident that the 2020 event can run as scheduled. To keep up to date with updates, please subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us at our social media channels.

The 2020 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event is designated as the CCI4*-L National Championships. Additionally, due to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games set to occur in the summer of 2021, the OJC Event is an important Olympic qualifier. As a number of 4* and 5* events have cancelled across the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is highly important to Team USA and USEF the High Performance program that this event be held as scheduled.

The 5th annual Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event is set to run from November 12th to 15th at the 950-acre Ocala Jockey Club farm in Reddick, Florida. The scenery is breathtaking, with the cross-country competition weaving its way through Spanish-moss laden oak trees and rolling hills unexpected in the Florida landscape. The prepared galloping tracks have gained reputation among riders as having some of the best footing in the country, if not in the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly created much uncertainty to health and the economy in all corners of activities and locations. This is even more so the case for sport events of international caliber like the OJC 3-Day Event, with competitors and spectators traveling domestically and internationally,” said Pavla Nygaard, President of the Ocala Jockey Club. “There are many months of planning involved to stage a world-class event. Based on our communications with stakeholders to date, it is clear that competitors are excited for the OJC Event to run, and so is the Ocala community.”

In 2018 Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day Event won the 2018 Florida Sports Foundation’s Small Market Event of the Year award.

“While some of our regular sponsors may need to pull back in times of economic recovery, we are looking forward to working creatively together with the community toward another successful competition,” Pavla continued. “The event has provided over $1 million annual economic impact to Marion County. This year, more than ever before, the community will benefit from this event. America has missed the inspiration that sports provide, and we believe that this event is an important part of recovery for Ocala, Florida and our nation. As an outdoors event set on hundreds of acres, we feel confident that the event can run safely and successfully with social distancing and other safety protocols.”

There will be four FEI levels of competition: CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-S and CCI4*-L. Each of the levels also features special recognition and prizes for young horses and off-track Thoroughbreds, with the popular Thoroughbred Makeover Masterclass event showcased by the Retired Racehorse Project. More updates and information about the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event will be available at the event website at www.OJC3de.com.

The Ocala Jockey Club facility is a 950-acre crown jewel in the horse country of Ocala, Florida. It serves as a Thoroughbred training farm and to stand stallions, as well as featuring townhomes and an iconic clubhouse functioning as a unique venue for weddings, meetings and other special events. For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club, visit www.ocalajc.com.

[COVID-19 STATEMENT: 2020 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event Status]

Land Rover Blair Castle International H.T. Is Canceled

Photo by Julia Shearwood courtesy of Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials.

Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials, the Scottish CCI4*-L/S, CCI3*-L and CCI2*-L scheduled to take place Aug. 27-30 in Perthshire, released the following announcement today: 

It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of this year’s Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials, due to take place from 27th – 30th August.

We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the many competitors, exhibitors, sponsors and spectators who were planning to attend the event, but also to us as organisers and hosts.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Land Rover Blair Castle International is an incredibly important event for the Scottish equestrian community and the local economy – but we need to prioritise the health and safety of everyone involved.

We explored numerous ways to keep various competition elements, but it is important to us to host an inclusive event, and it didn’t feel right to run without our spectators and trade exhibitors in attendance.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our event partners, especially Jaguar Land Rover who provides key support, facilitating us to bring together the special event that we run each August.

“It is with a heavy heart we announce the cancellation of the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials 2020,” said Sarah Troughton, Head Trustee, Atholl Estates. “It was an unavoidable decision, taken with the safety of the local community, all the riders, and the many helpers and volunteers uppermost in our minds. The 2021 event will be all the more special, and we look forward to seeing you then.”

The Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trial will be back between 26th – 29th August 2021, so please put the dates in your diary now. We look forward to welcoming you again to the wonderful Highlands of Scotland.

With best wishes,

Sarah Troughton, Head Trustee Atholl Estates, and Alec Lochore, Event Director Land Rover Blair Castle International

[Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials]

 

Virtual Eventing Raises £178,500 for the NHS & Medical Charities fighting COVID-19

Virtual Eventing supported by NAF announced that £178,500 has been raised for the NHS and medical charities around the world following the five-day competition, which was live-streamed between May 6-10.

The amazing commitment and effort from riders and presenters, kind donations by the sponsors, and generosity of those who pledged auction prizes meant initial targets were smashed, and a legacy has been left by the eventing world in helping to tackle COVID-19.

Over a million people tuned in to watch 50 world-class riders take part in a series of challenges to mirror elements of modern three-day eventing with a twist. The entertainment came thick and fast, from roller skates to snorkels, stethoscopes to stilettos; this was no eventing fake news story, confirmed by the appearance of Donald Trump. Decorated eventing Olympian William Fox-Pitt (Nurse) and fellow British team member Gemma Tattersall (Unicorn) trotted off with the HiHo Silver best-dressed male and female prizes following the public vote on Facebook.

The dressage was a rare opportunity to see some of the world’s best equine training facilities, as horses and riders floated across our computer screens from their arenas at home under the watchful eye of the judges. Accuracy and precision saw the supremely talented GB Team Rider Laura Collett and London 52 lead at the end of the phase on 24.9.

Cross-Country consisted of a multi-part obstacle course on foot with each rider accompanied by a dog, teddy bear, or, in the case of Australian Olympian Megan Jones, a Shetland pony. Collett’s dominance didn’t last after an impressive dunking at the water complex. Clear rounds were few and far between, with refusals racking up and the clocks ticking down. Flying Frenchman Sebastien Cavaillon proved the most agile with Gemma Tattersall moving into second and Britain’s Matt Heath in third.

Show jumping has so often proved the undoing of many, and at the end of the hotly contested four-day competition, riders were given the final leg up into the saddle, this time on their bikes. Britain’s Kirsty Chabert, who sat sixth at the start of the day’s competition, produced a perfect and penalty-free round to put pressure on the top five.

An abundance of kicking and peddling saw Louisa Lockwood (GB), Olympian Tom Carlile (FR), and Matt Heath produce competitive rounds, while Gemma Tattersall slipped to fifth with four time faults. Tension mounted with Sebastien Cavaillon last to go, on the cusp of glory until an unfortunate error which saw two feet hit the ground, costing him dearly and dropping him to seventeenth place, meaning Wiltshire based Chabert was crowned the winner.

Chabert commented on victory, “I feel terrible for Sebastien and certainly never thought I would finish on my dressage score!”

“It’s really important we do our bit for the NHS and medical charities. They have helped riders on numerous occasions, picking us up off the floor, so it’s the least we could do for an amazing cause.”

Each rider trained diligently for the challenge alongside fundraising from their own Virgin Giving Money platform. Seventeen-year-old Archie Smith-Maxwell (GB) topped the individual fundraising table with a phenomenal £25,000 raised. The French team flew their flag for their nation, with Arthur Chabert, Sebastien Cavaillon, and Tom Carlile collecting the best part of £5,619 for Foundation de France.

Aside from the high octane equestrian action, streamers were invited to browse the silent auction where funds swelled. Generously donated lots, included staycations, lessons with the world’s best riders and bespoke luxury items, which added £41,331 to the fundraising haul. The shopping theme continued; people were able to purchase Virtual Eventing merchandise such as hats and t-shirts, with all proceeds going to charity, while the Virtual Shopping Village saw hundreds of stalls exhibited across the five days.

Rachel Wakefield, organiser of Virtual Eventing, commented, “Eventing has a big community of competitors and fans, and it’s been amazing to see how our sport has united. I never anticipated the support we have had, and to raise nearly £180,000, it is exceptional.”

“My thanks must go to our riders and their owners, auction donors, title sponsor NAF, and all our day sponsors; FMBS, Monbeg Sport Horses, Lotus Romero, Dubarry Of Ireland, SEIB Insurance, Equestriana, Saracens, SEIB Insurance, Voltaire Design, Bloomfield Horseboxes, and Houso, without whose support, this would not have been possible.”

For further information about Virtual Eventing and to watch the event on-demand, visit www.virtualeventing.com and follow at Virtual Eventing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Foshay International Postponed Until 2021; CCI3*-S Division to be Added

Photo courtesy of Foshay International.

Foshay International, the CCI2*-L/CCI1*event scheduled to be held Sept. 3-6 in Jemseg, New Brunswick, Canada, has been postponed until 2021. Some exciting news, though, to soften the blow — they’ll be adding a CCI3*-S division when it resumes! Here is a letter from the event co-chairs:

Dear Foshay Fans,

This has been quite a year and even our horses must wonder why there have been no road trips? At this point, we now have sufficient information from the FEI, EC the NBEA and the province of New Brunswick to know that we will be postponing the next Foshay International to 2021. Not an easy decision, but the right one nonetheless.

In a year where we have seen sweeping cancellations of sporting events from the Olympic Games to our local schooling shows, the physical, mental & emotional effects have been felt by all of us. Furthermore, the economic impact to the industry from national federations to boarding and training facilities has been significant and unprecedented. And though no one really seems to have seen it coming, the fall-out has been global, painful and sustained.

For all that we have experienced to date, many unknowns remain. What is clear is that any rigid approach that we take to future planning is likely to fail. It means that these times will favour those that are flexible, innovative and resilient; all words that are at the heart of the sport of eventing.

When we consider the latest provincial guidelines for travel and gatherings, common sense tells us that we would be unable to host and international equestrian event in 2020. Beyond the limitations of travel and gatherings we also needed to consider our sponsors, officials, athletes and volunteers as we imagined how to possibly host an event such as Foshay International in these times.

We are well aware of how important sporting events are to the benefit of the human psyche, and though none of us know what “normal” will feel like a year from now, we can only imagine that our lives will be enriched through sporting celebrations. For us, that means our focus is now looking ahead; with a commitment to making the Foshay International stronger in 2021.

Prior to the disruptions of 2020 we had already committed to a CCI3*-S in 2021. This will be an important step for not only this event, but also for the sport of eventing in North America. Most importantly, it will mean that Foshay International will be a qualifying event for horses and riders on the road to the 2023 Pan American Games.

Thank you to the Foshay International Organizing Committee, our sponsors, officials, athletes and the broader community for your continued support. These are difficult times as we face circumstances for which none of us could have possibly foreseen. While there may be some uncertainty as to how this will all play out, it is important that as individuals and eventers we play our part in mitigating risk while staying positive and always planning for the future.

Stay safe, and we will do our best to keep you up to date as it all unfolds towards 2021.

Rob and Suzanne Stevenson

Foshay International Co-Chairs

Learn more at the website here.

US Equestrian & USEA to Host Joint Webinar for Eventing: A Safe Return to Competition

US Equestrian and the United States Eventing Association (USEA) are hosting a joint informational webinar session for members and participants within the eventing community to review a safe return to competition and discuss key topics relevant to eventing.

Wednesday, May 13 at 3:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER NOW

Confirmed Panelists:

• Jenni Autry – Managing Director of Eventing, US Equestrian
• Rob Burk – Chief Executive Officer, United States Eventing Association
• Max Corcoran – President, United States Eventing Association
• Jonathan Elliott – Vice President of Competitions & Organizers Representative, United States Eventing Association
• Katlynn Sacco – Director of Competition Licensing, Evaluation & Safety, US Equestrian
• Debbie Saliling – Director of Compliance, US Equestrian
• Lynn Symansky – U.S. Eventing High Performance Athlete

This webinar event is open to USEA and/or USEF eventing members.

The virtual webinar will be held via Zoom. We encourage participants to submit questions in advance when registering. Pre-webinar question submissions will close at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12. There will be a Q&A session following the presentation.

The recorded event will be posted on the USEF Network and the USEA website at the conclusion of the session.

[USEA and US Equestrian to Host Joint Webinar for Eventing: A Safe Return to Competition]

FEI European Championships in Olympic & Paralympic Disciplines Canceled for 2021

The FEI European Championships in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines of Jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Para Dressage will not be held in 2021 due to the revised dates for the Tokyo Games next year. European Championships in the non-Olympic disciplines will still be organised in 2021.

The Hungarian capital of Budapest had been due to play host to five disciplines next summer – Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Driving and Vaulting – from 23 August to 5 September. However, the proximity of the Championships to the rescheduled Olympic and Paralympic Games has meant that it is no longer feasible to run Jumping, Dressage and Para Dressage. As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations of the first FEI European Driving Championships in Budapest back in 1971, the Organisers will maintain both Driving and Vaulting next year.

The FEI European Eventing Championships 2021 were scheduled to take place from 11-15 August at Haras du Pin (FRA), venue for the Eventing test of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, but the decision has been made to cancel the Championships following the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

The new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games are 23 July to 8 August 2021 and the Paralympic Games will run from 24 August through to 5 September 2021.

The FEI Board has agreed that the bid process for the European Championships 2021 in these four disciplines will not be reopened, as all organisers would face the same challenges of trying to host major Championships so close to the Tokyo Games.

“Together with the Organising Committees of both Budapest and Haras du Pin, as well as the Hungarian and French National Federations, we have examined every possible option to try and save the Championships in 2021,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said, “but we have reached the regrettable decision that it simply is not possible to have these important events so close to the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

“While there are some nations that have enough horsepower to send strong teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and also to the European Championships across the four disciplines, we have to offer a level playing field to all eligible countries and we simply cannot do that in this case, so we have agreed that the focus should be on Tokyo next year.

“Of course it is desperately disappointing to lose these Championships from the 2021 Calendar, but we will continue to support Budapest with their double Europeans for Driving and Vaulting.”

The FEI Secretary General has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar and is currently chairing the eight discipline-specific Task Forces that have been set up to seek ways of mitigating the effect of the current Covid-19 pandemic on the FEI Calendar, including the knock-on effects into 2021.

“It was the very first time that a Central European country had won the opportunity to organise the prestigious FEI multidiscipline European Championships, Dorottya Stróbl, Member of the Managing Board of the Budapest Organising Committee and Secretary General of the Hungarian National Federation, said.

“We strongly believed that the event would serve as a high motivation for the owners and sponsors in Hungary and in the neighbouring countries and promote the sport towards the elite level, but we understand that the significant challenges of holding major FEI Championships in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines in the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, has meant that unfortunately cancellation was inevitable. However, we will continue to work to ensure the very highest level of FEI Driving and Vaulting European sport in Budapest next year.”

Valérie Moulin, President of the Ustica Organising Committee at Haras du Pin, also expressed her disappointment: “We are very disappointed that the rescheduling of Tokyo 2020 has led to the cancellation of the Championships in Haras du Pin, but unfortunately we were unable to find alternative dates outside August 2021. We had gathered a lot of local partners and we were financially invested. All riders counted on this date, nevertheless we understand that the situation has changed over the last months with the postponement of the Olympic Games. We have made a proposal to the FEI about potentially hosting the Championships in 2023 and we look forward to hearing about that.”

Discussions around other FEI Championships, including the Europeans in 2023, will be held during next month’s FEI Board videoconference meeting, which is set for 23-25 June.

[FEI European Championships in Olympic & Paralympic Disciplines Canceled for 2021]

 

US Equestrian Releases COVID-19 Competition Toolkit

US Equestrian has released its Licensed Competitions COVID-19 Toolkit that features the USEF Action Plan, outlining mandatory requirements and recommended best practices for competition organizers and participants as equestrian competitions prepare to resume on June 1, 2020, dependent on federal, state, and local regulations and restrictions.

Ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of participants and their horses is a paramount priority for US Equestrian. The COVID-19 Competition Action Plan includes key resources and guidelines to ensure competition organizers, exhibitors, and additional stakeholders are able to accurately assess and mitigate risk when at a competition venue.

The requirements and recommendations included in the COVID-19 Action Plan are effective immediately, and will remain in place until further notice; however, the document may be subject to modifications as guidance from the federal government and public health officials is adjusted or updated. In addition, once USEF receives notification of the FEI’s Guidelines, an amended document with updates to the current protocol will be issued.

In addition to the Action Plan, the Toolkit provides several resources and tools for use by both organizers and participants to assess the current situations in their respective states, mitigate virus transmission and spread, and assist in the management of risks associated with COVID-19.

US Equestrian will continue to monitor developments, while actively referencing and reviewing updates from the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as regularly consult with members and competition organizers as we navigate through our “new normal” together.

Click here to view the Licensed Competition COVID-19 Toolkit.

• For questions regarding Competitions, please contact Katlynn Sacco at [email protected]
• For questions regarding Compliance, please contact Debbie Saliling at [email protected]
• General comment or feedback regarding the USEF Action Plan or the Toolkit can be directed to [email protected]

USEA Will Resume Recognition of Educational Activities After May 13

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group/STRIDER.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors has voted to resume recognizing educational activities after May 13, 2020. All educational activities must follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as federal, state, and local guidelines.

Educational activities scheduled to be held after May 13 that will be eligible for USEA recognition include clinics, camps, and cross-country schooling. All other activities applying for USEA recognition will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis until further notice.

If the educational activity is able to be legally held, then the USEA strongly recommends the organizer follow the US Equestrian (USEF) guidelines for safely hosting an educational activity or event. The USEF has indicated that those guidelines will be released as a USEF Action Plan later this week, and in the interim, we recommend that organizers view the USEF Webinar: Planning for a Safe Return to Competition which is available here.

The USEA is continuing to mirror the USEF’s suspension for recognizing competitions – the current suspension period lasts until May 31, 2020. The USEA will announce as soon as possible if recognition of events can resume after May 31.

“With all of us staying at home for the last few months, we felt that educational activities are very important to knock some of the dust off in anticipation of the potential June 1, 2020 start-up to competitions,” explained USEA President Max Corcoran. “Attending an education activity is a really good way to ensure that horses and riders are fit enough and still have the skills to safely start competing again. The Board hopes that everyone takes great care in resuming competing and we look forward to seeing you all out there soon. Stay well, stay safe, and keep those hands washed!”

[USEA Board of Governors Votes to Resume Recognition of Educational Activities]

Minimizing Risk: New Rule Change Proposals for Cross Country Safety

Photo courtesy of ERA International.

“When an accident happens you don’t have to completely overhaul everything, but you have to calmly look back at it and say ‘what are the problems and where do we have it right?’” explains Jonathan Holling, chair of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee. “The reality is that the officials have been doing a pretty good job, and I think that a lot of what we have been doing has been making things safer. We just need to find where we can do even better.”

The USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee was formed in May 2017 after a restructuring of the USEA Safety Task Force. The current members are Jonathan Holling, Sara Broussard, Mary Coldren, Tremaine Cooper, Max Corcoran, J.M. Durr, Lesley Grant-Law, Andy Griffiths, Jay Hambly, Malcolm Hook, David O’Connor, Doug Payne, Morgan Rowsell, Katlin Spak, and David Vos. The Subcommittee reviews all accidents that happen on cross-country at USEA recognized events and identifies current and potential concerns as well as actions that can be taken to improve the safety of the sport for both horses and riders.

The Subcommittee has been meeting regularly and has decided to put forward several proposals. “Not any one of these things is going to fix the problem. In reality it is a high-risk sport and we are looking at minimizing the risk,” Holling said. “I think these four things can help minimize that risk – having different layers of safety or regulation helps improve the safety of the sport. It is not a realistic goal to say there will be zero accidents, a realistic goal is to minimize the risk of the sport. I think it is okay to compete in a high-risk sport and not to be okay with accidents or fatalities as long as you are doing everything you can to minimize risk.”

1. Increasing Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) and Rider Categorization

Following the Subcommittee’s analysis of recent accidents in the U.S., Holling said that he believes the biggest piece that needed to be addressed is rider qualification. He wants riders to have more of a base of knowledge and ability than what the current MER standards demand.

“We looked at records of very successful upper level riders – Olympic caliber riders – and what we found that in most cases (virtually all of them) did two to three times more than what our minimum requirements are to be able to move a horse up,” said Holling. “When we looked at that we said, ‘maybe we don’t have right what we are requiring for the base of the sport.’ We felt pretty strongly, and the data confirmed, that one way we can increase the skill of riders and the horsemanship and relationship between the horses and the riders is to raise the minimum eligibility requirements. In a nutshell, people will have to do more at a level before they can move up.”

While each national level has a different set of requirements, a good example is the Intermediate level – currently horses are only required to achieve MERs at four Preliminary level horse trials (and one can be with 20 cross-country jumping penalties). “I had a horse this year entered to move up to Intermediate, and at first I thought maybe I hadn’t done enough Preliminary horse trials with him, but when I looked I had done nine and all of them were clear and good,” shared Holling. “It just shows you – as an Advanced level rider – I am debating moving this young horse up and I have already done over double what was the minimum requirement. Just because you have done the minimum doesn’t mean it is right, but it gives you a baseline idea of what should be done.”

The Subcommittee is still working out the final wording of the proposal, which would then need to go forward to the appropriate committees of the USEA including the USEA Board of Governors before moving to the USEF, but the proposal would also include rider categorization or licensing similar to the FEI.

“Depending on what level you have successfully competed to in the past you can move up the levels a little bit easier, but even an ‘A’ licensed rider in our proposal would still have to do what we do today. But we suspect that even the ‘A’ licensed riders will end up doing more than the minimum because overwhelmingly they already are. When you look back at the records of those top horses who are winning five-stars now – most of them spent a lot of time at the lower levels.”

2. Minimum Performance Standard for Show Jumping Phase

The Subcommittee has recently proposed a rule change to have show jumping rounds at the Training level and above which incur five rails or more result in compulsory retirement when show jumping precedes cross-country. A similar rule is already in place in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The Subcommittee worked with EquiRatings and the statistical analysis showed that there is a significant correlation for those who had four rails down in show jumping with horse falls on cross-country. “We felt like it was strong enough evidence and putting our horsemen hat on and it felt like it made sense to propose the rule,” said Holling.

3. Dangerous Riding, the Watch List, and Empowering Officials

After the 2008 safety crisis, wording was added to the USEF Rules For Eventing under EV112 Dangerous Riding which allows for the President of the Ground Jury to designate one or several deputies to be spotters on cross-country for dangerous riding. These deputies can include eventing officials who aren’t at the event in an official capacity, USEA ICP Certified Instructors at Level III or IV, and riders who have represented the U.S. at the Olympics, World, or Pan American Games. The deputies are provided with radios and red flags and can stop riders after communication with the Ground Jury.

Holling said that this rule worked really well for a while, but hasn’t been utilized terribly well recently. The Subcommittee voted to send a memo to all officials reminding them to use this tool especially if there is a certain area they can’t see on cross-country or if they are spread thin with show jumping and dressage going on at the same time.

If an official sees dangerous riding they have the power to penalize riders 25 points, eliminate them, or issue a warning card. The rider can also be added to the USEF Watch List.

4. Frangible Technology Fundraiser

The Frangible Technology Fundraiser was launched on March 2 in order to provide funding directly to organizers to build nearly 500 frangible tables at all USEA recognized events across the country. With the support of the USEA Foundation, a dedicated group of organizers, and a matching grant the fund has already raised over $200,000 of the $500,000 goal.

Can you help our sport reach the next benchmark on our fundraising for frangible fences? Jon Holling issues a challenge — and it involves a tattoo.

“The Frangible Technology Fund is just one piece,” continued Holling. “Having that table be frangible isn’t going to solve the problem by itself, but it will help minimize the risk.”

Last week the first communication on how to apply for grants was released to organizers. Qualified organizers will be receiving a $1,000 plus a Mim table kit.

The USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee is dedicated to mitigating risk in the sport of eventing. If you have questions about the actions being taken please contact [email protected].

[Four Actions the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee is Taking to Minimize Risk]

 

USEF Mid-Year Meeting goes Virtual with Tom O’Mara Nominated for USEF President

US Equestrian issued the following press release this afternoon:

The USEF Board of Directors’ Mid-Year Meeting scheduled for June 22-23, 2020, will be held virtually to support ongoing efforts to minimize gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was approved by the Board of Directors in a meeting held Friday, April 24. The USEF Mid-Year meeting will be open to up to 1000 people, including the media and USEF members, with further details available in the coming days regarding the schedule and how to register for the meeting.

A key agenda item for the 2020 Mid-Year Meeting is the election of the new USEF President. The Nominating Committee will present the official nomination of Tom O’Mara as the candidate for President. Tom has served on the USEF Board of Directors for the past four years and the past two years in the role of Secretary/Treasurer.

“The Nominating Committee is pleased to put Tom O’Mara forward for the role of President of the Federation,” commented Judy Sloan, the 2020 USEF Nominating Committee Chairperson. “Given Tom’s diverse and deep background in finance, governance, community leadership, and equestrian sport, we feel he is the ideal candidate to guide the Federation’s Board and Management team into the future.”

Tom led the Drugs and Medications/Lab Review Task Force, which thoroughly evaluated alternatives and made the recommendation to transfer the USEF testing lab to the University of Kentucky. Tom has also served on the Competitions Task Force as an active contributor. Tom built a successful career in the world of investment banking over a 30-year period but importantly has a demonstrated passion and commitment to equestrian sport in many capacities. He spent years as an active and supportive parent and husband with five O’Mara riders: his wife, Liz, and their four children, Casey, Abby, Meg, and T.J. He also took his commitment to the next level through his volunteer board roles at USEF and the National Collegiate Equestrian Association National Advisory Board, of which he was the Co-Chair and now remains an active member. He prepared a thorough and convincing expression of interest for the Nominating Committee, indicating that he would continue to carry forward the vision to bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible.

“I strongly support the Nominating Committee’s selection of Tom O’Mara as my successor as USEF President,” said Murray Kessler, USEF President. “Tom is passionate about equestrian sport, is deeply experienced on USEF committees and the board, has unique experience with intercollegiate equestrian sports, and understands the importance of each of our 29 breeds and disciplines. He also brings real-world business experience to the position, which I found incredibly important over the past four years. I urge the board and membership to support his candidacy.”

Upon board approval, Tom O’Mara will continue to serve in his role as Secretary/Treasurer until officially taking office as USEF President in January, 2021. USEF President Murray Kessler will continue to serve in his current role during this same time period.

In addition to the election, this is the first year that all rule changes will be submitted to the USEF Board of Directors for approval during the 2020 Mid-Year Meeting.

We encourage members to join us virtually for the 2020 USEF Mid-Year Board Meeting. Please mark your calendars.

[USEF Mid-Year Meeting goes Virtual with Tom O’Mara Nominated for USEF President]

Adelaide Canceled; Australian Five-Star Sets Sights on 2021

Photo courtesy of Australian International 3 Day Event.

The Board of the Australian International 3-Day Event (the southern hemisphere’s only five-star, scheduled for November 12-15, 2020 in Adelaide) are today advising supporters and partners that this year’s event will be cancelled due the COVID-19 crisis.

The difficult decision was made by the Board last week after considering all options and follows the impact COVID-19 has on all Governments, events and communities.

Board Chair Greg Rolton said it was particularly disappointing given the success of last year’s event, which was a lead up to the now deferred Tokyo Olympic games.

“Our primary focus has to be on our ability to operate a safe and successful event at the world-high benchmark we have created,” he said.

“It is the Board’s view that even if restrictions were lifted to a point of allowing spectators to the event, the athletes and horses would not have the lead up events to qualify and prepare them to compete at the 5* competition, the highest level of event for the sport of eventing.

“This has led to the decision to cancel the 2020 event but we look forward to planning the 2021 Aus3DE to showcase the very best that Adelaide and South Australia has to offer post this crisis.”

Last year, the Aus3DE was awarded 5* status by the FEI, and the standard that was set at the event cemented its position as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier equestrian event. More than 25,000 people attend the Adelaide event over the four days of competition, with visitors travelling from Greece, Singapore, UK, USA, NZ, Spain, Netherlands and France, as well as from every Australian state and territory.

Mr Rolton said the event attracts significant media attention across the traditional platforms of TV, radio and press with an estimated media value of in excess of $1m.

“We thank the Marshall Government for being a strong supporter of this great event and we have ambitions for it to extend its reach and formalise itself as a premier business networking event on the national calendar – where trade, export and South Australian opportunities can be discussed against the most idyllic and exciting backdrop,” he said.

We look forward to working with all parties to ensure that this internationally acclaimed event can become bigger and better in the beautiful Adelaide parklands from 2021.

[THREE-DAY EVENT SETS SIGHTS ON 2021]

Clinics for a Cause: Program to Benefit the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s COVID Relief Fund

Photo by Torey Lockwood.

The Online Riders Collective is proud to launch Clinics for a Cause to help mitigate the struggles equestrians are facing due to COVID-19. From not being able to ride to facing lost income, riders and equine business owners are experiencing unprecedented challenges. Clinics for a Cause invites riders to submit video to the top trainer of their choice in any discipline for just $25. The proceeds go to benefit the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s COVID-19 relief fund for equestrian business owners.

Riders can choose from world-class professionals including Boyd and Silva Martin, Lauren Sprieser, Don Stewart, Sissy Wickes, Lendon Gray, Laura Kraut, Norman Dello Joio, Phillip Dutton, Jennie Brannigan, Louise Serio, Sandy Ferrell, Val Renihan, Jamie Bissell, and more. Alice Bruno, Jess Clawson, and Sissy Wickes founded Clinics for a Cause in March 2020 and have already seen an enthusiastic response from the equestrian community. “This program has accelerated at a pace we could not have anticipated just two weeks ago,” Bruno said. “We are thrilled to be part of the #HorsemenHelpingHorsemen mission of the Equestrian Aid Foundation.”

Sissy Wickes has been instrumental to the project from the beginning. “Our equestrian industry has a long history of stepping up to help those in need. I am proud to say that Clinics for a Cause is another example of the generosity of spirit that pervades our community. I am honored to be a part of raising money for the EAF as they financially support our community,” she said.

The Equestrian Aid Foundation, founded in 1996, provides emergency, lifesaving financial grants to horsemen and women coping with loss of income due to catastrophic injury or illness. EAF invests in the future of its recipients, giving them the resources to recover and thrive in the
face of adversity.

Through its Disaster Relief Fund, the Equestrian Aid Foundation assists equestrian communities in the aftermath of natural disasters or other events unpreventable through reasonable cautionary measures. EAF has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering grants to equestrian professionals in unexpected financial crisis due to industry cancellations, closures, and shutdowns. For more information, please click here.

“This is a time when our community is coming together to find new ways to stay connected,” said EAF founder R. Scot Evans. “It’s a time to reflect, a time to learn, and most importantly, a time to support each other. We are so appreciative of the clinicians who have stepped forward to offer their years of knowledge and professional depth. They are turning this uncertain time into a period of growth.”

Professionals in any discipline who are interested in participating as trainers should send an email to [email protected] to be added to the roster. Trainers will be promoted through ORC and EAF and will promote this important fundraising effort through their social media audiences.

Visit onlineriderscollective.com to sign up for a clinic. Follow the ORC on Facebook and Instagram @onlineriderscollective, and the EAF @equestrianaidfoundation.

ComfortStall Offers Relief for Laminitis Sufferers

Photo courtesy of Haygain.

The recent warm weather suggests that spring is here – along with daffodils, rich spring grass and an increased concern about laminitis. Managing horses and ponies prone to or at risk of laminitis will be essential during this time.

Laminitic horses and ponies suffer from pain and lameness usually in all 4 limbs, but it often appears worse in the forelimbs. In acute laminitis the pain can be so crippling that the horse will stop moving but in milder chronic cases a shuffling, short gait which is worse on hard surfaces, and usually with an obvious head nod on turning are typical signs. When a horse or pony is suffering from laminitis it is important to make them as comfortable as possible and give them a soft bed to stand and lie down on.

Comfortstall’s orthopaedic flooring system is padded offering relief to horses suffering from sore feet and symptoms of laminitis. The comfortable and supportive cushioning encourages them to lie down more and take the weight off their feet. It is non-abrasive which also helps to avoid “bed sores” or “hock sores” from lying down for long periods or continual getting up and down off the floor.

Thanks to the therapeutic properties of ComfortStall’s level surface that springs back with every step, the joints, tendons and ligaments are also supported for improved joint health, movement, flexibility and hoof quality. The rebound from every step on ComfortStall’s cushioned flooring massages the horse’s frogs which can help stimulate blood circulation.

So if your horse of pony is prone to laminitis, invest in their comfort and keep them healthy and happy this season. For a ComfortStall quotation, please fill out this online form or visit www.haygain.co.uk.

Haygain is a science driven company with the horse’s health as the primary focus.

We are committed to improving equine health through scientific research, product innovation and consumer education in respiratory and digestive health. Developed by riders, for riders, we understand the importance of clean forage and a healthy stable environment in maintaining the overall well-being of the horse.

Our Haygain hay steamers are recommended by the world’s leading riders, trainers and equine vets and ComfortStall® Sealed Orthopedic Flooring System is used and recommended by leading Veterinary Hospitals, including Cornell University.

Equine Asthma: New Term for an Old Problem

Photo courtesy of Haygain.

By Drs. Kathleen Ivester and Laurent Couetil, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

For nearly as long as horses have been domesticated, the relationship between barn confinement and respiratory disease in the horse has been recognized. This relationship is intuitive, especially when we consider that deep in the lung, where the blood takes up oxygen, the barrier between the outside air and the horse’s circulation is as thin as a couple of cells.

The surface area of this gas-exchange region of the lung has on average a surface area of 2,500 square meters (26,900 square feet), equal to nearly half a football field. The response of the lung’s immune system to inhaled air results in a number of diseases in both humans and horses. Many of the occupational respiratory diseases in humans are associated with agriculture due to exposures to organic dusts. Dusts in agricultural settings, including the horse barn, are rich in substances such as endotoxin and fungi that can drive inflammation.

Depending on when the conversation took place, horse owners consulting their veterinarians will have heard many terms applied to this problem: broken wind, heaves, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), bronchiolitis, small airway disease, recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), inflammatory airway disease (IAD), and most recently, equine asthma. Along the way, distinctions have been drawn between those horses that develop difficulty breathing at rest (heaves, RAO, severe equine asthma) and those that do not (IAD, mild equine asthma). While potentially leading to confusion for the horse owner, the changing terminology actually reflects improvements in veterinary knowledge.

While the term COPD was applied to reflect the obstruction or blocked airflow that can occur in severe cases, this term was discarded due to the differences with the human disease. In humans, COPD is mainly a consequence of cigarette smoke and is characterized by structural changes within the lung that are absent in the horse. While the terms ‘recurrent airway obstruction’ and ‘inflammatory airway disease’ are descriptively accurate, they are not necessarily terms that immediately help the horse owner to understand the disease process.

A More Relatable Term

Due to its many similarities with the human disease, the term ‘equine asthma’ has most recently been adopted. Like human asthma, equine asthma is triggered by inhalation of dusts that contain allergens and other irritants, and like human asthma, the cough and difficulty breathing can be reversed in the short-term by medications, often delivered by inhalers, or in the long-term by removal from the offending dusts. Also similar to asthma in humans, the response of the horse’s airway to inhaled dusts can vary widely. In some highly susceptible horses, inhalation of even small amounts of dust in the barn environment or airborne allergens (e.g. pollen, molds) at pasture can cause severe inflammation and difficulty breathing due to the accumulation of mucus and narrowing of the airways. There is no known cure for these ‘severely asthmatic’ horses, and they require special management for the duration of their life span.

In other horses, the inflammation is milder, with occasional coughing and decreased performance. Respiratory problems in these ‘mildly asthmatic’ horses often become apparent only when the horse is asked to perform athletically and may resolve over time. Those horses with mild asthma do not necessarily go on to become severely asthmatic.

While susceptibility varies widely, any horse (or person) exposed to enough dust will develop inflammation in the airway. In the case of stabled horses, dust exposure is mostly due to hay. Those horses with severe asthma often require that hay be completely removed from the diet and that the horses be removed from confinement to the barn altogether.

In the milder cases, decreasing the dust released from hay by soaking or steaming may improve airway health. As soaking has a number of draw backs, high temperature steaming is becoming the preferred method to reduce exposure to the dust from hay. At Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine we use a Haygain hay steamer which, has been shown to reduce respirable dust by 98%.

Article provided by Haygain, manufacturers of Haygain Hay Steamers and ComfortStall Orthopedic Sealed Flooring. For more information, visit www.haygain.com.

2020 Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Unable to be Rescheduled

Following the suspension of the 2020 Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event (JFI), the event’s Organizing Committee investigated possible alternative dates for this year. However, rescheduling the event is not possible and the event will not be held this year.

“When the crisis caused by the coronavirus made it impossible to hold our event as scheduled, we looked into possible dates where we could hold it later in the year,” said Morgan Rowsell, Co-organizer of Jersey Fresh International. “However, no suitable date was possible and it simply is not going to work out. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold the event this year.”

The event, which was to serve as a qualifying selection trial for the United States’ Eventing team for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, had been scheduled to take place at the Horse Park of New Jersey, May 6-10. Featured would have been CCI Four-Star and Three-Star events featuring many of the nation’s top Eventing horses and riders in addition to a new Preliminary Division for future stars in the sport.

“With the Olympics also moved to next year, we anticipate our event holding its usual place of significance on the Eventing calendar,” added Rowsell. “We thank all our sponsors – especially major sponsors B.W. Furlong & Associates, Zoetis, AIG and Boehringer Ingelheim – for their support and we look forward to returning with a great event in 2021!”

The Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event/Horse Park of New Jersey is a 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit, Charitable and Educational organization. Further information about JFI is available at www.jfi3d.com. Further information about the Horse Park is available at www.horseparkofnewjersey.com.

 

US Equestrian Offers Health Insurance Benefits to Members & Discounted Membership Fee

Earlier this year, US Equestrian launched a  new health insurance benefits program for members, including options for medical, dental, vision, life, disability, business, pet, and more. These benefits are accessible to all competing members and paid-fan members.

In an effort to provide emergency relief, US Equestrian is offering a discounted fan membership now through June 1. Members with a free promotional fan membership can upgrade, and new members can join, for just $20 with the discount code RELIEF. Click here to find out more and to sign up.

US Equestrian’s insurance benefits give members Affordable Care Act compliant insurance benefits at discounted rates typically only given to large employers.

Members can also take advantage of Teladoc service for just $8.95/month. This service gives members access to licensed physicians over phone or video chat, eliminating the need to visit an office for certain healthcare needs, including prescriptions.  For those enrolling in an individual medical plan, telemedicine service is included at no additional cost.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer these insurance benefits to our members,” says Kelly Bolton, Director of Human Resources for US Equestrian. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that access to health care is a serious concern for many Americans, especially those who may not have employer-based insurance benefits. We are able to offer our individual members affordable group rates, and small business owners can enroll to provide coverage for their employees. Additionally, our Teladoc service allows members to consult with a licensed physician without physically visiting a medical facility.”

We believe our members should have the opportunity to access affordable health coverage and are proud to offer this comprehensive benefits plan to all paid USEF members. With the rollout of this new program, US Equestrian has created a dedicated 24/7 member benefit hotline, where benefits specialists can help you navigate the different coverage plans that best fit you and your business. To reach the USEF member benefit hotline, call 1-800-349-1082.

In addition to insurance benefits, fan members of US Equestrian receive access to on-demand and live event streaming from the USEF Network; educational videos from the US Equestrian Learning Center; US Equestrian Magazine; MemberPerks discounts on a wide variety of products and services; and more. To access these benefits as a fan member, use the discount code RELIEF through June 1, 2020.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s new member benefits, please visit www.usef.org/insurance or call our 24/7 dedicated member benefits hotline at 1-800-349-1082.

FEI Creates New Policy for Calculating World Rankings During Covid-19 Outbreak

As part of its measures aimed at minimising the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the FEI Calendar, the FEI has put in place a new policy for calculating the world rankings from 1 April until the Calendar returns to normal. The new policy was initially discussed with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) specifically for the Longines Jumping Rankings, but will now be used for each of the disciplines where a rolling 12-month period is used for the calculations.

Starting from 1 April 2020, the period during which ranking points remain valid in Jumping (Longines Rankings), Eventing, Dressage and Para Dressage will be prolonged by one month and will continue to be prolonged for an additional month with each new ranking until the competition calendar returns to normal.

Points earned in ranking competitions at events that take place during the current Covid-19 affected period will continue to count, and the maximum number of results that count for each athlete will remain, ie for the Longines Jumping Rankings best 30; Dressage best eight; Eventing and Para Dressage best six.

Rankings for the other FEI disciplines – Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are calculated on a fixed period (calendar year or other fixed period) so they will remain untouched. The change to the Driving Rules that means the discipline rankings will be based on a rolling 12 months does not come into effect until 1 January 2021.

For Jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Para Dressage, the following system will apply:

– The rankings established after 29 February 2020 remain unchanged (points valid for 12 months: best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020)

– The rankings established after 31 March 2020 have been calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 March 2020 (points valid for 13 months)

– The rankings established after 30 April 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 30 April 2020 (points valid for 14 months)

– The rankings established after 31 May 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 May 2020 (points valid for 15 months)

– and so on until the competition calendar returns to normal.

A working group will recommend to the FEI Board at what point the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal worldwide. As of that date, the rankings will continue to be calculated over the extended timeframes above, guaranteeing there will always be at least 12 months of normal competitions included in the calculation of the rankings.

The new system provides a level playing field for all our athletes as ranking points can still be earned in countries where the sport is able to continue, regardless of the length of time the current situation lasts, but athletes in countries where the sport is on hold will not lose points. An athlete’s ranking points can only improve, not decrease during this period, as the relevant number of best results in each discipline still applies.

Twelve months after the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal globally, the timeframe during which ranking points remain valid will be decreased by one month with each new ranking until the standard 12-month rolling timeframe has been reached.

 

USEF Recommended Competition Suspension Extended Through May 3

Logo via US Equestrian.

Dear USEF Members and Competition Organizers (Licensees and Managers),

We are all anxious for equestrian sport to start up again and for our families and friends to return to their normal lives pre-COVID-19 Pandemic. We also understand the financial pain that this is having on so many in our industry. We, too, at USEF are feeling that pain. However, we are not through this yet. The pandemic continues to cause unprecedented impact throughout the world. The Las Vegas World Cup Finals were canceled. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are being rescheduled. So, we must all work diligently to address the situation. We greatly appreciate those of you who have joined us in our community-wide effort to responsibly address the COVID-19 virus outbreak by canceling competitions and choosing not to compete during this critical period. This is the only way to flatten the curve of this virus and let us all get back to some level of normal. So as promised, here is an updated position on USEF competitions.

The original 30-day suspension that became effective March 16, 2020, is being extended through May 3, 2020. Effective today, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics and activities will be suspended through May 3, 2020 consistent with recommendations by the CDC. Due to the importance of keeping the members of our equestrian community and their families safe, USEF strongly recommends that competition organizers suspend all USEF licensed competitions across the country and that equestrians do not compete for this same time period. For those competitions that choose to run and can do so in accordance with the CDC, State, and Local recommendations, there will be no accumulation or points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF award programs, USEF owned events, or selection to a US team during this time period. This includes USEF National Championships.

Again, we are cognizant of the ramifications that extensions have on the lives of our members, support personnel and the events that fall within this time period, and the significant impact they have on qualifications for, and the operation of, major events that might be occurring later in the year. With that in mind, our President, Murray Kessler, has already informed me he intends to use his Presidential Modification authority to waive mileage rules and allow for major events to be rescheduled later in the year and has instructed us to develop a fair method for altering qualifications for these events. With that direction, USEF has already implemented mechanisms to provide for flexibility and the ability to make necessary modifications to responsibly manage the competition calendar in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are engaging with organizers daily and continue to review situations on a case-by-case basis.

Important Reminder: If you need to cancel a license or have questions about postponing your event to another date, please contact Katlynn Sacco at [email protected]

We continue to closely monitor the situation and we pledge to keep you informed about any updates to our position as circumstances warrant or as instructed by Public Health authorities.

Equine Coronavirus vs. COVID-19: Two Distinctly Different Diseases

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is equipped with secure isolation stalls and follows strict biosecurity measures. Photo by Erin Gilmore Photography.

The recent spread of the novel coronavirus has raised serious concerns as the status continues to evolve. As equine veterinarians, Palm Beach Equine Clinic would like to address the questions and concern raised by horse owners regarding the potential impact of this disease on the equine industry.

Coronaviruses include a large group of RNA viruses that cause respiratory and enteric symptoms, and have been reported in domestic and wild animals. Equine Enteric Coronavirus and COVID-19 are both coronaviruses, however, they are distinctly different viruses.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infectious disease experts, and multiple international and national human and animal health organizations have stated that at this time there is NO EVIDENCE to indicate that horses could contract COVID-19 or that horses would be able to spread the disease to other animals or humans. Equine enteric coronavirus and COVID-19 are NOT the same strain, and there is no indication that either are transmissible between species.

Therefore, it is important to concentrate on the health of our equestrians by being precautious and following recommendations from public health officials. Palm Beach Equine Clinic will continue to make every effort to stay informed on the developments with COVID-19, and will continue to provide expert veterinary care to all horses regardless of the status of this disease.

A Profile of Equine Enteric Coronavirus

Equine coronavirus is an enteric, or gastrointestinal, disease in the horse. There is NO EVIDENCE that equine enteric coronavirus poses a threat to humans or other species of animals.

  • Transmission: Equine coronavirus is transmitted between horses when manure from an infected horse is ingested by another horse (fecal-oral transmission), or if a horse makes oral contact with items or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected manure.
  • Common Clinical Signs: Typically mild signs that may include anorexia, lethargy, fever, colic or diarrhea.
  • Diagnosis: Veterinarians diagnose equine enteric coronavirus by testing fecal samples, and the frequency of this disease is low.
  • Treatment and Prevention: If diagnosed, treatment is supportive care, such as fluid therapy and anti-inflammatories, and establishing good biosecurity precautions of quarantining the infected horse. Keeping facilities as clean as possible by properly disposing of manure will help decrease chances of horses contracting the virus.

Information for this notice was compiled using the following sources: Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center and American Association of Equine Practitioners, Equine Disease Communication Center.

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