Leslie Wylie
Articles Written 2,475
Article Views 5,941,338

Leslie Wylie

Achievements

Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Leslie Wylie

Latest Articles Written

Rolling Updates: Equestrian Events Canceled Due to COVID-19 [Updated 4/3]

Photo via Creative Commons.

The following equestrian events have been canceled or modified due to coronavirus concerns. This page will be updated daily (last update: April 3, 2:30 p.m. EST).

Due to the sheer volume of events being canceled worldwide, we are now only listing canceled USEA/USEF North American events and major international CCI events.

🇺🇸United States🇺🇸

The USEA has suspended all recognized events through May 3. In accordance with the FEI, the USEF has issued a recommendation that all competitions be suspended through May 3

Eventing:

🇧🇪Belgium🇧🇪

🇨🇦Canada🇨🇦

All EC sanctioned competitions and activities are suspended until April 12, 2020.

🇨🇳China🇨🇳

🇫🇷France🇫🇷

France now restricting gatherings to 10 people, so all competitions are canceled. 

🇩🇪Germany 🇩🇪

🇮🇪Ireland🇮🇪

🇮🇹Italy🇮🇹

🇯🇵Japan🇯🇵

🇳🇿New Zealand🇳🇿

March 17: Equestrian Sports NZL Announces 3-Month Cancellation of All Events 

🇵🇱Poland🇵🇱

🇬🇧United Kingdom🇬🇧

As of 3/16, all British Eventing shows have been canceled with immediate effect.

Please send cancelled/modified equestrian event listings to [email protected] We will keep you posted with further updates as they develop.

Shelby Allen and Sally Spickard contributed to this report.

 

Athletux to Host Three-Part Instagram Live Q&A Sessions

Need some human interaction — at least of the virtual variety? Our friends at Athletux are staging a three-part Instagram live Q&A series that should be fun AND educational. For each session, tune into to the Instagram link LIVE, and we’ll also embed the posts right here on EN.

  • Wednesday, April 1st at 5pm PST/8pm EST: Questions & Answers on “Marketing Your Equine Business or Brand During COVID-19.” Tune into @athletux’s Instagram LIVE!
  • Friday, April 3rd at 5pm PST/8pm EST: Questions & Answers on “Grooming, Horse Care, Moving Farms and More With Brannigan Eventing Super Groom Tyler Held.” Tune into @branniganeventing’s Instagram LIVE!
  • Saturday, April 4 at 12pm PST/3pm EST: Questions & Answers on “Horse Sales with Caroline Martin.” Tune into @carolinemartineventing’s Instagram LIVE!

Big news from Athletux! The agency has recently restructured its business model to focus on three main areas: equestrian brandsathletes and events. This is a particularly exciting development for brands, who will benefit from Athletux’s wealth of industry insight to help build their image, maximize use of social media platforms and email marketing campaigns, manage sponsored riders, assist with graphic design and more. Learn more by visiting the just-launched new Athletux website here.

FEI Considering Alternative Dates for 2021 European Eventing Championships

Michael Jung, Ingrid Klimke, and Cathal Daniels celebrate their individual medals at the 2019 European Eventing Championships. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Following the announcement of the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (July 23 to August 8, 2021), sports federations are now considering the impact the postponement will have on their own sporting calendars.

For equestrian sport, the new Olympic dates will run in conflict with the 2021 FEI European Championships, which is held every other year. Next year’s Eventing Championship is scheduled to take place in Haras du Pin, France, Aug. 11-15. The other disciplines are scheduled to take place in Budapest, Hungary, Aug. 23-30.

When asked for date rescheduling feedback from the IOC, some federations — equestrian, as well as swimming, table tennis and triathlon — voiced a preference to hold the Olympics in the spring of 2021. While their request went unfulfilled, FEI President Ingmar De Vos praised the IOC for its swift decision-making in deciding new dates.

Today he issued the following response:

“While it was of course demoralising for everyone that the Games had to be postponed from their original dates in 2020, the decision was absolutely right in the current terrible global pandemic, but it is really good to have the new dates agreed so soon.

“The decision was taken in full consultation with all the International Federations, including the FEI, and we all had the opportunity to voice our opinions. Now, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, our athletes across both Games can get their training back on track with confidence, knowing exactly when they and their horse need to be at their peak.

“We are conscious of the fact that this has been a very complex decision for the IOC to make, with multiple factors to be taken into consideration. The athletes’ health and well-being across both Games, not just for equestrian sport, has to be the top priority, and we have all the protocols in place to protect our athletes – both human and equine – and help them to optimise their performance in the challenging climate we can expect in Tokyo.

“Of course there will be an impact on the international Calendar across all sports, and from an FEI perspective this includes four major European Championships, but we are already looking at ways we can minimise that impact. The remit for our discipline-specific task forces that are evaluating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Calendar has now been expanded to cover 2021. Now we have confirmed dates for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we need to explore possible alternatives for a number of major FEI Events, notably the European Championships in Jumping, Dressage and Para Dressage in Budapest, and the European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin, France. This process will be started immediately.

We need to also look at deadlines for obtaining minimum eligibility requirements and extending the deadline for registration of ownership for Olympic horses and will announce those as soon as possible, but we have had confirmation from both the IOC and IPC that National Olympic and Paralympic Committees which have been allocated Olympic or Paralympic quota places will retain them despite the postponement of the Games to next year.”

[FEI President welcomes speedy decision on rescheduled Tokyo 2020 dates]

All Polish CCI4* Events Are Canceled Through End of May

Team Poland celebrating their Olympic qualifying win at Baborówko in 2019. M&R Photo.

Last year at Baborówko, Team Poland stamped its ticket for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by winning the CCI04*-L qualifier, marking their first chance to fight as a team at the Olympic Games since Athens in 2004.

This year is a different story. The 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed to 2020, and all Polish spring 4* events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

🇵🇱Strzegom Horse Trials (April 17-19: CCI4*-L, CCI3*-L/S, CCI2*-L/S)🇵🇱

“The unprecedented situation we’ve recently been experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic limits our everyday work and sports plans for 2020 season that was just about to start. We are keeping the situation both in Poland and Europe under constant review, but recent updates are most alarming. Considering all above, running the National Eventing Competition 4th-5th April and Strzegom Spring Open 17th-19th April is simply impossible.Therefore, we have decided to postpone both events. We hope that we will be able to host both events as soon as the epidemiological is under control. All our decisions will be communicated on our Fb pages.We wish you all patience, determination and most of all health! Hoping to meet you soon in Strzegom!”

🇵🇱Sopot (April 23-26: CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-L/S and April 30-May 3: CCI4*-L/S, CCI3*-L/S, CCI2*-L)🇵🇱

“Ladies and gentlemen, due to the pandemic of SARS-Cov-2, taking care of the health and safety of competitors, viewers and employees, the board of track has decided to cancel this year’s international and national eventing competition sopot tour 2020. We hope that the situation will be under control soon, and we will all meet at the Autumn Edition of Eventing Sopot.”

🇵🇱Equestrian Festival Baborówko (May 21-24: CCI4*-L/S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, CCIYH2*-S)🇵🇱

“In consequence of the global epidemiological situation, making it our priority to take care of the health and safety of our riders, audiences and all people involved in the organization of the event, we have decided to cancel Equestrian Festival Baborówko, that was due to take place in the second half of May 2020.

“Taking into consideration the epidemiological threat, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s Equestrian Festival Baborówko. We believe that the world will soon return to its normal rhythm, but as for now our thoughts go out to public health workers, and we ourselves are taking necessary hygienic precautions to assure that Baborówko Equestrian Centre can safely function on a daily basis and we can continue to carry out ongoing investments.”

You can view a rolling list of canceled events here.

Canceled/Postponed Events: Sporting Days, St. Johns, River Glen, Holly Hill, Loudon Hunt PC, MCTA

Six more USEA recognized events were canceled or postponed today, following US Equestrian’s extension of their recommended competition suspension period through May 3rd yesterday.

April 18: Sporting Days Farm April H.T. III – Postponed

“We honor the USEF ruling and therefore we will not be holding our April 18 HT. Please stay tuned for more updates.”

April 18-19: St. Johns H.T. – Canceled

April 18-19: River Glen Spring H.T. – Canceled

“Due to the announcement by USEF to extend their suspension of USEF events our Spring HT April 18-19 has been cancelled. We are looking at the possibility of rescheduling or having a schooling show in May. We will let you know a date as soon as we can as this is an evolving situation.”

April 18-19: Holly Hill H.T. – Postponed

“Due to the recent extension of the cancellation of all USEF horse shows to May 3 we have to postpone our horse trials and plan on rescheduling for the weekend of May 23-24. Willow Draw has graciously offered their HT date to us for that weekend. Hope to see you all then!”

April 25-26: Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Horse Trials – Canceled

“Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring Horse Trials have been canceled! More details about our Summer Horse Trials will be posted soon.”

May 2-3: MCTA Horse Trials – Canceled

‘The MCTA has decided to cancel its recognized horse trials at Shawan Downs scheduled for May 2-3, 2020. This is based on the suspension of all USEF-owned events extended through May 3rd and in the interest of safety for our participants and spectators. Our two unrecognized events are still on the calendar at this time.”

You can view an updated list of event cancellations and postponements here.

 

CHIO Aachen Postponed; Chatsworth International Canceled

Here at EN, we are trying our darndest to keep you updated on all event cancellations in the U.S. and all major event cancellation abroad. Here are two more to add to the list.

CHIO Aachen 2020 Postponed to a Later Date in the Year

“For quite some time now, we have already been in intense communication with the International Equestrian Federation FEI, the German Equestrian Association, the authorities and our partners,” said Frank Kemperman, Chairman of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), organisers of the CHIO Aachen, and Michael Mronz, General Manager of the CHIO marketing company, the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH (ART). Taking the current Coronavirus crisis into account, the aim behind these discussions is to weigh the options of what is the best solution for the CHIO Aachen and for all of the visitors, athletes with their horses, partners and staff of the show.

“The original venue date at the beginning of June cannot be adhered to: “It makes no sense to stick to the planned date, the current and future health and safety of all persons involved in the show has absolute priority for us,” reported Frank Kemperman. Our primary goal is thus now to organise the CHIO Aachen at a later date in the year.

“As soon as the new date for the CHIO Aachen 2020 has been finalised, it will be announced immediately. The CHIO Aachen organisers will then also inform the ticket customers about all further necessary details. Due to the current circumstances, the offices of the CHIO Aachen will remain closed until further notice.”

[CHIO Aachen]

Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials (May 15-17): Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

“It is with great regret that, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, we have taken the decision to cancel the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials, due to be held at Chatsworth in May 2020. This decision has been taken to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors, competitors and staff.

“This is an enormously complex and fast moving situation, and we are indebted to our hospitals, medical teams and local communities for the care and attention they are providing.
Our sincere thanks go to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for hosting this prestigious event and to our longstanding sponsor, Dodson & Horrell, all of whom are supportive of this very disappointing, but necessary decision.

“Full refunds will be processed automatically in due course for all those who have bought tickets or booked trade stands. There is no need to contact us.

“We very much look forward to welcoming everyone to the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials, 14 – 16 May 2021 (subject to confirmation from British Eventing). In the meantime, we wish everyone good health.

“Patricia Clifton
Event Director”

[Chatsworth International Horse Trials]

COVID-19 Memo to Horse Owners in Kentucky

We are glad to see organizations, like the Maryland Horse Council and now the Kentucky Horse Council, stepping up to clarify what state directives during the COVID-19 pandemic mean for horse owners. The Kentucky Horse Council issued this memo today:

“Dear Kentucky Horse Community,

“The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has issued guidance on compliance with the Governor’s order to close all non-essential businesses to the public by 8pm Thursday, March 26, 2020. That guidance can be found in full here.

“In addition to the guidelines outlined in the attached documents, the State Veterinarian’s office advises all boarding facilities (and any other operation that caters to outside clients of any kind) to cease all unnecessary operations and activities, engage in horse care activities ONLY, and close their facilities to all but essential staff. If a facility has clients that engage in self-care for their horses these individuals are allowed to come to the facility for horse care activities ONLY. Moving forward, the facility owner or manager should take control of developing a schedule in which clients are assigned a time to visit the facility to care for their horse(s). This will minimize the number of individuals at the facility at any given time. If a client has a horse on full or partial care (whose needs are being met by staff), those individuals are asked to refrain from visiting the facility. In addition, if it is possible to decrease the amount of staff at a facility, in order to minimize the number of individuals coming and going, an employer is asked to do so.

“Please note that these are the directives as of Wednesday, March 25th and it is possible they will change in the coming days and weeks. We will continue to update you as the situation develops and more information is obtained from both the Offices of the Governor and State Veterinarian. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns and we will do our best to address them!

“Thank you to the staff at the Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s Office and our partners at the Kentucky Equine Education Project for their work on this!”

View the complete guidelines here.

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. Is Canceled

Fresno County Horse Park H.T., scheduled for April 18-19 in Fresno, California, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event issued a statement today:

“We are canceling our April 18-19, 2020 Horse Trials because of the pandemic.

“We will not be able to reschedule this show into the summer months because of the heat here in the summer.

“All entries will be refunded WITHOUT deduction. (We will not keep an office fee).

“Our next scheduled show will be in October.”

Visit the Fresno County Horse Park website here.

Twenty-nine U.S. events have been canceled or postponed in March through May. View a complete list of canceled events here.

2020 MARS Equestrian Bromont CCI Three-Day Event Is Canceled

The 2020 MARS Equestrian Bromont CCI Three Day Event, scheduled for June 3-7, has been canceled for 2020. Little Bromont, scheduled for the following weekend also at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, is also not expected to run. A statement from the event:

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it impossible to organize an event on these early June dates. The Canadian-US border is closed to most traffic and equestrian competitions have stopped. Out of an abundance of caution there will be no new dates for the June competitions.

“When asked about the announcement Bromont Organizing Committee Member, Peter Gray said, “It is my hope that when our North American Eventing circuit resumes, the Bromont CCIO4* Nations Cup competition will also become an extra special weekend for everybody. While the emphasis will be on Senior and Junior Team Championships, we also hope to make our August competition a very unique and memorable weekend to celebrate the return to sport!”

“The Bromont CCI-S Three Day Event held August 13th to 16th held in conjunction with the very exciting and recently announced leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ at Bromont are going ahead as planned. The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until next year places even more emphasis on Nations Cups in the international calendar.

“The popular MARS Bromont Rising program which provides financial grants plus both mounted and unmounted instruction to up and coming under 25 riders will be moved to happen in conjunction with the August event which is set to run the following levels: CCIO4*-NC-S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, CCIU252*-S, CCIU253*-S, OP, OT, CCI4*-S.

“A very popular with both local and international riders, Bromont attracts Olympians and competitors from across North America. Three decades of eventing have made Bromont a destination for riders, owners and families. A place where everyone can enjoy a friendly weekend of competition and the charming rural eastern townships of Quebec.

“Please visit our website at http://bromontcci.com for more information regarding Bromont CCI-S Three Day Event and the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ held August 13th to 16th.”

Return of Whidbey Island H.T. Pushed to 2021

Area VII will go another year without one beloved recognized event on its fixture: Whidbey Island Horse Trials. The 43rd running of the Oak Harbor, Washington, event was canceled last year, with hopes that it would return in 2020. Now that plan has been pushed back another year — but we’ll look forward to a return to the calendar in 2021! In the meantime, there will be a schooling show planned for July 2020.

The event issued this press release:

The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost the ability in 2019 to run a recognized event on the property where we have been operating since the mid-1990s, forcing the painful decision to cancel the 2019 horse trials. Since late summer last year, planning was in the works for our 2020 Horse Trials to be held at a new beautiful location in the prairie farmland outside of Coupeville. Preliminary agreements were in place with the landowner, site plans had been developed, and our course designer had approved of the site’s potential. This property, like a large proportion of the agricultural land in this area, has conservation easements on it to prevent development and maintain the rural character of the prairie. The easements on this property also have provisions for equestrian trails and the landowner did not anticipate that the horse trials use would conflict in any way with the purpose of the easements. Lawyers for the Land Trust, however, determined that our event would not be allowed under the terms of their agreement with the landowners – this terrible news was just conveyed to us in February, forcing us to scramble to find an alternative plan or cancel the competition once again.

The good news is that a promising alternative event site has already been identified. We feel, however, that there are too many risks to our ability to deliver a quality event in just four months at a site where we are still working out contractual details and where we will still need to submit for County permits and construct trails, courses, and fencing. Additionally, changing sites at this late date is a violation of USEF GR302 which requires notice 240 days in advance of a competition location change. It is with great sadness and disappointment that we convey this development to our wonderful competitors and supporters. While we were operating in good faith believing that we would be able to deliver on our commitment to run the Whidbey Island Horse Trials in 2020, we understand that for competitors this is frustrating. As we did in 2019, we plan to instead to offer a schooling event in place of a recognized event in July 2020 and our very popular back-to-back one days in September 2020.

We remain resolute and committed to continuing to offer a quality eventing experience on Whidbey Island in 2021 and beyond, just as we had for more than 40 years in the past. Thank you – we are very grateful for your support of our ongoing effort.

Wednesday News & Notes from Ecovet

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my horse show photographer friends, as the suspended event season has sidelined their incomes and their livelihoods. And of course, I just miss seeing them!

Even in this down time we can still support them, though. Now is a great time to go online and purchase that great photo that reminds you of that foot-perfect cross country run you had last year, or the year before. I saw that Amy Dragoo has unlocked all the galleries from over the years, so that even if you haven’t subscribed you can relive your memories. And she’s also offering 20% off all orders with the code StayHome20! Another tip: If you don’t already follow Shannon Brinkman on Instagram, you should — her posts in this time of crisis have been so uplifting.

Our community is wonderful at coming together and supporting one another in times of need. Let’s keep finding creative ways to send out the love!

National Holiday: National Manatee Appreciation Day

USEA has come through with some great reads and resources for our sport in these difficult times. A few of favorites from the past couple days: Top 10 Tips for Staying Positive During the Pandemic with Melissa StubenbergFrom the Ground Up with Tik Maynard: Part TwoResources for Eventing Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19, and Amanda Miller Finds a Way to Keep Busy and Give Back.

Event Clinics temporarily enabled board and equestrian services payments through the EC platform through May 31, 2020. This is a great service for professionals who are concerned about the contagion risk of accepting paper checks and currency from clients, or for equestrian businesses struggling financially to cope with the impact of public health measures and need to get paid quickly. [ECInstantPay]

Stable View Farm in Aiken, SC, has one to two opportunities available within its team. The positions involve helping to organize around 40 events a year including eventing, dressage and hunter-jumper shows, as well as coordinating corporate retreats, family reunions and weddings. Please send your resume to Barry Olliff at [email protected]. [Show Secretary Position Available]

Lexington-based fitness coach Tony Sandoval is offering a free six-week workout program for riders. Says one of his clients, “I’ve been doing private online sessions with him for a couple months and the improvement in my riding is evident to my trainers.” Thanks to Tony and others out there who are doing their bit to help keep riders motivated in this down time. [Coach Sando Training]

“For the Love of the Horse” is a free live interactive webinar series featuring industry experts on horse health topics. The topic of the upcoming session is “Laminitis: Understanding the Disease and Best Practices in Prevention” presented by James A. Orsini, DVM, director of the Laminitis Institute at New Bolton Center. The webinar takes place on Sunday, March 29th at 7 p.m. EST. Can’t make it to the live webinar? Register for the free shareable Video on Demand option. “For the Love of the Horse” is presented by Back on Track, Ice Horse, The Competitive Equestrian and Etalon Equine Genetics. [Register]

Best of the Blogs: Does social distancing have you working from home? Lisa Slade, editor of Untacked and aspiring pajama pant model, shares her top tips for creating a comfortable work environment and establishing an efficient routine in the latest COTH Staff Blog. Bonus points for cute pics of her corgi, Leo.  [Welcome To My Life: 6 Work-From-Home Tips For A New World]

Featured Video: This is guaranteed to put a little smile on your face.

Ecovet is the only fly repellent that improves insect-related skin sensitivity. Learn more at eco-vet.com.

US Equestrian Response to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Postponement

US Equestrian has issued the following response to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021, announced earlier today:

“We received official confirmation today from the IOC and Organizing Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games that in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic both organizations have jointly decided to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021. Prioritizing the safety and health of athletes, staff, and spectators is paramount during this challenging time, and we applaud and support their difficult decision.

“The postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is unprecedented in modern history, and we know that there will be many challenges ahead, but remain committed to working with the USOPC and the FEI to ensure the success of our teams and athletes in 2021.

“We are deeply disappointed for our athletes and their teams, the coaches, support staff, horse owners, sponsors, and USET Foundation donors and supporters who have wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to the Olympic and Paralympic dream, but in the face of adversity, our athletes continually persevere and we know they will be prepared to represent our country to the best of their abilities next year.

“We also understand that this decision will impact many, and as we wait to understand the revised approach of the IOC and Organizing Committee in the coming weeks, we will continue to provide updates and information to our athletes, stakeholders, sponsors, and fans. This is a trying time for our community and we look forward to the incredible feeling of watching our athletes inspire others and embody the Olympic and Paralympic spirit next year in Tokyo.”

[Official US Equestrian Statement on Postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games]

 

Plantation Field April H.T. & Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. at Longview Are Canceled

Two more USEA horse trials have been canceled due to COVID-19.

Plantation Field April H.T., scheduled for April 18-19 in Unionville, PA, has been canceled.

A statement from the event:

“We all have been living through challenging times trying to project what and how the current health crisis will unfold! Due to recent events we are canceling our April Event. We will continue to manage the information as best we can. Decisions will be made as it relates to future scheduled PFEE competitions as the picture becomes clearer. We will make a decision on the May Event when more information is known. We thank all of you for your support. We, like you, recognize that human safety is the most important factor. Hopefully we can get through this and continue our competition schedule.”

Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. at Longview, scheduled for May 9-10 in Kansas City, MO, has also been canceled.

To date, 28 USEA events have been canceled or postponed. You can view a list of them here.

From Repairing Blankets to Making Medical Masks

We love seeing horse people in our eventing community finding creative ways to help the greater good during these difficult times. Among them: Laura Rayne, who has redirected her usual business of repairing horse blankets into making medical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She has shut down the service side of her business, Blanket Safe, in order to make masks and provide them for free to health care workers in need.

“These masks are not in substitution for the N95 Masks; however with lack of enough masks, the CDC has started recommending health care workers use bandanas or even scarves to help prevent/slow the spread,” Laura says. “I am a Registered Nurse by trade, and I went through four years of schooling with some amazing men and women. I worked with these individuals, I am friends with these same people. So it means a lot to be able to help.”

Laura is making masks in various styles with three layers of 100% cotton. Some have the option for metal nose pieces to adjust fit; some have elastic while others tie; and some even have the option of a removable and changeable hepa/cpap filter.

She is happy to make and ship the masks on her own dime; however, the materials cost money.

“A lot of the supplies we have are for horse blankets (which cannot be used for masks), YET before I started repairing horse blankets I was making baby blankets,” Laura says. “So I do have a moderate supply of 100% cotton fabric. However, because of the sudden demand … I do not have enough of everything.”

While Laura says she would love to fund the endeavor herself, her business has slowed considerably during the outbreak. And, she says, “I would never charge the men and women working hard, risking their health, or the health of their family members, to have to pay for such a necessity.”

Laura says she just had a business ask for 50 masks ASAP, as well as several individuals throughout the U.S. To help offset the costs, she is looking to the equestrian community.

“I am asking for donations to help with the cost of all the supplies and shipping,” she says, noting that any unused donations will be donated to Frangible Pin Funding. “I do not often ask for assistance, but please, if you are looking for a way to help, please feel free to donate!”

 

Learn more by visiting Laura’s Blanket Safe website here, and you can make a donation here.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Officially Postponed to 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have officially been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee made the announcement following a conference call with Japanese officials this morning.

From their joint statement:

“President Bach and Prime Minister Abe expressed their shared concern about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games.

“In a very friendly and constructive meeting, the two leaders praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against COVID-19.

“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating.’ There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

The decision comes the morning after the US Olympic Committee’s call to postpone the Games, a sentiment shared by several National Federations. Canada and Australia said they would not send athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games unless it was postponed until 2021; Ireland and Great Britain also indicated that they were considering withdrawal; and New Zealand was also vocal in its call for postponement.

The USEF responded as follows:

“We received official confirmation today from the IOC and Organizing Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games that in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic both organizations have jointly decided to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021. Prioritizing the safety and health of athletes, staff, and spectators is paramount during this challenging time, and we applaud and support their difficult decision.

“The postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is unprecedented in modern history, and we know that there will be many challenges ahead, but remain committed to working with the USOPC and the FEI to ensure the success of our teams and athletes in 2021.

“We are deeply disappointed for our athletes and their teams, the coaches, support staff, horse owners, sponsors, and USET Foundation donors and supporters who have wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to the Olympic and Paralympic dream, but in the face of adversity, our athletes continually persevere and we know they will be prepared to represent our country to the best of their abilities next year.

“We also understand that this decision will impact many, and as we wait to understand the revised approach of the IOC and Organizing Committee in the coming weeks, we will continue to provide updates and information to our athletes, stakeholders, sponsors, and fans. This is a trying time for our community and we look forward to the incredible feeling of watching our athletes inspire others and embody the Olympic and Paralympic spirit next year in Tokyo.”

[JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE AND THE TOKYO 2020 ORGANISING COMMITTEE]

A Letter from the Maryland Horse Council: Essential COVID-19 Information for MD Equestrians

Maryland’s eventing community is an incredibly vibrant and active one, and we know that many of our readers hail from the state. Accordingly, we are sharing the following letter, issued on Monday by Maryland Horse Council President Neil Agate and Executive Director Carrie Hull, which addresses some of the most critical points relevant to the horse community and industry.

Dear Maryland Horse Community,

First and foremost, we sincerely hope you, your families, and your beloved horses are safe and healthy as we face some of the most unprecedented times in modern history. The COVID-19 crisis has affected every aspect of our local horse community and it is our responsibility as the Maryland Horse Council to provide you with the most relevant and up-to-date information. You can easily find all official information from our governor and the state here. Today, we have highlighted the most critical points relevant to the horse community and industry:

WE ARE WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO GET ANSWERS TO YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, SPECIFICALLY ABOUT WHAT KINDS OF ACTIVITIES ARE ALLOWED AT BOARDING FACILITIES BY NON-CAREGIVING STAFF, INCLUDING VISITATION OF HORSES, RIDING WHILE ON-SITE, AND ACCOMPANYING FARM OPERATORS/CARE GIVING STAFF DURING VETERINARY AND FARRIER APPOINTMENTS, ETC. WE WILL PUSH OUT THOSE ANSWERS TO YOU AS SOON AS WE HAVE THEM.

Governor Larry Hogan held another press conference this morning to issue a new Executive Order closing all non-essential Maryland businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities at 5pm on Monday, March 23rd. This new order closes all other businesses not defined by federal guidelines as critical infrastructure sectors. Agriculture is considered a critical infrastructure sector. We are awaiting additional insight from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, expected later this afternoon, on the specifics of equine related operations permissible at this time. Care of your equines is considered an essential activity per guidance received from the Maryland Department of Agriculture on Sunday, March 22nd.

We are fielding a number of questions specifically related to the permissible activities at boarding operations. At this time, lesson programs, camps, clinics, horse shows, and other social and sporting activities and events are deemed non-essential. Additional guidance specific to the number and permissible activities of people allowed on the property of a facility strictly used for boarding horses is forthcoming.

Governor Hogan also stated that at this time, he is not ordering a “shelter-in-place” mandate but said, “unless you have an essential reason to leave your house, you need to stay home.”

Governor Hogan, in conjunction with Commerce Secretary Schulz and Labor Secretary Robinson, announced several business relief programs including the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund and the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund. Information on these programs can be found here.

Additional information on how Marylanders can help during the COVID-19 crisis can be found here.

At this time, it is highly recommended for all Marylanders, including horse owners, to follow Governor Hogan’s request to stay home. We will update the horse community as soon as more specifics are released by MDA.

Please click here for more COVID-19 information that includes useful links to federal guidelines and previous communications from the Maryland Horse Council.

Sincerely,

                                                                                  
Neil Agate                                                                               Carrie Hull
President                                                                                Executive Director
Maryland Horse Council                                                         Maryland Horse Council

[ESSENTIAL COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR MARYLAND’S HORSE COMMUNITY]

USOC Calls for Postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has now added its voice to the ever-louder chorus of national federations advocating for the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The decisive stance comes after a poll of Team USA hopefuls revealed significant concerns about their ability to train and prepare for the Games, the health and safety of athletes and fans, team selection and qualification, social responsibility and more. (Download the COVID-19 Team USA Athlete Survey results.)

The USOC released the following statement on Monday night:

“We are thankful to the 1,780 Team USA athletes for sharing their voice and honest input with us as we address the issues related to COVID-19 and the Tokyo Games, and make good on our promise to put athletes first. We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face.

“We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner.

“To that end, it’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors. We look forward to their feedback and direction, and stand ready to work in support of Team USA and in full cooperation with the global community.”

Canada and Australia have said they will not send athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games unless it is postponed until 2021. Ireland and Great Britain have also indicated that they are considering withdrawal.

New Zealand released a statement this morning supporting postponement as well, reiterating the need for a swift decision:

“New Zealand athletes have long prepared for a July 2020 Olympic Games however the Olympic Movement is founded on humanity and that, right now, must come first.

“As the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, and on behalf of New Zealand’s Olympic athletes, we are asking the IOC to immediately confirm a postponement, using the following four weeks to clarify details.”

On Sunday, the IOC said it was starting to look into scenarios for “modifying” the current plans for the Games, which are scheduled to start on July 24. On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe conceded that it was possible the games might be postponed, and IOC member Dick Pound stated unofficially that the Games are going to be postponed, likely to 2021.

[Statement From USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons And CEO Sarah Hirshland On The Survey Of Team USA Athletes Related To COVID-19 And The Olympic And Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020]

Tokyo Olympics: Ireland, GB & USA Respond to 4-Week Deadline, IOC Member Says ‘Postponed’

Chris Burton and Santano II representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Canada and Australia have said they will not send athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games unless it is postponed until 2021. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

The past 24 hours have seen mounting impatience within the Olympic community following the IOC’s announcement of a four-week deadline to make a decision about the fate of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Cancellation, the IOC has staunchly maintained, is not an option, but postponement or a scaled-down Games are possible alternatives.

An interview with veteran IOC member Dick Pound with USA Today today further muddled the issue, as he stated that the Games are going to be postponed, likely to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

In late February, Pound dismissed the idea of delaying the Games until 2021, saying they were more likely to be canceled than postponed. Tokyo Organizing Committee officials subsequently described his comments as “speculation.”

No official comment from the IOC has been released.

In the eyes of a growing number of national federations, four weeks is too long to leave athletes in the lurch, potentially endangering their own health by continued training. This is coupled with broader concerns that the Games themselves would be a petri dish for global spread of COVID-19. Canada and Australia have said they will not send athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games unless it is postponed until 2021.

The IOC has requested feedback from national federations on the impact COVID-19 has had on sport and athletes.

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has said it will begin collecting input for the IOC, but that its decision about whether to participate in the Games may be independent of the IOC’s decision about the Games.

“We have heard the latest update from the IOC regarding the Games, and we await in due course further information from them,” OFI President Sarah Keane said. “However, we need to consider what’s right for our athletes, coaches, federations and all involved in supporting the system in Ireland at this time. This does include considering if our potential Olympians can and/or should continue to engage in organised training for the foreseeable future. 

“This may go against the grain of what they are used to doing day in day out, however at this time all options must be considered which we will do in conjunction with our Member Federations, athletes, Sport Ireland and other stakeholders. We can and are providing input into the IOC as the ultimate decision making body for the 2020 Olympic Games. However, we can make decisions in Ireland for the best of Team Ireland and all involved.”

You can read the full statement here.

The British Olympic Committee will host a conference call with the Olympic officials tomorrow, Tuesday March 23. “The call will primarily be used to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on domestic sport and athletes, specifically in light of updated Government advice and the closure of elite training facilities across the UK,” a statement released by Team GB today reads.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Hugh Robertson, chair of the British Olympic Committee, expressed concern that if the virus continues the way the government has predicted there is no way the nation will be able to send a team.

“And I base that on two things. Firstly, I don’t see any way that the athletes and Team GB could be ready by then,” he said. “Elite training facilities are perfectly understandably and quite correctly closed around the country, so there is no way they could undertake the preparation they need to get ready for a Games.”

“Second, there is the appropriateness of holding an Olympic Games at a time like this,” he said.

“We can’t see any way that this can go ahead as things are constituted at the moment and I expect we will be joining Canada and Australia shortly,” Robertson said.

The U.S. Olympic Committee responded to yesterday’s IOC statement with a lighter hand than Ireland or Great Britain, but is firm in its commitment to doing right by Team USA athletes.

USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and USOPC AAC Chair Han Xiao shared the following statement:

“The progress reflected in today’s IOC update to the global athlete community is an important step in providing clarity, but our athlete community continues to face enormous ambiguity surrounding the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Having spent countless hours communicating with IOC leadership, our peers around the world, our NGBs and the athletes we serve, we know the difficult obstacles ahead and we are all appreciative that the IOC has heard our concerns and needs, and is working to address them as quickly as possible.

“Every day counts. We remain steadfast in our recommendation that Team USA athletes continue to heed the advice of public health officials and prioritize their health and wellness over all else. At the same time we are eager to continue to explore alternatives to ensure all athletes have a robust and fulfilling Olympic and Paralympic experience, regardless of when that can safely occur. Together we will find solutions that keep the spirit of the Games alive.”

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled to begin on July 24.

Checking in with U.S. High Performance Riders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Eventers are a resilient lot but, when your life revolves around the cross country start box a forced hiatus is never easy. Despite an uprooted competition season and an uncertain outcome for the Olympic Games, it sounds like our top U.S. riders are making the most of the situation. We checked in on the social media feeds of Eventing High Performance Training List riders for updates on what they’ve been up to during these unprecedented times.

ELITE TRAINING LIST

The team here at True Prospect Farm is trying to maintain as normal a routine as possible under these difficult…

Posted by Phillip Dutton Eventing on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Boyd Martin: “Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works, but over the years I’ve often been pushed to master the art of not getting too worried about things that are out of your control. We plan to spend the next months training hard with the horses I am fortunate that all the prelim/Intermediate horses are in ‘flying change boot camp’ with Silva. It can often be a lengthy process, teaching the horses how to do flying changes, but Silva is a master at putting flying changes on the horses … As for the spring season, we will just wait to see how this outbreak continues. I’ll most likely be looking for a little teaching, in obviously small groups and out in the open, in driving distance of the farm.” – From “Windurra Eventers Migrating North,” 3/19/20 

 

PRE-ELITE TRAINING LIST

🔹NLE is grateful we don’t have to stay far from our horses and we have them to lean on during this time.

🔹Kiss your…

Posted by Next Level Eventing on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Social distancing

Posted by Jennie Brannigan on Sunday, March 22, 2020

 

TKS Cooley having a play this morning with XC Advisor Ian Stark. Bummed we can’t take this horse to Carolina next week but for right now we understand the importance of staying put! Stay safe and sane everybody!

Posted by Will Coleman Equestrian on Sunday, March 15, 2020

Making the most of our time off. We hitched a ride with Carl and Joan Hampf to check on the farm progress. Can’t…

Posted by DPEquestrian LLC on Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sonoma county friends- if you’re not sure what to do with your horses now because of corona virus- I have been doing the…

Posted by Frankie Thieriot Stutes on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Stay well out there, EN! Go Eventing.

Let’s Discuss: Shelter in Place — What Does It Mean for Boarders?

States across the nation are cracking down on residents’ movements amid the continued spread of the coronavirus, instituting “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders. The directives differ by location but generally require residents to avoid all nonessential outings and stay inside as much as possible.

So what does that mean for those of us who board our horses? That’s a question on the minds of many, including reader Kimber McKay. Kimber wrote to us:

“Can you please consider an article on what the shelter in place order means for horse people? I board at a facility that doesn’t provide turnout from now until June as the fields green up — and we all event — so the horses are worked (by their owners) six days a week. Otherwise they are in very small dry lots. We clean their stalls and groom and exercise our own animals. The owner/trainer doesn’t have staff to do all that, let alone buy all our grain and supplements, exercise our athletes, change blankets, hold for vet, hold for farrier, etc etc — what is to be done? Does shelter in place prohibit boarders from going and caring for these animals? Not all boarding facilities have staff that do all these things for the boarders!”

These are uncharted waters we’re navigating, and sadly we here at EN have no hard-and-fast answers. So we’re punting it back to our community: chime in with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section!

Go Eventing, and stay well.

Canada and Australia Will Not Send Athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Selena O’Hanlon (CAN) and Foxwood High. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Canada and Australia will not send athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games due to COVID-19 risks and are calling for the Games to be postponed until 2021.

The Olympic committees for both countries issued statements after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday that it will come to a decision about the timing of the 2020 Tokyo Games within four weeks. The IOC has said that while cancellation is not on the table, some alternatives, including postponement or a scaled-back Games, were being considered.

🇨🇦CANADA🇨🇦

Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Committees said on Sunday night that they will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics unless they are postponed until next year.

“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” the committees said in a joint statement. “This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health.With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games.”

The Games are scheduled to start July 24. Going ahead with that timeline, the Canadian committees argued, “runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow … We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.”

Canada will take two individual spots in eventing for the Games.

Last week Equestrian Canada suspended all EC-run events, clinics and activities and all EC-sanctioned competitions for four weeks, until April 12, 2020.

[Team Canada]

🇦🇺AUSTRALIA🇦🇺

Today the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) told its athletes that they should prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. The AOC  Executive Board unanimously agreed this morning that “an Australian Team could not be assembled in the changing circumstances at home and abroad.”

Withdrawing from the 2020 Games puts an end to the uncertainty that athletes have experienced. “We are now in a position where we can plan with greater certainty,” the AOC said in a statement. “It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July. Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them.”

The AOC acknowledged that a postponement would be challenging but maintained that it was in the best interest of global public health and the well-being of athletes: “We are aware that for many such a postponement will present a range of new issues. But when the world does come together at the Tokyo Olympic Games they can be a true celebration of sport and humanity.”

Australian eventing punched its ticket to the Games at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon. Equestrian Australia issued a statement today in response to the AOC’s decision, noting that the selection process for a 2021 Games will be revisited on March 31, 2020.

[Team Australia]

 

 

FEI Update on COVID-19 Implications for the Calendar, Rankings & Olympic Preparations

The FEI has been in constant contact with the IOC and other bodies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, a global crisis that has called into question the feasibility of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Today the international governing body issued a message addressing implications of the coronavirus and introducing an FAQ page for affected stakeholders including event organizers, competitors and more.

For a list of all canceled FEI events worldwide, click here. Read the USEF’s latest response to issues facing calendar, qualifications and Tokyo here.

Dear friends, members and the greater equestrian community,

First and foremost, I hope you are all well and that you and your loved ones are safe.

We are facing an extraordinary situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have all had to adapt both our personal and our working lives in order to play our role in protecting the health and welfare of our nations. This is our collective responsibility and it must be a priority, but it does come at a cost.

Like all industries, the equestrian sporting world has effectively shut down and many of our members are feeling the impact and the related financial strain as a consequence of the restrictions imposed at national level in countries impacted by the virus. All of this is extremely challenging and I want to reiterate our commitment and our determination to help in any way we can to minimise the effects on each and every individual and organisation in our community.

For athletes, your support teams and the nations aiming for Tokyo 2020, this is also extremely challenging as your meticulously planned preparation and training will have to be adapted and modified. I fully appreciate that the uncertainty about the Olympic and Paralympic Games is frustrating, but the FEI is proactively looking at all the measures that will need to be taken in order to guarantee you are given fair and equal opportunities to reach your goals, whilst ensuring that your health and wellbeing always comes first.

We are fortunate that we have completed our Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers, which is sadly not the case for many other sports, but we must continue our preparations and be flexible where we need to be, such as rescheduling cancelled events and potentially extending the timeline around the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER), without modifying the requirements themselves.

The disruption to the FEI Calendar as a result of Covid-19 is not just affecting athletes aiming to achieve their MERs, but also has a major impact on the Rankings across all our disciplines. We are monitoring every aspect of the sport and we are taking action wherever needed in order to provide support to our National Federations, our organisers, our athletes, our officials and the entire equestrian industry.

There will be have to be compromise and it probably won’t be perfect, but we are absolutely committed to finding the very best solution for our community and for our sport, and I sincerely believe that we will.

Resilience, determination and dedication are synonymous with the equestrian community, and they are the values we will need to embrace now more than ever before in order to overcome the widespread consequences of this global pandemic.

Let me be very clear – the FEI is always here for you. The FEI Headquarters remains fully operational and even though we are working from our homes we will continue to provide all our stakeholders with a professional and proactive service, including regular updates and comprehensive information around Covid-19 and our sport, such as the newly-published FAQ.

How we tackle every day, and how we find solutions together will counterbalance the cost for our community. This sense of solidarity and this dedication is not only our remit and our mission, it is what defines our sport and the FEI Family.

Thank you for your time and please be safe.


Ingmar De Vos
FEI President

[FEI]

Badminton Horse Trials Is Canceled

Badminton Horse Trials, scheduled to take place May 6-10 in South Gloucestershire, England, will be the second five-star event of 2020 to be canceled, following the cancellation of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event two weeks prior.

The event issued the following statement today:

“Following the Government’s COVID-19 public health restrictions and its statement that emergency services are withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings from Tuesday 17th March, we are sorry to announce it is no longer possible to stage Badminton Horse Trials between the 6th and 10th May in any capacity. This cancellation also includes the Science Supplements Cup.

“This is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone and the health and safety of all those that attend and are involved with Badminton remains our number one priority. Please be assured that Badminton Horse Trials operates a refund policy and we will be in contact shortly with more information on how these will be processed accordingly.

“We apologise for the delay in making this announcement but are grateful to our insurance brokers and underwriters for their support and cooperation at this busy time. Badminton Horse Trials would like to take this opportunity to thank and wish all of the athletes (human and equine), sponsors, exhibitors, supporters and volunteers well through this challenging time. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the 2021 event.”

Our support and sympathies are with impacted organizers, venues and competitors during these difficult times. View a full list of canceled events here.

[Cancellation Statement]