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Plantation Field Ushers in Return of Eventing on Friday

Off and running at Plantation Field H.T. Photo by Holly Covey.

Have we ever been so excited to Go Eventing? Plantation Field H.T., one of three USEA recognized horse trials taking place this weekend, kicked things off with its Intermediate, Prelim and Open Training divisions running as a one-day event on Friday.

EN blogger Holly Covey was on the scene, volunteering as a dressage scribe, and reports that spirits were high. “Everyone I saw was so glad to be there,” she says. “There were a lot of smiles down center line, a place where smiles are not all that common! And lots and lots of thanks to all the volunteers.”

Also spotted volunteering: USEA CEO Rob Burk!

Fence judging at Plantation Field! Everyone is being very respectful. Social distancing, masks and sanitary practices are in full effect!

Posted by Rob Burk on Friday, June 5, 2020

Holly says that Plantation Field’s Covid-19 safety protocol, which you can view here, was honored by riders, officials and volunteers.

Social distance scribing. Photo by Holly Covey.

“Scribes sat in their own cars next to judges and we scribed through the window (we also had radios if we had to roll up windows),” she says. “When test sheets were collected, we were given a plastic container to put them in, and a clean empty one was given back to us after pickup. We used hand sanitizer all day.”

Other measures included social distanced horse trailer parking …

Photo by Holly Covey.

… temperatures taken upon entry …

Photo by Holly Covey.

… and, she says, “Sanitizer and soap and water everywhere and masks on everyone.”

Disinfect all the things! Photo by Holley Covey.

“The course was a bit lonely out there with only jump judges, as spectators were discouraged by the organizer,” she says. But considering the circumstances, we think everybody was just happy to be out there!

The winners thus far:
Open Intermediate-A: Alice Roosevelt & Fernhill Zoro (34.2)
Open Intermediate-B: Maya Black & Miks Master C (28.4)
Junior Young Riders Open Preliminary: Delaney O’Neil & An Irish Blessing (29.0)
Open Preliminary-A: Amy Borun & Vitalis (18.2)
Open Preliminary-B: Lila Gendal & BT Just A Rebel (32.2)
Open Preliminary-C: Maya Black & Maks Mojo C (23.7)
Open Training-A: Michael Pendleton & Woodstock Checkmate (27.9)
Open Training-B: Ryan Wood & Ben Nevis (22.9)

The competition continues with lower-level divisions today and the Starter H.T. on Sunday.

Plantation Field H.T.: Website, Ride TimesLive Scores

What’s Still Standing on the June USEA Event Calendar? (And Should You Enter?) [Updated 6/7]

Stable View Summer H.T. in Aiken, SC, is offering a full refund in the event of competition cancellation. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

With a solid USEF Action Plan in place and USEF/USEA competition bans lifting at the end of the month, several events scheduled or rescheduled for June are gearing up to run — some more tentatively than others, due to the restrictions of their individual states. With their opening dates in the rear view and some closing dates fast approaching, many eventers are left wondering whether to send their entries in now or sit tight until the last possible moment, or even whether to enter at all.

Competition organizers, of course, want us to get those entries in as soon as possible so that they can move forward with preparations. Competitors, on the other hand, want some assurance that they’re not going to be out an entry fee if the event gets canceled. Event cancellation refund policies vary from event to event, ranging from a very generous full refund (Stable View Summer H.T.) to no refund at all (most events). Which is understandable, as competitions have to put a lot of money forward on the front end that they would not be able to recoup, but not confidence boosting for potential competitors.

We’ve listed out a current (as of May 20) schedule of the 16 USEA events in June along with opening/closing dates and refund policies. Please refer to the USEA Competitions Calendar, as well as the individual events’ websites and social media pages, for updates — as we all know too well, anything can change at any moment.

Some events have used the calendar to share their own Covid-19 protocols (in addition to the USEF’s) for running a safe competition, which also goes a long way toward reassuring competitors, many of whom are rightly wary. Many have shifted to a one-day format (Beginner Novice and Novice, for instance, might run all three phases on Saturday, followed by Training and Prelim on Sunday). Others have eliminated food and tack vendors, or come up with creative strategies — Golden Spike H.T., for instance, has enlisted local Pony Club volunteers to act as “social distance officers.” And all required to be compliant with the USEF Action Plan.

If you HAVE already submitted an entry: Please note that pending changes to the USEF Entry Agreement and Waiver and Release form will require that any signature page submitted after April 30th, 2020 be re-signed prior to the competition. Esign has been turned off in Xentry. Entrants shall be alerted when the new forms are in place for re-signing through Xentry.

To enter or not to enter … that’s a question that you’ll have to answer for yourself. And when you do submit that first entry back, do so conscientiously, taking into consideration your horse’s preparation and fitness levels — there’s no shame in dropping down a level until you’re back in the groove. (USEF President Max Corcoran shared some pearls of wisdom on this topic in last week’s “A Safe Return to Competition” USEF/USEA joint webinar.) Most importantly: Once we do get out there, let’s all work together to keep everyone safe!

AREA I

June 27 – 28: GMHA June H.T. (VT)

  • Opens May 12
  • Closes June 9
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, P
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund
  • Update 6/3: Canceled

AREA II

June 6-7: The Middleburg H.T. (VA)

  • Opens Apr 21
  • Closes May 19
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, P
  • Notes: Will announce decision about whether to run on Friday, May 22, pending word from the Virginia governor
  • Event cancellation refund policy:  Accepting entries but not collecting payment unless the event runs
  • Update 5/22: Canceled

June 6: Plantation Field H.T. (PA)

  • Opens Apr 21
  • Closes May 19
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, P, I
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

June 13 – 14: Waredaca H.T. (MD)

  • Opens Apr 28
  • Closes May 26
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, M, P, I

Notes: rescheduled from original date. 6/7: “Having gotten the official approval from the Montgomery County Health Officer just this morning, we are a GO!! Waredaca is running a one day on June 13, levels BN thru Preliminary. Current entries received are ALL ACCEPTED.  If you still wish to enter, please contact Secretary Cindy directly at [email protected]  Payment is to be completed by END OF DAY SUNDAY; no one will be scheduled if not complete and PAPERLESS– all of the USEF and USEA required entry paperwork.   Payment can be made by Xentry, event entries or PayPal  [email protected] (PLEASE USE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OPTION) Also required from everyone planning to be on the property Saturday,–whoever else is coming with you–  a completed and ELECTRONICALLY FILED Waredaca Waiver of Liability.”

  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

June 13-14: War Horse Event Series June H.T.

  • Opens May 19
  • Closes June 6
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, M, P
  • Notes: Usually a schooling series, WHES applied for USEA licensure to offer more opportunities for riders to compete at recognized competitions (schooling horse trial, dressage and CT divisions are also available)
  • Event cancellation refund policy: Not specified

June 19-21: Surefire Farm H.T. (VA)

  • Opens May 5
  • Closes June 2
  • Divisions: YEH-4, YEH-5, BN, N, T, P, I
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

June 27 – 28: Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T. (VA)

  • Opens May 12
  • Closes June 9
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, P, I
  • Notes: The event will announce on or before June 10 if it will run.
  • Event cancellation refund policy: Accepting entries with no payment

June 27 – 28: Horse Park of New Jersey H.T. I (NJ)

  • Opens May 12
  • Closes June 9
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, P, I, A
  • Notes: Status of event pending Covid-19 restrictions in New Jersey. A final decision will be announced on June 5. Entries are being accepted through EventEntries only; no payment is required until June 5.
  • Event cancellation refund policy: Stabling only

AREA III

June 6 – 7: River Glen June H.T. (TN)

  • Opens Apr 21
  • Closes May 19
  • Divisions: Starter, BN, N, TN, T, PT, P, IP, I
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

June 13 – 14: Full Gallop Farm June H.T. (SC)

  • Opens Apr 28
  • Closes May 26
  • Divisions: NEH, Starter, YEH-4, YEH-5, BN, N, TN, T, PT, P, IP
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund. Free cross-country school in future.

June 19 – 21: Stable View Summer H.T.

  • Opens May 5
  • Closes June 2
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, M, P, I, A
  • Notes: View Stable View Farm’s social distancing guidelines here
  • Event cancellation refund policy: Full refund

June 27 – 28: Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (GA)

  • Opens May 12
  • Closes June 9
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, M, P, I
  • Event cancellation refund policy: partial refund
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

AREA IV

June 13: Silverwood Farm Spring H.T. (WI)

  • Opens Apr 28
  • Closes May 26
  • Divisions: Starter, BN, N, T, PT
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

AREA V

June 6: Feather Creek Farm H.T. (OK)

  • Opens Apr 21
  • Closes May 19 (accepting post-entries through Monday, June 1, with no late fee)
  • Divisions: Intro, Starter, BN, N, T, P
  • Notes: The horse trials will run over-one day; haul-in fees are waived.
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

June 20 – 21: Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (TX)

  • Opens May 5
  • Closes June 2
  • Divisions: FEH-2, FEH-3, FEH-4, FEH-YEAR, NEH, Intro, YEH-4, YEH-5, BN, N, T, PT, P, IP, I
  • Notes: rescheduled from original date
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

AREA VI

No events in June

AREA VII

No events in June

AREA VIII

June 27 – 28: Cobblestone Farms H.T. I (MI)

  • Opens May 12
  • Closes June 9
  • Divisions: Starter, BN, N, T, P
  • Notes: Pending status of Covid-19 restrictions
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

AREA IX

June 13 – 14: Golden Spike H.T. (UT)

  • Opens Apr 28
  • Closes May 26
  • Divisions: Intro, BN, N, T, PT, P
  • Event cancellation refund policy: No refund

AREA X

No events in June

Important Links:

Inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Postponed to 2021

We’ll be sitting tight another year for the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, as the event has been postponed to 2021. The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), announced this morning that health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the competition which was originally scheduled for Oct. 15-18, 2020.

Maryland has been hard-hit by the pandemic, ranking #10 in the country by caseload despite its relatively small size. Event organizers and partners are now focused on producing a maiden event next year that will welcome a field of international competitors, as well as spectators traveling to the event from around the world.

A statement from the event explains their decision-making process:

“The FHOC made their decision after a thorough consultation with the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill planning committee, its Competition Management Partner, Fair Hill International (FHI), as well as other key constituents including the State of Maryland and Cecil County. The consensus was made that not being able to guarantee the health and safety of everyone and producing the event in a limited capacity was not favorable for the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill’s inaugural year.

“‘It was a very difficult decision and we are very disappointed for the competitors, fans and eventing community,’ said FHOC President Jeff Newman. ‘The Fair Hill Organizing Committee was created and tasked to plan and produce the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill as a world-class, international sporting event that includes an abundance of fan offerings drawing spectators from around the world to Cecil County and surrounding region.’

“Newman added, ‘From the start of the pandemic until now, like many sports and entertainment properties, we’ve fully vetted out different scenarios ranging from a scaled back event with some fans, a competition-only event without spectators, or postponing the event to 2021. Ultimately, we felt that the uncertainties and risks that will remain throughout the year are too great to overcome. As a result, with the support of our sponsors and key constituents, postponing the inaugural event to 2021 best enables us to achieve our original goals and set the foundation for a tradition that will continue for many years.'”

We know that Jeff and his team have turned every possible option inside out, looking for a way to make a go of it, and postponement is clearly the only feasible option for the best interest of health and safety for riders, officials, volunteers, spectators and the community at large. Thank you, Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, for all your hard work and we look forward to supporting you 100% in 2021!

The FEI, USEF and USEA have expressed their support of the decision and confirmed new dates for the event: Oct. 14-17, 2021. 

US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney commented, “We recognize the difficulty of the decision to cancel the 2020 Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill considering the excitement and positive momentum building towards the inaugural event in October. We look forward to working with the Organizing Committee to support a successful event in 2021. The 2020 USEF CCI3*-L National Championship will be reallocated to a new venue and details will be announced in the coming weeks.” The reallocation of the YEH Championships will also be announced in coming weeks.

USEA CEO Rob Burk applauded Fair Hill’s developments, including a newly designed Special Event Zone featuring a Ian Stark-designed cross country course as well as new dressage and show jumping areas constructed in the infield of the historic turf track. “Earlier this year I was lucky to see many of the improvements made to the park and all of those involved should be incredibly proud of the direction that the facility is headed,” Rob said. “This will be an event we can all be proud of that will stand amongst the best in the world. We have also been pleased with the work that the organizing committee has done with the Young Event Horse East Coast Championships and we can’t wait to see their continued growth and improvement at Fair Hill in 2021.”

Maryland 5 Star’s partners and sponsors have been notified about the postponement, and we thank them along with the state of Maryland, Cecil County and Fair Hill International (FHI) for their continued support.

“There are too many challenges to overcome this year related to the pandemic,” said FHI President Trish Gilbert. “With this decision, we can move forward with the planning for 2021 and work together to create the best event possible, building upon the legacy FHI has established at Fair Hill over the last few decades.”

Mike Gill and Michael Hankin will remain as the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill’s Co-Chairs. “Ultimately, postponing the event to 2021 was the right move for the first year because health and safety must come first,” they said. “Our goal from the start was to showcase Maryland Pride to attending fans from around the world while also delivering a top-class competition for the riders and horses. However, due to the incredible challenges and uncertainty resulting from the pandemic, that’s just not possible this year. We look forward to producing an incredible event in 2021 and providing an economic stimulus.”

With Maryland off the table, Pau (Oct. 21–25 in France) is the only five-star event left standing for this year. On Tuesday, Pau expressed its intent to run. Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmühlen, Burghley and Adelaide have all been canceled due to the pandemic.

FHOC President Jeff Newman generously took the time to speak to EN about the postponement. Knowing that, for many elite U.S. eventers Maryland was their brightest hope for contesting a five-star in 2020, we asked him to share a message to those riders.

His empathy for the athletes is clear, and a reason that the event took the time to thoroughly vet every possible alternative. Ultimately, the decision came down to safety, but when our sport is back up and running in earnest no doubt the excitement levels will be through the roof — from the athletes to the fans. “I think that every five-star next year is going to come back strong,” Jeff said. “All the events are going to be incredible, and that’s something to look forward to.”

As for his team, who have been working so tirelessly, and the future of the Maryland 5 Star: “This gives a clear direction of where we’re heading.” Like eventers themselves, the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill has a focus and a goal, and they want to come out swinging at the highest level possible. “We’re all excited about what 2021 can provide with an ample runway. We’re all excited in the sport, and we’re also excited to attract the casual sports fan. If we can attract more fans who are not the typical eventing fans, that’s good for everybody.”

Go Eventing, soon!

[The Fair Hill Organizing Committee Postpones Inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Due to COVID-19]

The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill: Website, FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

 

 

GMHA June H.T. Is Canceled

Alexander Conrad and Malibu Preacher at GMHA H.T. in May 2019. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

The sole June event left standing on the Area I USEA calendar, GMHA June H.T. (scheduled for June 27-28 in South Woodstock, VT), has been canceled. The event was postponed from its original date of May 30-31.

Vermont’s stay-at-home order expired on May 15; however, other restrictions on out-of-state visitation and a prohibition of sporting events rule out the possibility of hosting an event.

“With so many GMHA competitors coming from out of state, even if competitions were allowed, it wouldn’t work,” says Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA) Executive Director Bruce Perry. “For example, with our June Horse Trials, out of the 180 entries received only 29 would be able to compete.”

“We waited as long as we could before canceling, but we could not see our way through to hold these competitions successfully under the current restrictions,” he says.

GMHA issued the following statement this afternoon:

Hi everybody,

We miss you.

We wish we could greet you and your horses to South Woodstock.

But we can’t, at least not yet.

The State of Vermont continues to prohibit organized competitive sporting events. Furthermore, even for educational events, out of state visitors would need to quarantine in Vermont for 14 days. Access to lodging is effectively prohibited to out of state visitors until the quarantine period expires. These restrictions will continue until the “regional benchmarks” improve.

So, at a minimum, we’ll have to cancel the Spring Hunter Jumper Show (June 20-21) and the June Horse Trials (June 27-28).

We are working on alternatives to make GMHA accessible to our community as we go forward: educational events and a new configuration of Members Days that will work with State rules and social distancing guidance (we hope to include additional offerings and access to non-members). More details to come shortly.

As far as July and the rest of the summer, we have chosen to see what is possible rather than decide to cancel at this point. We will take entries, but not money, for July competitions so we can get a straw poll for interest. We are cancelling Junior Horsemanship Camp in August, there really is no way to make that work with social distancing, even if travel prohibitions loosen up.

We would love to hear from you. If you have ideas, send them our way. We have explored video with “GMHA Comes To You!” virtual learning and will expand that next winter, we’d love your input for smaller scale educational opportunities that would be workable during the COVID pandemic.

You are the heart of GMHA, and we hope that you keep us in mind if you can’t be here. Come visit when you can. Of course, you can imagine that this is tremendously challenging financially, and we would deeply appreciate if you would consider donating, maybe a portion of your entry fees, some of what you might have spent on gas coming up here … all of it will go to keeping our wonderful staff here for you when we finally can greet you here in person.

We’ll see you on the other side, GMHA. Learn more about GMHA here, and please consider making a donation here.

 

2020 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Postponed to 2021

Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel.

The USEA Board has voted to postponed the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, scheduled for Dec. 10-13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to 2021. Dangit, coronavirus! Guess I’ll have to wait another year to drink prickly pear margaritas with buddies on EN’s tab geek out about our sport with fellow eventing enthusiasts via seminars, committee meetings and open forums.

From the USEA:

 

“The USEA Board of Governors decided, after much deliberation and a survey of the membership, that it would be in our members’ best interest to postpone the 2020 Annual Meeting & Convention,” said Jennifer Hardwick, Senior Director of Membership Services & Meeting Planner. “This decision was not made lightly, but based on all that is happening in our world and with the safety of our members a top priority, it was the best decision for us to postpone this year’s convention.”

“The USEA staff and Board of Governors are exploring all possible options for hosting the 2020 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. The USEA By-Laws state that the Annual Meeting of Members must be held each year at the conclusion of the competition season, either at the USEA office or elsewhere in the country. The Board will be examining a number of possible solutions and select a course of action that will suit the greatest possible number of our members.

“One of the most anticipated parts of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention each year is the Year End Awards Ceremony, where the eventing community comes together to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of its members. While the Year End Awards Ceremony will not take place in its traditional format this year, the USEA still intends to devise a special way to honor the year end award winners at the conclusion of the 2020 competition season. At this time, the USEA has not made any decisions to adjust the way in which leaderboard points are tabulated for 2020.

““’Our members’ safety is of the utmost importance, and I could not wholeheartedly say, ‘Come to Albuquerque and enjoy the sights!’ while this is looming over all our heads,” Hardwick stated. “However wonderful it would be to see each of you, we do not want to put anyone in harm’s way.'”

Thanks for Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

[2020 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Postponed]

Three USEA Events Are Set to Run This Weekend: Let’s Be Smart About It, M’kay?

Plantation Field H.T. is fielding over 260 USEA H.T. and 190 Starter H.T. entries this weekend. Photo courtesy of AK Dragoo Photo.

Three USEA recognized horse trials are revving their engines to run this weekend following a months’ long suspension of events due to coronavirus: Plantation Field H.T. in Unionville, PA; Feather Creek H.T. in Norman, Oklahoma; and River Glen H.T. in New Market, Tennessee.

It might be easy, when you’re back in your happy place with the sun shining and the birds singing and the startbox beckoning, to revert to a business-as-usual mindset. It’s easy to forget, when you are surrounded by the familiar, that the out-of-body experience of the past three months even happened. But the reality is: We’re still living in a fragile moment, and you’ve got more responsibility than ever to yourself, to your community and to your horse.

As several hundred horses and riders countdown to events this weekend and the weekends following, let’s take the time for a reality check.

Reality Check #1: HEALTH

We’re just now poking our heads out from a global pandemic that has claimed 106,000 American lives and has sickened 1.8 million Americans, and four times that globally. Chester County, site of Plantation Field, has had 284 coronavirus deaths. Cleveland County, site of Feather Creek, ranks #3 out of 77 counties in Oklahoma for coronavirus caseload. Jefferson County, home of River Glen, is as out-in-the-sticks as it gets but has still seen dozens of cases. So don’t think that just because you’re at an event you aren’t capable of contracting or spreading the virus, or taking it home with you to the people you love. We may have flattened the curve but we’re far from being out of the woods.

We’ve got to police ourselves here. All USEA events are require to adhere to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, which can be found in the USEF COVID-19 toolkit. If an event isn’t complying with protocol, report it. If the people around you aren’t complying with protocol, report it. You can view Plantation Field’s protocol here and Feather Creek’s protocol here. I’ll be out at my local event River Glen this weekend, taking notes (in a mask, from a safe distance), and I’ll be reporting back to you on Monday morning about what I saw. Please don’t let me down.

It’s great that our sport is back up and running, but coronavirus took us down once and it can take us down again, all the way back to square one, if we don’t all do our part and stay vigilant.

Reality Check #2: SAFETY

Way back before a deadly novel virus and nationwide protests were consuming our bandwidth, the event world was facing another crisis: safety. On Feb. 29, at one of the last events before our show season went dark, Katharine Morel died in a rotational fall at Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. She was the fifth rider in eight months we lost to cross-country related accidents in North America alone.

I’m done writing obituaries.

The next time you head for the startbox, be it this weekend or a month from now or three months from now, remember that this is your horse’s first outing in some time. Take into account his physical and mental readiness, and yours as well. Nobody expects you to go for broke out there. Don’t gallop faster than your angels can fly, as a coach once told me. Your life is worth much more than a blue ribbon, and trust me: in a week or two from now, nobody will even remember who won Plantation Field, or Feather Creek, or River Glen June H.T.

If your horse doesn’t feel 100% in the warm-up, call it a day. If you get out on course and feel rusty, call it a day. If you’re entering an event and it’s been a hot minute, bump down a level. This checklist from the USEA is a great tool for self-evaluation. Can you tick ALL the boxes?

Reality Check #3: GRATITUDE

If anything, I hope the trials we have faced over the past three months — the trials we CONTINUE to face — have served as a reminder of just how fortunate we are: for our health, for our family’s health, for our horses, for the opportunity to be part of a sport and a community that welcomes us with open arms. What a privilege, which we too often take for granted. Whether you are eventing or not this weekend, take a quiet moment to let that sink in.

Feel gratitude, and express it. Thank your event organizer for going out of their way to create a space for you to do the thing you love, despite all the hurdles and uncertainty. Thank every volunteer you see — they are there by choice, and calculated risk. (Bonnie Kibbie, Chair of the USEA Volunteer Committee, suggests PATIENCE as Reality Check#4: “Please bear with event officials, volunteers, and organizers as they navigate a change to pretty much every aspect of how events are run. Scores will be slower to post because we are trying to limit passing papers around.”)

Thank your barn help, your trainer, and the family and friends who have anchored you through these tough times. And social distancing be damned, go give that horse of yours a big hug.

 

Now, more than ever, Go Eventing.

 

Plantation Field H.T. [Website] [USEA H.T. Entry Status] [Starter H.T. Entry Status] [USEA H.T. Schedule] [Starter H.T. Schedule] [Ride Times]

River Glen Summer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Feather Creek H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

 

2020 MARS Essex Horse Trials Is Canceled

Ryan Wood and Ruby, winners of the $20,000 Preliminary division at the 2018 Mars Essex Horse Trials. Photo by i{mpack}t studio courtesy of Mars Essex Horse Trials.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of this year’s MARS Essex Horse Trials Country Weekend.

Scheduled for July 18-19 at historic Moorland Farm in Far Hills, New Jersey, the MARS Essex Horse Trials features Beginner Novice through Advanced divisions. Benefiting the Greater Newark LifeCamp in Pottersville, New Jersey, the event offers a variety of family friendly activities including a classic car show, farm stand, demonstrations, vendors and the Willow school Children’s Activity Center.

“This is disappointing for all of us” said Ralph Jones, President of the MARS Essex Horse Trials. “We considered various ways where we might be able to proceed but none with which we felt completely comfortable. In the end, nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our 300 competitors, 182 volunteers and nearly 5,000 spectators and that is the overriding factor.”

“We want to thank MARS Equestrian™, our title sponsor as well as AIG, Peapack Private Wealth Management, Running S Equine Veterinary Services, RWJ Barnabas Health, Open Road Auto Group for the continued support and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for a great event at Moorland Farm in 2021!”

For additional information, please visit www.essexhorsetrials.org.

CHIO Aachen to Go Virtual in 2020

This year, the “O” in CHIO Aachen stands for “Online.” After being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic,  the “Concours Hippique International Officiel” is now being staged as the “Concours Hippique International Online” this year, scheduled to take place Aug. 4-9 in Aachen, Germany.

“Of course, nothing excels the real CHIO Aachen,” said Frank Kemperman, Chairman of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV). But in the absence of the live event, cutting-edge technology will keep the spirit of the event alive.

The event was intended to host a Nations Cup CCIO4*-S, CCI3*S and CCI2*S. Now, “CHIO Aachen Digital” will feature a combination of virtual experiences, social media, sport and entertainment. In addition to a virtual eventing competition, there will be dressage and show jumping challenges with international top riders, plenty of fan involvement, a mobile phone game and a German vs. Dutch National Cup for four-in-hand driving. Competition highlights from past years will also be shown plus new commentary from athletes.

“We have been relying on state-of-the-art technology and innovations for many years already to present our unique sport in the best light and to also make it more transparent and thus more easily comprehensible, of course,” said Michael Mronz, General Manager of Aachener Reitturnier GmbH. In this way, together with the official technology partner SAP, the organizers developed the judging app for the dressage competitions, a technology that has since been implemented worldwide and will be adapted for implementation during the CHIO Aachen Digital.

“Of course, we would have all preferred a live event at our traditional showgrounds,” said Carl Meulenbergh, President of the ALRV. “However I am convinced that we will be able to bring a great deal of the legendary CHIO Aachen atmosphere to the people’s homes in the scope of this digital event.”

Over the coming days and weeks, details about the CHIO Aachen Digital will be announced on its social media platforms and on the website at chioaachen.de.

 

Full-Steam Ahead: Why Top Eventers Choose Haygain – Team USA Edition

Top riders leave nothing to chance when it comes to their equine athletes’ well-being. It’s no surprise that respiratory and digestive health rank among their top concerns, and many have adopted Haygain hay steamers into their management programs.

U.S. eventers Buck Davidson, Will Coleman, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Sinead Halpin, Caroline Martin, Lauren Nichols, Kristin Schmolze, Tamie Smith and Frankie Thieriot-Stutes all swear by the steamers for improved health and performance.

Learn more about the benefits of steaming here. In these videos, some Team USA riders share in their own words why they steam.

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.

USEF Covid-19 Rule Modification Extends Validity of Earned MERS from 12 to 18 Months

Confused about what level you’re now qualified to compete at, having missed the spring season?

The latest round of USEF rule modifications in response to COVID-19 includes a key one for eventing Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs): the extension of the validity of MERs already earned from 12 months to 18 months through the remainder of the 2020 competition season. 

The Presidential Modification, approved last week, allows horses that were qualified for a certain level prior to the suspension from competition to still compete at that level once competition resumes. If horses do not achieve another MER at that height level in 2020, they will have to drop back a level in 2021 to requalify before moving back up.

Essentially, horses that would have had their 12-month qualifier expire during the suspension can now still compete at the same level as originally intended for the spring.

Here is the modification, which starts at the bottom of page 17 on this document, in its entirety:

Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) – Eventing
USEF COVID-19 Rule Modifications – updated 5/21/20 18

Extends the validity of Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) already earned from twelve months to eighteen months.

EV105 – Loss of Qualifications
For certain levels of competition, horses and riders must meet qualifying requirements. Those requirements are detailed in Appendix 3. Loss of these requirements (qualifications) is outlined below and pertains to any combination of USEF and FEI Events.

1. ESTABLISHMENT OF QUALIFICATION. When a horse and/or rider obtains a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) at a level, then they are “established” (qualified to compete) at that level. This “establishment” does not expire; however, it is important to remember that in all cases, when entering an Event at the CCI1* level or above, at least one MER must be obtained in the twelve eighteen month period prior to the competition.

APPENDIX 3 – PARTICIPATION IN HORSE TRIALS – (Eventing)

A competitor and/or a horse may be entered in a Horse Trial without having fulfilled the qualifications noted below, provided the qualifications have been fulfilled at least 10 days before the Cross-Country Test of the competition for which it is needed if the MER has been achieved at a Horse Trial or CCI-S or at least 24 days if the MER has been achieved at a CCI-L. For Preliminary and Training Classic Three-Day Events, qualifying competitions must be completed within a 24-month period of the start of the competition. At the CCI* level and above, at least one MER must be obtained in the twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition. e.g. a horse and/or rider who have achieved a MER at a CCI4* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve eighteen months must first achieve a MER at the next lowest height level

4. LEVELS OF INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS AND EVENTS

4.1 UNCATEGORIZED RIDERS Listed below are the USEF requirements to compete in an FEI Competition. Additionally, all horses and riders must meet the minimum eligibility requirements (MER) published by the FEI which must be achieved by competitor and horse as a combination. Where FEI requirements refer to a “CCI” this may be satisfied by achieving an MER at a CCI-L or CCI-S of the level stated. When multiple MERs are required, one of the Minimum Eligibility Requirements can be achieved incurring 20 penalties at the obstacles of the Cross Country Test. All USEF requirements do not need to be achieved as a combination. At the CCI1* level and above, at least one MER must be obtained in the twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition (e.g., a horse and/or rider who have achieved a MER at a CCI4* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve eighteen months must first achieve a MER at the next lowest height level).

4.2 CATEGORIZED RIDERS Listed below are the USEF requirements to compete in an FEI Competition. Additionally, all horses and riders must meet the minimum eligibility requirements (MER) published by the FEI. When multiple Minimum Eligibility Requirements are required, one of the Minimum Eligibility Requirements can be achieved incurring 20 penalties at the obstacles of the Cross Country Test. All USEF requirements do not need to be achieved as a combination.

At the CCI1* level and above, at least one Qualifying Result must be obtained in the twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition (e.g., a horse and/or rider who have achieved a QR at a CCI4* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve eighteen months must first achieve a QR at the next lowest height level).

The above rules require U.S. Athletes, competing at the CCI1* level and above, to achieve one of the required Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to compete within the twelve eighteen month period prior to the competition in question. This is a requirement in addition to those USEF COVID-19 Rule Modifications – updated 5/21/20 19 prescribed by the FEI; due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it will, in some cases, put U.S. Athletes, otherwise qualified and prepared to compete at a certain level, at a disadvantage.

The full listing of rule modifications related to COVID-19 impacts can be viewed by clicking here. Additional rule modifications continue to be reviewed and will be published when approved.

Visit the USEF Eventing Homepage and Eventing News & Updates for the latest COVID-19 updates. Visit the USEF General COVID-19 Resource Center and High Performance COVID-19 Resource Center​​ for the latest general updates. Visit the USEA COVID-19 Resources & Updates for important calendar updates, news and more. 

Athletux #TakeHomeTuesday: HG One Hay Steamer from Haygain ($999 Value)

Get your game face on, because Equestrian Marketing Firm Athletux has partnered with EN’s awesome sponsor Haygain to give away a HG One Hay Steamer for this week’s edition of #TakeHomeTuesday.

Why We Love It

The steaming process rids hay of up to 99% of the mold, dust, bacteria and allergens found in hay — even in hay that looks beautiful and is top quality in terms of nutrient content. These inhalable irritants lead to respiratory issues that affect over 80% of active sport horses, often without obvious symptoms.

Many vets consider respiratory challenges to be the top cause of otherwise unexplained poor performance. Which is not surprising. As anyone with even mild asthma or allergies knows — especially this time of year — easy breathing is critical whether you’re galloping a 5* cross-country course or taking a leisurely trail ride.

Steaming also adds water to the diet for better digestion and hydration. Unlike soaking hay, it does not leach nutrients and it’s easy to incorporate into the horse keeping routine. Horses love its great taste and smell, helping hard keepers keep weight on and get the energy and nutrients they need.

Athletux is giving away a HG One Hay Steamer, the smallest of Haygain’s three models. It’s perfect for feeding one or two horses and traveling with it is a breeze.

How To Win It

1) Follow both @athletux and @haygainusa on Instagram.
2) Like this post.
3) Tag a friend who might like to enter (one person per comment to maximize your chances).
For an extra entry, enter your email here.

Hurry! Tuesday giveaways only run for 48 hours. Entering takes less than 1 minute so what are you waiting for?

This giveaway closes on Thursday, May 28th at 7 a.m. EST. Winner to be contacted that afternoon!⁠

Bonus of following Athletux on Instagram: #TakeHomeTuesday giveaways for items from top industry brands — we are talking big items like horse blankets, riding boots, helmets, clothing and more. You don’t want to miss it!

Go Eventing.

Equestrian Marketing Firm Athletux is proud to be one of the longest running agencies in the business, working exclusively with equestrian brands, athletes and events. Athletux understands your audience, utilizing innovative and creative ideas to build your brand and image. By integrating a passion for all things equine with drive and knowledge, you will achieve unparalleled results. Think of Athletux as an extension of your team, providing highly specialized tools to take your business to the next level. Learn more about how Athletux can help you revolutionize your business today. Visit athletux.com for more information, or follow along via social @athletux. 

2020 Calendar Is Looking Bright for Morven Park

Photo by Valerie Durbon Photography.

Like so many venues, Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, VA, had an eerily quiet spring. Its Spring Horse Trials, scheduled for March 28-29, was canceled — for the first time in 46 years.

We’re glad to hear that the horse trials’ rescheduling request has been approved. The formerly “Spring” but now “Winter” H.T. will take place Nov. 14-15, 2020, and feature Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels.

“We appreciate all of your continued support,” the event reports. “As we receive updates from the local, state and federal governments and the USEF and USEA we will keep you all updated as well.”

In the coming months, Morven Park International Equestrian Center is looking forward to welcoming riders and spectators at horse trials, Summer Show Series for hunter/jumpers, the fourth season of Polo in the Park, and more. Here’s an overview of what we have to look forward to this year:

EVENTING

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Summer H.T.June 27 – 28, 2020

  • Open Date: May 12
  • Close Date: June 9
  • Divisions: BN, N, T, P, I

Hopes are high that the event will run; a decision will be announced on or before June 10 based on local and state restrictions. Entries are being accepted, but kindly refrain from submitting payment until a decision has been made about running.

Morven Park Fall International Horse Trials & CCI: Oct. 1-4, 2020

  • Open Date: Aug. 18
  • Close Date: Sep. 15
  • Divisions: N, N-JR, T,T-JR,P,P-JY, I, A, CCI2-S, CCI2-SYH, CCI3-S, CCI3-SYH, CCI4-S, CCI4-L

This year’s event features the addition of a CCI4*-L, a response to the loss of Fair Hill’s CCI4*-L, which will no longer run starting in 2020 due to the addition of the CCI5*-L.

The 6- and 7-year-old classes are another exciting addition, giving talented young horses the opportunity to compete against the peers in their age group. These classes are common in the UK and Europe but haven’t yet gained a foothold in the U.S.

Open Cross Country Schooling Day: Oct. 6, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come school the Morven Park cross country courses as they were set for the Horse Trials! The cost is $50 per horse/rider; register upon arrival. Must have current Coggins and 2020 Hold Harmless form. Contact [email protected] with questions.

Morven Park Winter H.T. – Nov. 14-15 (rescheduled from March 28-29)

  • Open Date: Sept. 29 
  • Close Date: Oct. 27
  • Divisions: P, T, T-JR, N, N-JR, BN, BN-JR

 HUNTER/JUMPER

Southern States Purcellville Summer Show Series:

Two hunter rings as well as a jumper ring will be offered for each of the seven dates in the series.

  • June 21
  • July 12
  • July 18
  • July 25
  • August 8
  • August 15
  • September 5

Eventers, this is a great opportunity to hone those show jumping skills after a spring off from competition. Each show is VHSA, BHSA and TIP rated and will be held in Morven Park’s three beautiful new outdoor arenas with Attwood Equestrian Surfaces EuroTex footing. Learn more about the series and download the prize list here.

… AND MORE! 

The fourth season of Polo in the Park at the Morven Park International Equestrian Center is scheduled to begin July 11, 2020! Click here for more info.

For more information on Morven Park International Equestrian Center,  visit the website here.

Waredaca H.T. Rescheduled to June 13-14 + Important Entry Info

Waredaca Horse Trials (rescheduled from May for June 13-14 in Gaithersburg, Maryland) has issued the following statement about their upcoming event:

While hoping to run our event, much depends on the status of Covid restrictions in the state and our county of Maryland. We will announce a decision on June 5. 

Until we are confirmed to run…

1. Please enter WITH ALL REQUIRED PAPERWORK but DO NOT INCLUDE PAYMENT.

2. Once/If we are confirmed to run, this will be announced and PAYMENT SHOULD BE DONE TO COMPLETE EACH ENTRY.

3.  NO ENTRY will be scheduled until it is complete-paperwork and full payment

4.  NO ENTRY REFUNDS after the POST ENTRY/CLOSING DATE OF JUNE 5.

PLEASE CAREFULLY REVIEW OUR CURRENT OMNIBUS LISTING. THE ENTRY PROCESS ALL PAPERLESS, ALL COMPLETED IN ADVANCE OF THE EVENT/YOUR ARRIVAL. 

NEW this year… DRESSAGE TEST OF CHOICE!! Now, have the opportunity to ‘practice’ a test before doing your competition ride! Riders can perform whatever test they wish, in a different arena and under a different judge before riding their competition test! Get exposure to the dressage area and a chance to do your own test ride first! Sign up under ‘other,’ identifying your test of choice and including your fee with the total! Easy!! Also NEW… warm ups and performance arenas with improved attention to cross country footing too!

Any other questions, please contact either [email protected] OR [email protected].

Thanks for your patience and support. Gretchen, Robert, Steph and the Waredaca Crew

Waredaca’s opening date is April 28 and its closing date is May 26.

View a calendar of rescheduled events here. Go Eventing (Soon!)

A Eventer Among DQs: Jimmy Wofford to Crash Next Sprieser Sporthorses Virtual Cocktail Party

Photos courtesy of Gamecock Photo and EN’s Instagram.

If you were hosting a cocktail party and could invite ONE (1) special guest of honor — anyone in the world — who would it be? For me, it’d be a toss-up between American eventing legend Jimmy Wofford and British fox hunting/party girl legend, the Lady Martha Sitwell. MAYBE Michelle Obama or Steve Martin coming in hot as runner up.

Lauren Sprieser of Sprieser Sporthorses must be on the same page, as she’s coaxed our beloved Jimmy into “attending” the next edition of her Virtual Cocktail Party Series, supported by the Sprieser Sporthorse Elite Club. Lauren is a great DQ friend of EN’s, a non-judgemental patron saint of strugglebus event riders — I had the honor of taking a lesson from her once, and it was illuminating. Dressage is real, yo! Like global warming, another topic that bums us out but we gotta tackle it anyway.

Soon, the two worlds collide:

From Lauren: “On Monday, May 25, I’m incredibly honored to be joined by Olympic Silver Medalist in eventing and living legend Jimmy Wofford to talk cross training for dressage riders, and moving forward in sport in a classical way. We’ll talk about the expectations of young and developing horses in their bodies and minds, and how to preserve both while still accomplishing big things.”

Feel free also, Jimmy, to engage in a little light-hearted ragging on our sandbox dwelling brethren. Tell ’em to go for a hack, just for a giggle. Or, if you really want to break the internet, advise trotting a little log or two! Nature’s cavaletti! You know we’re here for it!

Learn, ask questions, have a beverage (or not!), and most importantly just have fun. How does it work? Download the Zoom app to your phone, tablet or laptop. It’s free! But the meetings are limited to the first 100 participants, so RSVP today to receive the link via email. Meetings go live at 7 p.m. EST. Promptness is encouraged!

For more information and to sign up, click here.

 

Online Auction to Benefit Frangible Fence Fund

Items up for bid include: a pair of private lessons Leslie and Lesley Law with a night of stabling at their farm. Photo by Jenni Autry.

As we continue marching toward our fundraising goal of $500,000 for frangible fence implementation at events across the country, an online auction is underway today through Saturday to benefit the cause.

Among the items up for grabs:

  • Training sessions with: James Alliston, Fredrick Bouland, Rebecca Coffin-Vickery, Jon Holling, Julie Hook, LandSafe, Leslie and Lesley Law, Liz Lund, Natalia Neneman, Sharon White
  • Event entry vouchers: Cobblestone H.T., Galway Downs H.T., Ocala H.T., Rocking Horse Fall H.T.
  • Cross country schooling vouchers: Florida Horse Park, Hunters Run Farm
  • Horse care: PEMF sessions, Summit Joint Support, Equine Massage

Plus jump standards, a CrossFit membership, and even a week in the Florida keys!

Click here to view the auction. The auction ends Saturday, May 23, at midnight so place your bids now.

Of course, donations are welcome as well! Donations to the USEA Foundation are fully tax-deductible. Donate today by going to https://useafoundation.org/donate and selecting “Frangible Technology Fund” from the dropdown menu.

Hey guys, this auction only lasts through tomorrow! Come on and get bidding!!

Posted by Jonathan Holling on Friday, May 22, 2020

Get Your Season Up and Running at Stable View Farm

Julie Richards and Things To Ponder at Stable View. Photo by Christine Rhodes.

As eventers, all of our experiences during the past couple months of lockdown have been different. Some of us haven’t gotten to ride much at all, if any, due to Covid-19 restrictions. Others have been letting up on fitness but doubling down on their “homework,” making the most of the break to refocus on the basics. Irregardless, we’ve all got a bit of rust to scrape off as we gear up to make a return to our sport.

Stable View Farm in Aiken, SC, has endured a ruthless 2020 thus far. Between tornadoes ripping through the venue in February and the cancellation of much of its spring season due to Covid-19, including its hotly anticipated March FEI event, the venue has been in crisis management mode for much of the year. Yet, they’ve dazzled us with their ability to adapt and innovate, from their “Show Must Go On” mentality in the aftermath of the tornadoes to their creation of a Virtual Dressage Show series to keep riders motivated and improving in the absence of a spring show season .

Now, in recognition of our community’s need for opportunities to rev our engines in advance of recognized events, Stable View is offering yet another incredible resource: a series of late spring and summer shows, both schooling and recognized, to get you and your horse back in the swing of things. From dressage shows to Eventing Academy events, hunter/jumper rounds to cross country schooling days and even a hunter pace, Stable View’s calendar offers a number of avenues for tuned up in all three phases.

Yesterday, Stable View kicked off its reopening with a Schooling Dressage Show that was well supported. This weekend’s Eventing Academy has record entries. We expect the warm reception to continue. Stable View’s first recognized event, its Summer Horse Trial, takes place June 19-21 and will feature Beginner Novice through Advanced divisions.

Stable View is leading the way as an exemplary example of an event that is being conscientious of the current environment (view Stable View Farm’s social distancing guidelines here) and also sensitive to the plight of competitors in these uncertain times, generously offering a full refund should their June USEA horse trials get canceled for any reason.

“We’re on our way!” says Stable View owner Barry Olliff. Indeed. See below a roster of upcoming events from May through August 2020.

May 4-27
Stable View Virtual Dressage Show sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces
Entry Information


May 20
Stable View Schooling Dressage Show
Ride Times
Info & Entry Form
Enter Online Here


May 23 – NEW DATE
Stable View Eventing Academy Schooling Day
Information
Pre-Register for Open Schooling


May 24 – NEW DATE
Stable View Eventing Academy Show
Entry Status
Information & Entry Form
Enter Online


May 30
Schooling Hunter Jumper Show
Enter Online


June 6 – NEW!
Stable View Hunter Pace
Part of the Celebration Series
Info & Entry Form
Online Entries


June 13-14
USEF/USDF “Summer Solstice” Dressage Show
Prize List


June 19-21
USEF/USEA “Summer” Horse Trials
BN-A
Omnibus


June 27
Schooling Hunter Jumper Show
Enter Online


July 11-12
USEF/USDF “Only in America” Dressage Show


July 18
Stable View Eventing Academy Schooling Day
Information


July 19
Stable View Eventing Academy Show
Information & Entry Form
Enter Online


July 25
Schooling Hunter Jumper Show
Enter Online


August 8
Stable View Eventing Academy Schooling Day
Information


August 9
Stable View Eventing Academy Show
Information & Entry Form
Enter Online


August 12-13
USEF/USDF “Too Hot to Trot I” Dressage Show


August 15-16
USEF/USDF “Too Hot to Trot II” Dressage Show


August 29
Schooling Hunter Jumper Show
Enter Online

Learn more about Stable View Farm by visiting the website here

FEI Eventing Rider Rankings: Current Leaderboard & How It Will Be Calculated Going Forward

Oliver Townend has held the #1 ranking since September 2019. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

There hasn’t been too much movement on the FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings leaderboard lately, for obvious reasons — in fact that haven’t budged an inch since the March 1, 2020 update. Since none of us have been frantically refreshing the Rankings page lately, here’s a reminder of where we’re at:

FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings (updated May 1, 2020):

#1. Oliver Townend🇬🇧 – 554
#2. Tim Price🇳🇿 – 542
#3. Christopher Burton🇦🇺 – 515
#4. Piggy March🇬🇧 – 504
#5. Tom McEwen🇬🇧 – 441
#6. Lauren Nicholson🇺🇸 – 408
#7. Boyd Martin🇺🇸 – 394
#8. Michael Jung🇩🇪 – 377
#9. Cathal Daniels 🇮🇪- 368
#10. Stuart Tinney🇦🇺 – 36

Other U.S. riders inside the top 50 include Doug Payne (#19), Phillip Dutton (#20), Liz Halliday-Sharp (#35), Lynn Symansky (#37) and Tamie Smith (#40). View the complete list here.

Ordinarily, the rankings are based on the riders’ best six performances over the past 12 months. Rankings roll over for a 12-month period; i.e. at the end of each month, the points earned during that month are added to the list and the points from the same month the previous year are dropped. Only the best six scores from the season count towards the final tally.

How, then, to proceed in the face of so many canceled or postponed events?

On April 1, the FEI Board approved the following mitigation policy for the rankings until the calendar returns to “normal”:

Beginning on April 1, 2020 the period during which Ranking points remain valid 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 worldwide. Points earned in Ranking competitions at events that take place during this period will continue to count; the maximum number of results that may count for each Athlete remains the unchanged. In practical terms, this means:

  • The ranking established after 29 February 2020 remains unchanged (points valid for 12 months: best results at events taking place between 1 March 1, 2019 and 29 February 2020)
  • The ranking established after 31 March 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 March 2020 (points valid for 13 months)
  • The ranking 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 ranking 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 time frames 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 time frame 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.

You can view an archive of FEI Board Resolutions & Calendar Task Force Decisions during the Covid-19 affected period here. Resolutions specific to eventing may be viewed here, and we broke them down for you on EN here.

Go Eventing. (Soon-ish?)

‘Little Thoroughbred with the Biggest Heart’: Farewell to John Williams’ 5* Partner Sloopy

Back together again: John Williams’ 2004 Olympic partner Carrick enjoying retirement with Sloopy, pictured here in 2015. Carrick passed away in 2017 at age 25; Sloopy joins him now, having passed last week at age 28. Photo by Allie Conrad.

Our condolences to those whose lives were touched by Sloopy, the OTTB best known as John Williams’ five-star partner, who also went on to partner successfully with Lizzie Snow and enjoyed a happy retirement with Ellen Chaney. He passed away on Friday at age 28.

Ellen shared:

“Goodbye to my little Thoroughbred with the biggest heart. A big heart that had him racing, and winning, for three years, then finding a new path as an event horse. A heart that powered his spooky self over the biggest cross country courses in the world with only a single run-out at his very first Prelim. Burghley and Kentucky twice, as well as Fair Hill and Foxhall where he won the Fitness Awards, all with a big heart with a big leaky valve discovered when he was 8 years old. Long formats, short formats, he could do them all. A heart that finally gave out suddenly, and hopefully painlessly, on a beautiful May morning in his paddock. I am grateful that he was happy, healthy, beautiful and full of cookies to the very last moment. I will miss him terribly, but so happy to have shared so very many years with him. Carrick is in charge of him now. xoxo Super.”

Always overshadowed by Carrick, who served as the selectors’ first choice when it came time to choose horses for teams, Sloopy quietly accumulated solid placings with John at major events like Kentucky and Burghley during his career, earning himself the 19th spot on the USEA’s most recent High Scoring Horses list. While he never truly stood alone in the spotlight, Sloopy made a name for himself in his own right, serving as a textbook example of just how suited an off-track Thoroughbred can be to a second career in eventing.

Allie Conrad, a talented photographer and dedicated OTTB advocate, said after the photo session: “I had the honor of photographing two legends yesterday, and it was honestly standing in the light of greatness. This face galloped over countless long-format [five]-stars after having a racing career. He was a character and a half! Demanding of attention and loved the camera.” Photo by Allie Conrad.

Sloopy raced 43 times under the Jockey Club name Sloopy’s David (Two Davids X Nearly Sloopy, by Military Bearing), accumulating eight wins and more than $50,000 in earnings. John and Ellen purchased him in 1999 in partnership with Bob Boeckman and Mary Delton as a 7-year-old from Jan Byyny, who had him for several months after he came off the track in Tampa Bay. “John clicked with him as soon as he met him,” Ellen recalled in an EN interview some years ago. “I was not as sure about him at the start, but John was. I don’t think Sloopy would ever have done what he did without John. They just had such an incredible partnership. Sloopy would do anything for him.”

Just one year after John and Sloopy began their partnership, Sloopy stumbled in the Intermediate water complex at Stuart Horse Trials in 2000. “He went down and completely removed the front of his knee,” Ellen said. “It was like someone took an ice cream scoop out of the flesh down to the bone. I remember thinking when I saw the injury that he was not going to survive, and if he did, he would certainly never compete again.” But Sloopy recovered beautifully from what appeared to be a career-ending injury, coming back mere months later to win the Camino Real CCI2*.

Photo courtesy of Ellen Chaney.

Sloopy and Carrick having a graze. Photo courtesy of Ellen Chaney.

Sloopy continued to persevere through the knee injury, piloting John to 18th-place finishes at Burghley in both 2003 and 2004, as well as a 10th-place finish at Kentucky in 2006. The injury ultimately triggered arthritic changes in Sloopy’s knee, and he underwent surgery after Fair Hill in 2007 to remove bone chips. “The surgeon said we might have a pasture sound horse after that if we were lucky, but he couldn’t promise anything else,” Ellen said. In typical Sloopy fashion, he rallied back to compete again, this time with Lizzie Snow in the irons for her first Intermediate at Lumber River Horse Trials in 2008, which they won. The pair went on to finish 4th at Young Riders in 2009, and Lizzie kept continuing up the levels, jumping clear with time around Kentucky with another Thoroughbred, Coal Creek, in 2015.

Lizzie Snow and Sloopy. Photo courtesy of Diane Snow.

Sloopy concluded his eventing career one year later, going out on a high note with a win at Five Points Horse Trials with Lizzie in the fall of 2009. In his retirement he lived the good life in Southern Pines, getting “fat and happy” and becoming “absolutely feral,” as Ellen fondly described him. “He has little interest in doing anything civilized.” But after all he accomplished, Sloopy deserved a grand retirement. “The number of [four- and five-stars] he did — many of them long format — was impressive,” Ellen said. “He also won Best Conditioned at Fair Hill and Foxhall, all with a heart murmur. He never quit trying even in awful conditions, which is probably a Thoroughbred trait.”

Rest in peace, Sloopy.

 

Friday Video from SmartPak: RRP’s Five-Minute Clinic Series

L: Dom Schramm and Bolytair B. Photo by William Carey. R: Tik Maynard and Dutch Times. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We’ve been loving Retired Racehorse Project’s “Five-Minute Clinic” YouTube series, in which trainers representing several disciplines share insight in a bite-sized format.

Here are two video from eventers Dom Schramm and Tik Maynard — you can view the complete “Five-Minute Clinic” playlist, plus webinars and other helpful resources for OTTB owners, on the RRP YouTube channel here,

Dom Schramm of Schramm Equestrian has been using the COVID-19 downtime to hack his horses out of the ring more, and likely many riders all over the world are looking to do the same! But how do you introduce your horse safely to hacking out if you’ve been spending most of your time in the ring? Dom shares three tips for making your first out-of-arena adventure positive and safe.

Tik Maynard, past Thoroughbred Makeover discipline champion, eventer/horsemanship trainer and clinician, and author of In the Middle Are the Horsemen, shares three steps towards creating clearer, horse-centered communication with your horse.

For more information on the Retired Racehorse Project, visit the website here.

Go OTTBs. Go Eventing!

Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Four Prelim Packers

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN. We include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

Are you eyeing the green numbers? This week we’re featuring three horses whose owners describe them as “Prelim Packers,” who have the experience and ability to help you reach your Prelim goal.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation. 

Your Dream Preliminary Packer

Are you looking for a horse to take you confidently from BN-Intermediate? Look no further. Busy Bea or “Busy” (2007 Clydesdale/Hanoverian/TB) has experience up to the Intermediate level. She has taken her kid off of a pony, helping her win her first Area Championship at Preliminary, and will soon be helping her complete her first Intermediate. At 15.3 hands, Busy is the perfect manageable size, but still takes up your leg. She is great on the ground, clips, loads, ties to the trailer at horse shows, and is a very easy keeper. She can take a joke in the jumping, and doesn’t bat an eye at a bad distance. If you’re looking for a safe first horse, or something that is just plain old fun to jump around, this is your horse. Pretty, smart, and an absolute blast— Busy is one of a kind. Priced in the mid/upper five figures (reasonable offers considered), and located in Lexington, KY. Contact Alexa Ehlers (940)597-0747 with any questions.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Preliminary Packer

Spartan Strength is an 8 old Thoroughbred gelding who has an extensive record with a young rider. He would make a super preliminary packer for any Young Rider or Adult looking to gain great experience and have fun! Ready to go intermediate. Winner of the Open Preliminary at Fresno County Horse Park in October 2019! He is easy in the barn and clips, ties, stands for farrier. Located at Chocolate Horse Farm in Petaluma.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Super Prelim Packer

✨Super Prelim packer for sale ✨
Dandy Longlegs is a 14 year old 17 hand chestnut TB gelding (Tahkodha Hills- Shamrock Dancer, by Chief’s Reward) He’s had numerous top placings at the CCI2* level. “Lion” has been ridden by a young rider for the last several years and helped her move safely up the levels. She’s headed to college in the fall so he’s sadly for sale. Would make an excellent NAYRC mount! Located in Carroll County, MD.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Competitive prelim packer!

Drombane Dynamite is a 7 year old, 16.1 ISH Gelding who has successfully competed through Preliminary with all the scope and talent for more! Dyno was produced by a college student and is offered for sale as she is heading off to pursue higher education. Dyno is bold and honest on xc, fancy and uncomplicated on the flat, and an extremely careful show jumper. He would be incredibly well suited for a young rider/amateur looking for their upper level mount but would also suit a professional to take up the levels. Priced in the mid five figures. Contact Megan for more pictures and videos! Located in Ocala, FL for the winter.

Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.

ERM ‘SIM Season 2020’ Continues With Virtual ERM Leg 2 at Chatsworth

Laura Collett and London 52, ERM winners of the 2019 Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials. Photo courtesy of Event Rider Masters.

This year’s Event Rider Masters classes were canceled due to COVID-19 … but they’re still going strong, virtually, via ERM SIM Season 2020! Equirating’s new Eventing Manager App launched at ERM Leg 1, Burnham Market in April, and this weekend the party is rolling on to Leg 2 at Chatsworth.

How it works: A field of 20 ERM Riders are chosen for each competition and taking their past form statistics into account, Equiratings runs a computer simulation. Using models powered by SAP Predictive Analytics, they will create the likely results for the dressage, show jumping and cross country phases of the competition. Every competitor in the simulation has a chance of having a good or bad competition; they could have a Personal Best Dressage score, only to throw it all away with a 20 penalty refusal in the cross country phase. It really is eventing as we know it; as the exciting sport of a million variables.

The Equiratings Eventing Manager App (EM App) allows fans to play their own tactical game during each simulation, and a league table pits them up against all other EM App players around the world. With a virtual budget of $10M per competition, players “buy” a team of four riders and hope their team has success in all three phases for a chance to win merchandise prizes.

The Eventing Manager App is available to download for iOS and Android devices.

Leg 2 heavy hitters: Can 2019 ERM Chatsworth winner Laura Collett pull off another win, this time with her 2020 entry Mr Bass (82%/$4M)? The only higher-seeded combinations are Tom McEwan with Figaro van het Boekxhof (84%/$1.3M), Piggy French with Brookfield Innocent (84%/$4.4M), Gireg Le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge (84%/$2.5M), Jonelle Price with Classic Moet (86%/$3.3M), sole U.S. representative Liz Halliday-Sharp with Fernhill By Night (87%/$3.1M), and Ros Canter with Zenshara (89%/$4.2M).

How to Follow: This weekend, dressage takes place on Saturday followed by the jumping phases (AND TIME TEST!) live on Sunday night.

Saturday, May 16 at 2:30pm EST/7:30 pm UK: Tune into the EquiRatings and ERM Facebook pages for dressage phase commentary with the usual cast of Nicole, Diarm and John.

Sunday, May 17 at 2:30pm EST/7:30 pm UK: Tune in to the LIVE show jumping and cross country coverage, hosted by the usual three and aired on the EquiRatings and ERM Facebook pages.

More Updates: Have you joined a private league? In addition to private leagues and playing against your friends, you can now click on your friends’ teams within the league to see who they have selected. Know your competition.

The ERM SIM Season is part of the new #RidersConnected campaign, a joint effort between ERM, EquiRatings, Black Horse (the company behind spectator judging) and Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, brought together by SAP.

Go (Virtual) Eventing!

Thursday Video: Some Eye Candy from Cooley Farm

Even as the world has been on lockdown, the team at Cooley Farm has been working hard to produce and sell top quality Irish Sport Horses we’ll no doubt see performing on the international stage someday.

Since its inception over 10 years ago, Cooley horses have been sold all over the world and can be seen at the very top of the sport. Owner Richard Sheane’s aim is very simple – to source talented young horses that have the potential to go to the top and to match them to the right rider.

This video gives us a look behind the scenes of the farm in Wicklow, Ireland, from schooling sessions to a glimpse inside the barn and footage of a few five-star Cooley success stories: Oliver Townend and his two-time Kentucky winner Cooley Master Class and Badminton runner-up Cooley SRS, Georgie Strang’s Cooley Earl, Sharon White’s Cooley on Show, Chris Burton’s 2018 WEG mount Cooley Lands, William Oakden’s Cooley Ramiro, Kim Severson’s Cooley Cross Border, Sarah Way’s Dassett Cooley Dun, and more.

It’s eye candy, for sure: Irish Sport Horses cantering across emerald green pastures against the backdrop of budding spring trees … enjoy!

 

Key Takeaways from the USEA/USEF Webinar on a Safe Return to Competition

Screenshot from the USEA/USEF “Return to Competition” Webinar on May 13. (Not pictured, sadly: Rob’s coronabeard.)

Yesterday afternoon the USEF and USEA co-hosted a webinar on the subject of “A Safe Return to Competition.” The panelists included USEF Managing Director for Eventing Jenni Autry, USEA CEO Rob Burk, USEA President Max Corcoran, USEA Vice President of Competitions and Organizer Representative Jonathan Elliott, USEF Managing Director of Athlete and Horse Services Lisa Owens, USEF Director of Competition Licensing, Evaluation, and Safety Katlynn Sacco, and U.S. Eventing High Performance Athlete Lynn Symansky. The panelists addressed concerns about returning safely to competition from a number of perspectives before fielding questions from the audience.

The USEF and USEA have both suspended the recognition of competitions under their respective jurisdictions until May 31, 2020. As of May 13, 2020, USEA has reinstated recognizing select educational activities. All educational activities must follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as federal, state, and local guidelines.

Important Links referenced below:

You can rewatch the webinar in its entirety on demand via USEA or USEF Network. We’ve outlined some key takeaways from the discussion below:

Jenni Autry, USEF Managing Director of Eventing: 

  • “I hope you all continue to be safe and well as we collectively weather this storm together. Eventers are a resilient bunch of individuals and we’ve had to show that resilience now more than ever before as we face one of the most difficult periods in our sport’s history.
  • “Risk is something we talk about all the time in eventing and it’s something we’re going to have to be particularly mindful of as we look ahead to restarting the sport. And at the same time we’re going to have to take the risk of COVID-19 extremely seriously and understand our own personal responsibility when it comes to mitigating the spread of the virus. And that means that events are going to look very different when we do go back to competing. Wearing a face mask is going to become our new normal. Staying six feet apart from each other is going to become our new normal, but accepting it and enacting these restrictions and requirements is going to be critical to ensuring a successful start of the sport.
  • “Everyone has to do their part to keep these competitions safe. Our goal has to be that when we look back on restarting that we can say we did everything in our power to ensure the welfare of the horses and each other.”

Rob Burke, USEA CEO: 

  • “First and foremost, I want to thank all of our members and the members of our eventing community for doing your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We’ve all made sacrifices — personal, financial, with our own health — and we are especially indebted to those that are caring for the horses of others. They are truly essential.
  • “We really urge everyone to educate yourself, to take a look at local state guidelines, to follow the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. And as competitions and educational activities start up this is even more relevant. In every case, state and local regulations take priority and that has to do with the sport in general, even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic. So competition is not allowed to operate in compliance with those, then it can’t operate. And along those lines, for those areas that are lucky enough for competition and activities to get started up again, we really urge you to follow the USEF Covid-19 action plan … I’ve read it, I’ve used the risk management tool myself and they contain really excellent guidance on how to hold competitions and participate in competitions at as low risk as possible.
  • “As of today, the USEA is now allowing for USEA recognized educational activities to occur. That really has everything to do with safety in that we want to make sure that people are prepared to get out there for the competition season once it is up and running. But once again, even with those educational activities, we urge everyone to follow local, state, World Health Organization and CDC guidelines, and take a look at the USEF action plan where it’s applicable.
  • “I think honestly we are well positioned as a sport and as a community. We have been through disease before, not human disease, but equine disease. Most of the protocols involved with that, with relation to keeping your distance, reducing contact … they hold true whether it’s a human or a horse. Along those lines, I would say that as eventers, reiterating what Jenni said, we’re a strong bunch — we have to be to be involved in this sport. I know we can overcome this. It’ll take some time. But again, we thank you for everything you’re doing.”

Max Corcoran, USEA President: 

  • “One of their big decisions to lift the restrictions on educational activities was mainly to focus on making sure we’re ready. We’ve been home and having lessons at home and having it pretty quiet. We need to make sure that both we and horses, mentally, we’re ready to get back to competition. It doesn’t seem like it’s been a long time, but it has — it’ll be closer than 10 weeks by the time we get back up and running. So take part in educational activities if there are some around you.
  • “Focusing on horsemanship, obviously that’s a big thing. Making sure you and your horses are fit enough and ready to go. Ensuring the safety and the safety of those around you … it’s our responsibility to make sure we can continue to have these competitions. So if we can do our very small part in making sure that we put ourselves in good situations, we put our staff in good situations, whether it’s grooms, trainers, parents, anything like that — just to to keep going forward so we don’t have to stop this our season again.
  • “Safety has been a very big part of our winter seasons so far, coming into spring. So if we’re not ready, there’s no shame entering a level below where you left off in the season before. Lots of professionals will tell you that is what they do with their horses to make sure that they’re up and running, and they’ve checked all the boxes and knocked all the dust off. So again, making good decisions for you and your horse. If you are needing to find someone to get some help from before you get going, the USEA has a really great instructor certification program. You can go on our website and find a USEA certified instructor to help you get going.
  • “Volunteering is so important. Anybody that’s out there, we’re going through a lot of different measures to make sure our volunteers are staying safe. In the mid-Atlantic region, we’ve got some people that are putting together some programs so dressage tests, everything will be digital. The scribes don’t need to sit next to judges. Everything will be on an iPad and things will get emailed straight out to you. So the piece of paper doesn’t have to go from the dressage scribe to the judge to the scorers to the secretary, to you. It will reduce all that — same thing with the cross country.”

Lisa Owens, USEF Managing Director of Athlete and Horse Services:

  • “If you haven’t had a chance to look at the USEF website, the action plan and the risk assessment tool, please take a minute to look at that toolkit. Just some of the things that are included in these resource documents — one of them is the fact that all licensed competitions must comply with the applicable federal, state and local regulations, requirements and orders as well as the World Health Organization recommendations and CDC guidelines as they relate to the mass gatherings and sporting events.
  • “Additionally, competition organizers must implement the USEF requirements listed in the action plan, and they’re strongly encouraged to follow the recommended best practices … The competition should be working with their local health authorities. I think it’s important that every venue considers their specific needs, their specific circumstances and what’s important for them to be able to manage and mitigate the risk for their area. So what might happen in Washington state might not be happening in Florida.”
  • “That risk assessment tool does not need to be sent to the Federation. That is a tool for the organizers to use to work with their local and state authorities. There’s a white paper in there for them to use to work with the authorities as well — kind of a reason why equestrian sports should be allowed to happen. A lot of these tools will help them in working through the circumstances with their local and state governments.
  • “We understand that there are differences everywhere in the country as far as what the requirements are. Some states and local authorities may not require a face mask or face covering, or even the monitoring of temperatures. USEF is saying that you should follow whatever the strictest requirement is. So even if your state does not require a face mask or face covering, we are suggesting that they wear face masks or face coverings if they are going to be within six feet of anyone. So if you’re not going to be within six feet and you’re on cross country, maybe you don’t wear your mask, but I would say for caution purposes, always have that mask with you.”

Katlynn Sacco, USEF Director of Competition Licensing, Evaluation, and Safety:

  • “I think as we get rolling back into competition again, one of the biggest and probably one of the most challenging aspects of what we’re going to be doing is practicing social distancing. It’s going to be really easy for us to kind of slip back into the habit of being close to people that we’re talking to when we’re exchanging information with our friends or our trainers. So we’re going to have to work hard to keep each other accountable and remind each other. The goal is that we can all return to competition and continue competing, but social distancing is going to be an important piece to that.
  • “If we have competitors at competitions where they are essentially refusing to abide by the social distancing requirements, they will be asked to leave the competition grounds by the competition manager. We’re hoping that it never has to get to that point because again, we’re all in this together. We all want to safe return to competition. The hope is for a gentle reminder and again, keeping each other accountable about this practicing of the social distancing and maintaining the guidelines and the mandatory requirements for competition. It’s just going to be a really important piece that we all pay attention to. If there’s an issue, we want it to be resolved on the competition grounds, but if someone will not comply, the competition organizer has the ability to escort that person from the competition grounds or refuse an entry and the TD will be responsible for reporting on that incident and their TD report. But again, we hope it never has to get to that, we hope everyone understands the seriousness of what we’re all facing.
  • “We are all learning this together and we have a way forward. And if anyone has any questions on the reporting aspect, they’re always welcomed. So reach out to the office, or if they have questions on any of the the recommended best practices. I think anyone on this call today would be glad to help walk through any of those challenges that we’re facing. We’re all  in this together and we hope everyone can stay on the competition grounds and we all can keep the sport moving.”

Jonathan Elliot, USEA Vice President of Competitions and Organizer Representative: 

  • “From an organizer’s perspective, unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball. We can’t predict things and there’s a lot of uncertainty even in a normal year, without a pandemic. I kind of look at it from my perspective here at Aspen Farms. We run two events a year — the first one’s in June, and the second one is in September. And we kind of have already gone through this process of should we run or shouldn’t we? As we were approaching our opening date for entries back in April, there was too much uncertainty for our comfort level to open our doors to the normal 300 competitors.
  • “We are looking forward to September, and this is only three weeks later, but we have so much more information now. I think that the tool kit that USEF has come up with, the action plan, I find is very reassuring to kind of walk through the different steps that are going to be involved with keeping a safe environment. Because for us, that’s paramount. And in our decision making to run the events is the safety of our volunteers, competitors, officials that are traveling to come in, and the staff that we have on site to make our competitions a success.
  • “Thinking through those protocols that we’re going to put in place, I think it’s important that organizers consider taking maybe a little extra time in their schedules. Which might mean they can take a few less horses, but still be able to run. I think we can have a lot of foresight into how it’s going to go, but we might have to be nimble and quick and creative in solving a problem that pops up that we just didn’t see happening. I think to that end we’re going to set up a platform with the USEA for organizers, hopefully after they’ve run, to share that same information. You know, what did they put in place that worked? What did they put in place that didn’t work? So that every weekend the next organizers are not having to reinvent the wheel. And I think that’ll help us progress through this and be more and more successful. Um, and people get used to it and try and be as a bit uniform as possible.
  • “We currently have about 31 in the pipeline that are in the rescheduling process and that’s gone through USEA and and starting tomorrow, the first USEF committee will look at those as well. So we boiled down a process that should have taken around 112 days to down to 16. So we’re trying to be as quick as possible and afford those people the opportunity to get back on the schedule. But I’d also stress that they need to make sure there’s some understanding. There are other events that are already scheduled on the calendar and how is this going to work with them coming in? It’s complicated, but I feel like we’ve got a good procedure in place and that that should work itself out.
  • “Lastly, I’d stress to competitors — help your organizers out. That opening day comes, put your entry in because that’s a huge uncertainty for us: Looking ahead to how many people are going to show up, how many people do we need to plan for as far as competitors? So if at all possible, get those entries in early because as an organizer, it’ll give us a lot of peace of mind.”

Lynn Symansky, U.S. Eventing High Performance Athlete: 

  • “I think it’s important that we as competitors set the example. There are so many people behind the scenes, but at the end of the day, we are the ones in the forefront and in the spotlight. So everything is going to be under a microscope, especially what’s what’s being seen. And to add to Jonathan’s point, I know I’m guilty of it as well as a competitor — I’ll wait until the last minute just to feel out, if I want to send this horse here, this horse another place, and I think it’s really important now more than ever that we try as best we can to get those entries in and to have our entries complete. It’s stuff that we’re used to not fully following through on, because you get to the show and you bring the Coggins to the desk. That stuff that’s going to have to change, for our process and all of that paperwork and being organized ahead of time.
  • “In terms of setting the example, I think it’s really important that we try and do that and have it be customary everyday in our barns. I know a lot of people are already following a lot of these protocols, and some more than others and some are stricter about certain things and some aren’t. It’s going to feel very awkward, and as a rider I have thought it through, having to show up to the competition and put your face mask on when you get right out of the car and have it on until you get on the horse. It’s going to be something you really have to try hard to think about. But it’s so important that we are really obsessive about getting it right because we may not have a second chance if we get it wrong.
  • “Also to that note, of personal responsibility, I think we need to be very careful to be go out of our way to be gracious to all these organizers, the volunteers that are all going to step up so we can go out and compete these horses. It is easy sometimes when you are competing at the heat of the moment and something’s going wrong to take your frustration out on a volunteer or passer-by. And I just really encourage everyone to be gracious and appreciative and mindful of everybody out there doing their best. It’s a very awkward, uncertain time. But I think if anything good comes out of it, it’s that maybe it makes us all as a whole, a better group, a unit, to really showing our appreciation to all of those volunteers and those organizers.”
  • “And the other thing is that I don’t think we’re going to get it right. I don’t think the riders will get everything right … there may be some kinks along the way, but be patient with that process, especially when it first kicks off. And I would encourage that if you do have any concerns or any questions, reach out either to USEF or USEA and don’t just sit silently and let your frustration boil up.
  • “I think the other thing is that a lot of us feel like we really need to get back out there cause we’ve lost a lot of time. Everyone’s done this process a little bit differently in terms of how much they’ve been training or how much they’ve backed off. And I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. I think if you’re ready to get out and you’re comfortable to compete starting in the beginning of June, then absolutely just make sure you’re responsible and ready. But if you’re not feeling that way, if you have some students or horses that just aren’t quite right and aren’t ready to get back, don’t feel like you’re in a rush because if you really think of it, we’re just in the beginning of May. We have the whole rest of the year. So we were sitting, sitting, sitting and all of a sudden it’s like a big rush to get back to it, but just take a breath and realize you’re not forced to get back there just because everybody else is.”

A generous Q&A session followed, which you can watch on demand via USEA or USEF Network.

Questions? Please contact USEF Director of Competition Licensing, Evaluation, and Safety Katlynn Sacco at [email protected], USEF Director of Compliance Debbie Saliling at [email protected], or [email protected]

Go Eventing. (Soon?!)