National and international governing bodies of equestrian sport have issued strong directives for organizers to suspend competitions for at least the next 30 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From a letter sent to members by USEF:
“Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics, and activities will be suspended for the next 30 days. Additionally, USEF strongly recommends that competition organizers suspend all USEF licensed competitions across the country for the next 30 days and that equestrians do not compete for the next 30 days. For those competitions that do run, there will be no accumulation of points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF awards programs, USEF owned event [Editor’s note: this includes the Futures Team Challenge, which is canceled], or selection to a US team during this 30-day time period. This includes USEF National Championships.”
To clarify: All FEI MERs, prize money, points will still count; only National MERs, prize money and points are impacted.
Competition suspension is NOT a mandate but, for those who do choose to compete or host events, USEF urges immediate steps to limit exposure and create social distancing.
“We are counting on you to make responsible decisions based on the information available, the conditions in your geographic area and the recommendations from your local public health authorities. USEF will continue to assess the situation on a daily basis and will update our position as circumstances warrant.”
Read the full USEF letter here.
The FEI has emailed national federations imploring them not to run FEI events:
“We as a community have to make our contribution to limit the spread of this virus, as the sooner it can be contained the sooner we will be able to get back to normal life and normal sport. And this is something that every other sport is doing.
“The FEI appreciates the amount of work and incredible investment every Organiser puts into their Event. While the FEI does not itself organise any FEI Events, in light of the escalating numbers of persons affected by the virus and the restrictions imposed by national governments, the FEI strongly recommends that Organisers should cancel all events for the next four weeks until a reassessment of the situation can be made.”
FEI calendar fees for events canceled because of COVID-19 will be waived. FEI says it is currently accessing the impact of event cancellations on other areas such as ranking points, MERs for the Olympic Games and qualifications for FEI Championships.
Read the full FEI letter here.
Additionally, the European Equestrian Federation and International Jumping Riders Club have called on national federations both within and beyond Europe to halt competitions from today through the end of April.
Clearly this has tremendous implications for our sport and its athletes. We will explore those in greater detail soon, as well as share more information as it becomes available.
Click here for a rolling list of equestrian events that have been canceled or postponed.