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:
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.