FEI Publishes Return to Play Policy as Equestrian Adapts to “New Normal”

The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting Organisers and National Federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.

The Policy will apply to all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020 and has been put in place to limit the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19 until an effective treatment and/or vaccine as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) are available.

Developed by FEI Medical Committee Chair Dr Mark Hart together with FEI Headquarters, the Policy requires National Federations and Organisers to carry out a Risk Assessment to evaluate whether it is safe to hold their Events. The Policy includes general best practice recommendations for Organisers and is to be implemented in conjunction with any requirements imposed by the domestic authorities. In addition, discipline-specific guidance will be issued shortly by the FEI.

It is mandatory for FEI Event Organisers to conduct the risk assessment together with their National Federation and domestic government and public health authorities. Events for which the FEI has not received the completed risk assessment and mitigation measures plan will be removed from the FEI Calendar.

“Covid-19 has caused massive disruption to the FEI Calendar and to national events, with a huge impact on all the various participants of equestrian sports,” Dr Mark Hart said. “We are all in this together and this pandemic will be with us for at least 12-24 months. We need to adapt to a ‘new normal’ as we move forward.

“The FEI is committed to assisting National Federations and FEI Event Organisers by providing resources to effectively assess the risks potentially posed by Events from the planning phase and mitigate such risks through relevant measures.

“As we anticipate the gradual return of competitions, we must do everything we can to mitigate the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19. This is a matter of public health, and it’s also how a sport can demonstrate to public authorities that it is ready to resume activity.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Congress Must Pass Great American Outdoors Act

As the states move to re-open public lands, Congress has a major opportunity to pass important trails legislation that will get Americans outside while promoting the health of recreational riders and other outdoor enthusiasts.  Thanks in large part to continued advocacy from the horse industry, a bipartisan group of senators has sponsored the “Great American Outdoors Act of 2020” (S. 3422).  This important recreation bill will come up for a vote in June.   Please contact your senators today!

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

Dressage4Kids Tips, by Lendon Gray

I taught my first lessons in a month recently and the lesson I found myself repeating often, and I hear other instructors repeating a lot, is the importance of the outside rein. This is a huge subject, but in brief… The concept of inside leg to outside rein is mega important. BUT that doesn’t mean one hangs on the outside rein or allows the horse to lean on the outside rein. If you were to give the outside so it goes loose for a stride, nothing should fall apart. On the other side is the importance of the use of the outside rein in general. The inside rein is generally the suppling rein as needed and also turns the horse’s head and neck. But the outside rein connects the horse’s body to his neck. (Many of you have been in the situation of trying to turn the horse where he doesn’t want to go and you pull his head practically to your knee and the horse continues to go in the opposite direction – just because his head turns doesn’t mean his body goes in the same direction.) So your most important turning aids are the outside rein and leg and the most important bending aids are the inside rein and leg. This is mega important on circles and corners to ensure that when you are bending the horse his shoulder doesn’t fall out.

Excerpt from Cavalletti for Dressage and Jumping (4th edition) by Ingrid and Reiner Klimke

Thank you to Martha Cook and Trafalgar Square Book for providing the below excerpt!

Cavalletti for Dressage and Jumping (4th edition) is available at Trafalgar Square Books.  D4K friends can use the code D4K2020 and receive 25% off.

Cavalletti Work on Circles

Riding over cavalletti on circles and half circles makes a welcome change for young riders. The horse should already have a sound basic training and be used to working over cavalletti on straight lines. When working on both straight and curved lines, the horse must be straight. This means the hind feet must follow the tracks of the front feet. On circles, the horse is not straight if he makes the common fault of lifting his hind legs and moving them out to the side rather than stepping forward under the center of gravity. In order to avoid this, he must be flexed to the inside.

Cavalletti work on circles and half circles helps to loosen the horse, and can rectify stiffness on one side or the other, so the horse bends and flexes equally in both directions. If a horse is not straight, he will often lose rhythm – this is where cavalletti work can help by restoring elasticity and encouraging the placing of the hind feet under the center of gravity.

Over poles, the horse does not have the chance to step out to the side with the hind legs. The length of stride and pacing of the feet is so precise that the horse maintains his rhythm by himself. It takes very little practice before the hind feet step into the tracks of the front feet.

A figure of eight works the horse equally on both reins. Each circle requires four cavalletti set in a fan near the short side of the school. It is important to leave the track free so you can ride around the whole school on the track. In trot, this exercise is known as “changing direction through the circle.” It is not as useful in walk as it is in trot, but it is best to ride it in walk to start with, and you can revert to walk if you have problems.

Riding over cavalletti on circles is especially beneficial for training the horse’s inside hind leg to take weight. Because of this it can be quite strenuous, so avoid doing it for too long. Always tailor schooling sessions to the stage of training the horse has reached.

Dressage4Kids | graydressage@gmail.com | dressage4kidsorg.presencehost.net

Equestrians Helping Equestrians: Relief Efforts in the Wake of COVID-19

Once a week, the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) shares a school-horse appreciation post on social media for what they’ve dubbed “Feed Your Favorite Lesson Horse Friday.” There’s also “Tip Your Groom Tuesday” and “Support a Horse Show Super Hero Sunday,” which are all designed to encourage equestrians to give money to support lesson programs and horse show support staff. While spring would typically be a busy time of year for the equine industry, this year is different, and people in the horse world have come up with creative ways to support each other.

“The Joint Leadership Council (JLC) comprises members from the leadership at the American Hackney Horse Society, American Morgan Horse Association, American Road Horse & Pony Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, and United Professional Horsemen’s Association,” says Jessica Cushing, Marketing and Communications Manager for the ASHA. “The inspiration behind the JLC COVID-19 social media campaign was to be a voice and consistent promotional message for the difficulties many of our barns, professionals, and equine industry contractors in our community would be facing without the ability to give lessons and attend shows.”

The JLC’s social media campaign has been running for nine weeks, and Cushing says every post continues to receive positive engagement from the community.

“Our professionals are thankful for the recognition that business is still not back to normal, and there are a great many still in need,” says Cushing. “The ability to help spread the word that people are in need has seen countless success stories of lesson horses being sponsored, grooms getting extra support, and a great ‘pay it forward’ lunch program that emerged amongst barns.”

Other segments of the equine industry have launched similar initiatives during the pandemic shutdown. To help keep school horses fed during their furlough, the United States Hunter Jumper Association launched a Feed Aid Initiative to help USHJA members obtain free or discounted feed for lesson horses. Applications are being accepted now through June 1.

Monetary donations to the USHJA’s Feed Aid Initiative are tax-deductible and will be matched by the USHJA Foundation up to $300,000.

The PonyApp and Connolly’s Red Mills have also teamed up to give away feed to lesson barns this spring. Nominations of barns and programs in need are accepted now at ponygroceries.theponyapp.com.

Rescue Relief

In times of hardship, horse owners may find it increasingly difficult financially to maintain an ideal level of care for their horses. Fortunately, the equestrian community has built safety nets to help horses and their owners when hard times hit.

Equine rescue operations are often pushed to their limits in an economic downturn due to owners who can no longer afford to keep their horses and a market with more horses than potential buyers. Most equine rescues operate on a local basis, taking in horses and facilitating adoptions within a certain geographic area. National programs help support those organizations.

The EQUUS Foundation offers financial support to equine organizations that are part of its Guardians program. These organizations are put through a rigorous vetting process every year to ensure high standards of horse care and transparent and accountable operations.

“For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact,” says Lynn Coakley, President of the EQUUS Foundation.

EQUUS Foundation Guardian Charities include those that provide shelter and rehabilitation for abused, neglected, and at-risk horses; retraining and rehoming for horses in transition; peaceful and humane retirement options for aged equines; and/or are organizations that provide equine-assisted therapies and activities in a way that is beneficial for horses and humans.

Coakley says that many of their Guardian charities have had to cancel fundraising events and close their doors to volunteers, which creates an immediate need for resources.

“Instead of waiting until the end of our fiscal year in August, the Board of Directors approved the immediate allocation of $100,000 to help ease the stress of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities,” says Coakley. “Each eligible charity will receive a $500 grant for horse-care costs upon approval of its 2020 EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal. As of today, we have awarded grants to over 67 charities and expect to reach at least 150 charities by June.”

“Rescues have had to cancel or postpone fundraising events for the foreseeable future, and many of them have experienced a severe decline in online donations since COVID-19 [closures] started in March,” says Cheryl Jacobson, Deputy Director of Equine Protection for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “While many rescues have hay, feed, and funds for several months, some rescues are not as fortunate and need help to feed their equines while they find additional avenues for fundraising.”

HSUS awards grants to non-profit rescue organizations across the country. In order to qualify for an HSUS grant, organizations must be accredited or verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, be members of the Homes for Horses Coalition, or have been directly vetted by HSUS.

“HSUS contacted 440 Homes for Horses Coalition members in early March,” says Jacobson. “We collected information on whether they are open or closed to the public, how many equines they have on site and in foster homes, how long they have feed, hay, and meds for, and any other information they could provide us with. We noted which rescues mentioned that they were in dire need of emergency hay funds. As we were able to secure funding, we started providing grants to the rescues in dire need, and the amount was based on the number of equines in their care.”

Jacobson explains that grant applications are sent to rescues as more funding becomes available. As of this writing, HSUS’s Equine Protection Program and the Homes for Horses Coalition have awarded grant funds to 33 rescues. HSUS has provided additional grant money through its main COVID-19 grant budget.

US Equestrian has provided a USEF Disaster Relief Fund grant to support both the Equus Foundation Guardian Charities and HSUS’s Equine Protection Program to help horses in need due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Help for Horse People

  • Equine safety-net programs offer direct financial support to owners who need short-term assistance to keep their animals, thereby helping to keep horses from entering the rescue system. The Homes for Horses Coalition maintains a searchable list of safety net programs by state that assist owners with emergency funds, feed, veterinary care, or other essential expenses. The United Horse Coalition also provides a comprehensive listing of local and national equine relief programs on its website.
  • The Equestrian Aid Foundation is currently assisting equestrian professionals and service providers through its Disaster Relief Fund. Individuals who make their living through the horse industry and have lost their income as a direct result of the pandemic can apply for a one-time emergency grant payment of $500 to assist with basic living expenses.
  • In addition to its ongoing social media campaigns, the JLC is providing funds to horse trainers, riding instructors, and horse show staff in the trotting breed industry who have lost income due to COVID-19 through its Horsemen’s Relief Fund. At jlccares.com, equine industry professionals can find resources for financial assistance and creative solutions for generating income during the shutdown.
  • The Show Jumping Relief Fund was created to provide immediate financial assistance to horse show staff, including ring crew, grooms, braiders, and officials, who have lost income as a result of COVID-19 closures. Information on how to apply for assistance or donate to the fund is available at wixsite.com/home.

Get Involved

For equestrians who are able to give back during this time, there are several ways to help.

If you have room in your barn, consider adopting or fostering a horse in need. This will help free up space and resources at a local rescue. One place to start is MyRightHorse.org, a search engine established by The Right Horse initiative that helps connect available horses of all ages, breeds, and types with prospective adopters across the country. Fostering an adoptable horse will not only help ease the burden on rescue organizations, but will give that horse more one-on-one attention and human interaction to improve their adoptability.

In addition to accepting direct donations for the Disaster Relief Fund, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has also partnered with other organizations that are donating partial proceeds from goods and services to the Fund. Find the current partnerships at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org/community-initiatives-ways-to-help.

If you are able, contributing financially to a reputable organization can help bring some immediate financial relief.

“Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate now becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for horses at our Guardian charities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says EQUUS Foundation President Coakley. “Every gift goes directly to underwrite actual horse-care costs like feed, bedding, veterinary, dental, and farrier care.”

The matching donation challenge applies to donations made now through June 30. Visit www.equusfoundation.org/give to donate.

“In addition, while the many barns and equine organizations we support had to temporarily close their doors to volunteers due to social-distancing requirements, many are now beginning to reopen with precautions in place,” says Coakley. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of many equine organizations, and volunteering is a great way to learn about and be close to horses and nature while giving back, making friends, and staying in shape! Learn more about our Champions Volunteer Incentive Program sponsored by Ariat International at www.equusfoundation.org/champions.”

There are always opportunities to provide assistance and give back to the equestrian community, whether that’s by contributing to the barns and shows that would normally have your business at this time of year or by seeking out people in need in your extended network.

“From the first week [of the JLC’s social media campaigns], we had a very generous member of the show-horse community sponsor a whole program of 10+ horses for a month,” says Cushing. “Their barn does not have a lesson program, but they were inspired to help. The ‘Feed Your Favorite Lesson Horse’ campaign helped them find a barn in need and a way to support our community through these challenging times.

“Every day we were getting tagged in photos of barns whose clients, friends, and peers stepped up to send the whole barn lunch and help keep spirits up,” Cushing continues. “It has also been humbling to see barns and industry vendors find creative ways to give back to the JLC Horsemen’s Relief Fund through hosting fundraisers or donating part of their proceeds from sales to our grant program.”

by Leslie Potter/US Equestrian Communications Department

Millar Family Launches Millar Brooke Farm South

Ian, Amy, and Jonathon Millar of Millar Brooke Farm. Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Perth, Ontario – The Millar family has announced the opening of its U.S.-based satellite operation, Millar Brooke South, as well as the addition of Alexander and Holly Grayton to Team Millar.

As Millar Brooke Farm continues to expand its business and grow, the timing was right for Jonathon Millar and his wife, Kelly Soleau-Millar, to base in the United States for the majority of the year, marking the official launch of Millar Brooke Farm South. The move allows the business to have an increased presence south of the Canadian border, providing easier access to more shows, the ability to source horses from a wider area, and greater networking and training opportunities.

“We are excited to open up Millar Brooke South,” said Jonathon, a veteran of the Canadian Show Jumping Team and 2010 World Equestrian Games competitor. “With operations based in Canada and the United States, our business now has a lot more flexibility surrounding what shows we can attend around the world, access to additional horses and sponsorships, and enhanced training opportunities for our horses and riders.”

Millar Brooke Farm South will compete predominantly in the United States during the summer months while Millar Brooke Farm North, based in Perth, ON, will spend the bulk of its time competing in Canada. Both operations will continue to train and compete together in Wellington, FL during the winter circuit.

“Every year we come together to discuss how to provide the highest level of training and management for our horses and students,” said Kelly, who made her Nations’ Cup debut riding for the United States in 2018. “I am very excited about the future for Team Millar as we continue to grow and provide new opportunities for our students, sponsors, and owners.”

The expansion of Team Millar also necessitated additional coaching power and expertise to support Ian Millar and his daughter and fellow Canadian Olympian, Amy, in meeting the increased training demands at home in Canada. To that end, Alexander and Holly Grayton have relocated to Millar Brooke Farm North. Since 2008, the Graytons had been operating Grayton Farms in Alberta where they focused on coaching, sales, and developing young horses.

“After an extensive search for the right fit, we could not be happier that we were able to attract them to Perth to join our team,” said Amy, who was a member of Canada’s fourth-placed team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “Alex and Holly are highly regarded with a proven track record of success, and we are confident that they will contribute to Team Millar. We are all excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Ian added, “I am very excited to add Alex and Holly to our staff. Alex and Holly are both dedicated horse people with whom we have a history, first as students and then as colleagues. Alex is a talented rider, fantastic teacher, and has incredible passion for our sport.”

Over the past several years, Alexander has developed several horses to the elite level, claiming Talent Squad National Final and National Young Horse Championship titles as well as grand prix victories and hunter championships. Alexander has trained riders of all levels, from those entering their first horse show to winning National Talent Squad Finals, FEI Children’s Finals, international grand prix classes, and every place in between.

Holly is a budding grand prix rider and will take on managerial duties at Millar Brooke Farm North. Students of the sport can look to Holly for her accumulated knowledge of horse care and can trust in her never-ending desire to continue to learn from esteemed and respected colleagues from around the world.

“Both Alex and Holly will be incredible assets to our team,” concluded Amy. “Their passion for the sport, training, people, and their horses make them a perfect fit for our program.”

For more information on Millar Brooke Farm and Team Millar, visit www.millarbrookefarm.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

NARG Releases Sport Report: 2020 Winter Venues

May 21, 2020 – When the North American Riders Group last sent a release about plans for the return of the NARG Top 25, the terms COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place order, social distancing, and face masks were not common in our daily vocabulary. As we dealt with the challenges of a global issue on an international horse show level, and rearranged our schedules to stay at home until competition begins again, NARG decided to issue a Sport Report focusing on the Winter Venues.

NARG Top 25 work began last fall when we revisited the evaluation form, and reached out to managers, riders, and owners to get feedback. As a result, and to level the playing field, the evaluations include subjective scoring, plus NARG research and points awarded via a questionnaire answered by management.

In North America, the competition year kicked off with a winter season comprised of 21 CSI 3*, 4*, and 5* events over an 11-week period, leading directly into a busy spring season that had 12 more events of this caliber plus a Longines FEI World Cup™ Final that were to be complete by the end of May.

By the time that mid-March hit and shows were canceled, 19 shows over nine weeks at eight venues throughout North America were in the books and evaluations well underway. These events and the venues that hosted them are the focus of this first edition of the NARG Sport Report.

WHAT HAPPENED IN A DECADE

The sport of show jumping has evolved in the decade since we gave a voice to the riders, owners, and trainers in North America. The number of FEI events offered has more than doubled, but more importantly the star-ratings went up. For example, in 2010 there were four CSI5* events on the calendar, with three of them in summer or fall in Calgary; in 2020, there were 20 CSI5* events on the calendar, with eight (40%) scheduled in Wellington, Mexico City, and Miami, before the Canadian season even commenced.  Of course, these are pre COVID-19, but illustrate the point of how North America has stepped up in this regard.

In the four years and three months since we last released a report, new events, organizers, tours, and facilities have come on the scene, and we commend all of their efforts. We are truly sorry for those events that canceled since mid-March, as the loss is felt on so many fronts.

2020 REFLECTION, REALIZATION AND RECOGNITION

We were all set to have a busy year, from the NARG Top 25 perspective, focusing only on CSI 3*, 4*, and 5* events, there were 74 events and one Final to focus on. With this global change that halted the end of the winter season and obliterated the spring season, we all took a deep breath and considered what we had accomplished this winter.

Up from four events in 2010, eleven in 2015, Mexico had 22 FEI CSI 2*-5* events on their calendar. Six of those offered top competition at three impressive venues this winter.

The winter season is certainly important to the sport of show jumping in North America and worthy of its own report. Since the events are produced in two countries, at eight different venues by six managements, each week was evaluated multiple times and we averaged the scores by venue.

Although the evaluation form was updated for 2020, interestingly the highest scoring venue was within a percentage point of the top score earned by Spruce Meadows in 2015. The eight venues were separated by less than 14 percentage points, and the lowest scoring venue is certainly not ‘the bottom’ as the score would have not only made the top 25 in 2015, but securely in the middle of the list.  We also noticed that had we continued through the full year of 75 events we would have been splitting hairs with scores.

Of course, there are many events that would certainly have been recognized in the NARG Top 25 this year that we regrettably won’t be evaluating this season, including some of the top over many years, Thunderbird’s May events and the aforementioned Spruce Meadows, to name just two. NARG looks forward to the return of these as well as the GCT, Split Rock Jumping Tour, Tryon, and others to the North American calendar.

One final note – NARG is aware that our sport goes beyond FEI Jumping; that there are young horse programs, jumper development programs, as well as high performance hunter and equitation events and programs. Currently our focus is on high level show jumpers. We intend to expand that over time.

Wishing all riders, owners, trainers, organizers, and the wide net of those who help make this sport what it is, as well as all their horses, good health.  NARG presents the Sport Report: 2020 Winter Venues.

Old Friends Celebrates the Daytona Stakes Saturday May 23

GR1 winner Daytona at Old Friends (Photo: Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 21, 2020 – On Saturday, May 23, 2020, Santa Anita will present the Daytona Stakes (G3T), a 5-1/2-furlong race on the turf, as part of their nine-race program.

Named for a resident at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, The Daytona Stakes pays tribute to the six-time graded stakes winner whose career earnings totaled nearly $1 million. Overall, the son of Indian Ridge, bred by the Irish National Stud, scored 8 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 18 career starts.

CLICK HERE to see Daytona’s 2007 GR1 Hollywood Derby win, where he faced off against fellow Old Friends retiree NoBiz Like ShoBiz.

In 2008 Daytona started in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Oak Tree against the formidable Goldikova. Injured during the race, he finished 10th. It would be his final start.

Following his racing career, Daytona, a handsome chestnut, made an attempt at a second career but soundness issues prevented him from continuing.

The now 16-year-old Daytona was retired to Old Friends in 2014.

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Sign Up for Ride Times Now with ShowGroundsLive

Wellington, FL – May 21, 2020 – Exhibitors participating in the ESP May Schooling Shows and June Spring Series may now sign up online for their order-of-go via ShowGroundsLive on PBIEC.com. Beginning May 21, competitors may select their ride times between 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. EST for the following day’s competition. To learn how to select ride times online, please click here. The decision to offer online sign-ups was made in an effort to reduce in-person contact at the in-gate and to allow riders a more accurate way to plan their schedule while showing at PBIEC’s Equestrian Village.

We are planning to use this sign-up system at least through the month of June, so we encourage trainers to learn this optional process during the schooling shows. It is our intention to have orders-of-go for all sections that are open in the schedule. After 7:00 P.M., the rest of the unselected rounds will be ordered by the in-gate personnel to establish a final order-of-go. This is a new process for ESP as well, so we appreciate your patience in advance while we work out the kinks together over the next few weeks. Course maps for all classes will also be posted online at PBIEC.com the day prior to competition by 7:00 P.M. in order to reduce large gatherings for course walks.

As previously stated, exhibitors must fill out all (4) four forms online prior to entering the show grounds: Schooling Show Entry Blank, Schooling Show Waiver, the Spring & Summer Show Entry Blank, and the USEF Waiver & Release of Liability Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. These forms and the revised ESP June Spring Series Prize List are now available on the homepage under the ‘Competitors’ tab.

Thanks to the great efforts of a local charity, ESP will also be able to provide $10 packs of protective supplies. Each kit includes ten (10) 3-ply masks and two (2) pairs of nitrile gloves, and will be available at the show office for purchase. All proceeds will go towards XPI Emergency Relief Fund to continue providing critical supplies to those in need. To contact the show office, please contact Jenn Glosson at jglosson@equestriansport.com or 561-313-5133.

Please take the time to read through the ESP COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures so you have a full understanding of what to expect here. To answer just a few questions that have been asked:

Yes, we will be taking temperatures of everyone entering the property. We ask everyone to get in the habit of checking your temperature in the morning to avoid surprises. We will have multiple places where your temperature will be checked either with a touch-less thermometer or a thermal camera system. Please allow a little extra time for this process.

Yes, everyone on the show grounds will require a facial covering. Riders while mounted will not be required to wear a facial covering, but should have access to one after getting off their horse. If a rider chooses to wear a mask in any class, there will be no point deductions from the judges.

Yes, we will be enforcing all of these protocols at the schooling shows in May. These two practice shows will also allow our staff to better enforce these rules and make modifications if necessary. This is new to all of us and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding in advance.

Yes, braiding is optional in all classes. Judges will be asked not to add or deduct any points for braiding choices. Braiders have taken a huge financial hit with the shut down and we did not want to exclude braiding for this reason.

No, we have no official answers on the 24-hour rule, jogging, confirmation, or model classes. We expect that information to be released soon and we will update our Prize List and COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures by announcements and edition date on PBIEC.com.

Her Majesty The Queen Wins at Virtual Windsor Horse Show

After the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show which was to run in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, ‘The Queen’s Back Garden’, from 13-17 May, organisers moved the Show online to create Virtual Windsor 2020. More than 4,200 entries were received for the online Showing competitions, including several from HM The Queen.

A ‘usual’ Royal Windsor Horse Show would receive around 2,800 entries, illustrating how the equestrian community has come together to make Virtual Windsor 2020 a larger success than ever envisioned.

A huge number of viewers watched the Show online with more than 250,000 tuning in to enjoy the event over its five days, while the social media reach soared past the million mark.

The numbers surpassed all expectations and organisers were particularly delighted by the number of viewers from overseas with more than 90 countries getting involved.

24 Showing classes were run over the five-day virtual Show, mixed with streaming of 5* Jumping and Dressage classes from previous live events, along with displays and competitions that you can only see at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

HM The Queen had six entries in the Showing Classes and was the outright winner in two — Class 2 for Cleveland Bays which she won with Wyevale Harry ridden by Matthew Powers and Class 19 the Side Saddle which she won with Stardust ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable.

Over the course of the five days, many stars of the equestrian world joined the virtual Show in interviews and commentary. Their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, also participated in a video interview showing their support for the event.

As a first-time event for Royal Windsor Horse Show, organisers expressed it was more than they could have ever wished for. Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, ended the Show by thanking all involved and hoping to see everyone again – in the flesh – next year.

Brooks-Ward said: “We’ve been delighted by the response we’ve had to Virtual Windsor 2020. It’s been fantastic to see the Show’s community getting together to keep the Show going – whether they are competitors, shop holders, sponsors, stewards, judges and officials, or visitors – everyone has been engaged. I think it demonstrates how important the Show is for all and how close it is to their hearts.”

Details of the virtual Show can be found by visiting virtual.rwhs.co.uk. The site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

Victoria Colvin Honored as National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Rider of the Year

Colvin piloted Private Practice to victory in the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular in 2019 and 2020.

Wellington, Fla. – May 20, 2020 – One of the most prominent hunter riders in the United States today, Victoria Colvin has once again been recognized for her talent in the ring. Voted on by the trainers of champions at the top ten shows of the year, the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Trainers Choice Annual Awards recognize the accomplishments of one rider, one owner, and seven horses for their success in the hunter ring. Thanks to her astounding collection of winning performances throughout all of 2019, Colvin has been named the Rider of the Year. Originally scheduled for May 26, 2020, The Hall of Fame’s Annual Awards and induction ceremony will now be held June 1, 2021, at The Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, Pennsylvania in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Throughout 2019, Colvin topped a multitude of scorecards and continued to add to her lengthy list of accomplishments. Beginning the year with a rapid succession of class and division wins during the Winter Equestrian Festival, the young professional rider and trainer was ultimately honored as the WEF Overall Hunter Rider and also emerged victorious in both the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular and the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. In the summer, Colvin made history as a three-time winner of the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, topping the leaderboard by nearly 25 points in the 2019 installment aboard El Primero. The fall saw more success as she came out on top in the $10,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals during the Capital Challenge Horse Show.

“I am so thrilled and humbled to be named the Rider of the Year as part of the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Trainers Choice Annual Awards! The fact that fellow trainers and riders voted on this and recognized me as one of their peers makes it even more special. This is an incredible privilege, and I have to thank my team and supporters for all of their dedication and hard work that allowed me to reach this milestone. I’d also like to congratulate Bryan Baldwin and Brad Wolf on their awards!” commented Colvin.

In addition to Colvin’s recognition as Rider of the Year, two of her connections also received annual honors. Bryan Baldwin, the owner of El Primero, was named the Owner of the Year. Colvin piloted El Primero to victory in August 2019 in the $256,640 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, among other derby and division championship honors throughout the year. Honored as the High Performance Horse of the Year, Private Practice is owned by Brad Wolf. “Peter” is another of Colvin’s equine partners that she has ridden to consistent success, and in 2019 the duo won the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular, later winning again in 2020 for the second time in a row.

Colvin will aim to maintain her winning ways in 2020 when horse shows resume in both the hunter and jumper rings. Although the schedule is subject to change, the original calendar included Colvin’s participation from July to the end of the year at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Hampton Classic Horse Show, Kentucky National Horse Show, and a series of indoors shows.

For more information, please visit www.victoriacolvin.com.

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