Tag Archives: COVID-19

Notice of Cancellation of Bluegrass Festival, KHJA, USEF Jr. Hunter Nat’l Championship – East Coast

Lexington, Ky. – August 4, 2020 – After weighing the impact of multiple positive COVID-19 cases following the Kentucky Summer Classic and the cancellation notice of USHJA’s upcoming championships, Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and US Equestrian have decided to cancel Bluegrass Festival (Aug. 11-16), KHJA (Aug. 19-23), and USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast (Aug. 23-24), scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park.

We have been notified that three additional individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the Kentucky Summer Classic for a total of seven reported cases. The majority of reported cases are associated with one barn and none of the individuals have returned to the facility.

This is a decision not taken lightly and we are mindful of the negative effect this will have on exhibitors’ plans and schedules, but feel this is the only way to ensure a safe outcome for all. No fees of any kind have been charged to anyone who has entered the shows. Exhibitors do not need to take any action with regard to the show office and all entries will be canceled. We hope that moving forward our exhibitors and members will place their safety and the safety of others above all else during these trying circumstances.

If you believe you have been exposed to the virus, please follow the ten recommendations from the CDC, found here.

Information about testing for COVID-19 can be found here.

Please be reminded that if you test positive for COVID-19 within fourteen (14) days following a competition you attended, you must notify the competition organizer and USEF.

For additional information, please contact Hugh Kincannon at hak@kentuckyhorseshows.com

For additional information on USEF Junior Hunter National Championships, please contact hunterdept@usef.org.

Nilforushan Equisport Events Donates to COVID-19 Relief and Helmet Safety

Photo: Captured Moment Photography.

Temecula, Calif. – Aug. 3, 2020 – The entire team at Nilforushan Equisport Events (NEE) is so appreciative of all of its exhibitors and hardworking staff that made the Temecula Valley National Summer Series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, a success from June 24-28 and June 30 – July 4. It is because of the dedication that everyone showed to following the appropriate COVID-19 protocol and the collective sacrifice of the group that NEE has been able to donate money to worthy causes such as the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Helmet Safety Research Campaign, in partnership with US Equestrian and the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association. Without ribbons to hand out, plus the funds raised from raffle items, NEE was able to divide a total of $10,000 between the two organizations to help pay it forward in the equestrian community thanks to its supporters.

“We all know that times are different right now due to COVID-19, and to keep everyone safe and healthy we had to make a few changes to our show operations for the Temecula Valley National Summer Series. Although we were sad not to be able to hand out ribbons to our riders, especially the children, those sacrifices by our exhibitors allowed us to conserve funds that we are excited to put back into the equestrian community. We can’t thank everyone enough for their cooperation, and we hope that this money will help to do some good in the horse show world we all know and love. It is our hope that we can continue to do more good work like this going forward,” commented Ali Nilforushan, founder of Nilforushan Equisport Events.

Thanks, in part, to the money raised from three items donated by BioXcellerator and Casa del Mar Golf Resort & Spa that were raffled off during the final weekend of the show, NEE has pledged $5,000 to the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund is specifically aimed to help support horse show workers, such as grooms, braiders, show secretaries, ring crew, and many more, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the health of the equestrian community is of paramount importance right now, safety is a part of the sport that should always be improving. With that in mind, NEE is additionally donating $5,000 to the Helmet Safety Research Campaign, which supports the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab’s research to improve helmets used by equestrians. The research will study head impact and concussion risk in an equestrian environment via lab settings and field video data on a variety of equestrian events, with significant attention to jumping, where many injuries occur. The campaign is inching closer to its $450,000 goal, which recently took a huge leap forward thanks to the generous $100,000 donation by the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.

NEE encourages anyone who has the means to do so to donate to the cause. To donate to the Helmet Safety Research campaign to help Virginia Tech reach the funding goal of $450,000, click here.

NEE is happy to be able to make some contributions to the equestrian community via these donations, as well as through the Trainer Incentive Program that took place during the Temecula Valley National Summer Series. During the show, two percent (2%) of sales from a trainer’s barn were returned to the trainers who participated. NEE hopes these funds will be helpful in allowing trainers to keep working with their clients and traveling the horse show circuit with a bit less stress.

Nilforushan Equisport Events is a horse-show management company owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Ali and Francie Nilforushan. Their mission is to produce world-class events that will make California a top show jumping destination, attract local residents to a number of entertainment experiences including world-class performances and film nights, as well as fine dining. Exhibitors can expect great sport, a first class VIP area and affordable showing options thanks to the inventive style of the Nilforushan management team.

For more information, please visit www.jump-nee.com.

Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and USEF Notice of Competition Cancellations

Lexington, Ky. – August 1, 2020 – We have been notified that two more individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, after attending the Kentucky Summer Classic, for a total of four reported cases. US Equestrian and Kentucky Horse Shows prioritize the safety of our members, participants, support teams, staff, and their families. To mitigate the risk of spread of the virus, USEF and the competition organizer together have made the decision to cancel the Kentucky Summer Classic and to cancel the USEF Pony Finals event scheduled to start Tuesday, August 4th. These cancellations will give the competition organizer time to sanitize the venue and determine whether competition can resume later this month.

With regard to the new reports, one individual worked in Barns 9 & 10 with one of the previously reported individuals. Both of these individuals have been off competition grounds since Friday, July 31. The other newly reported individual is a braider who worked in multiple barns and has been off the grounds since early August 1.

Per the requirements of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, we are notifying all individuals who were in attendance at the competition.  Although contact tracing is primarily the responsibility of public health agencies, in accordance with CDC guidelines we are asking these individuals for the names of others at the competition that they had close contact with starting from 48 hours before their symptoms appeared so that we can inform those persons directly that they may have been exposed to the virus.

If you believe you have been exposed to the virus, please follow the ten recommendations from the CDC, found here.

Information about testing for COVID-19 can be found here.

Please be reminded that if you test positive for COVID-19 within fourteen (14) days following a competition you attended, you must notify the competition organizer and USEF.

For additional information, please contact Hugh Kincannon at hak@kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Layover stabling will be available at the Kentucky Horse Park during the week of August 3-9 for those exhibitors whose plans have been disrupted by the cancellation of the final day of the Kentucky Summer Classic and the USEF Pony Finals. Contact Pat Duncan at 503-510-8797 for information.

Kentucky Horse Shows COVID-19 Protocols

Lexington, Ky. – July 8, 2020 – Kentucky Horse Shows LLC would like to make all exhibitors who will be participating in the Kentucky Summer Horse Show and the Kentucky Summer Classic, to be held July 22 – August 2, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park aware of the COVID 19 Protocols, which can be viewed here.

Competition is just two weeks away and all exhibitors must be familiar with the protocols mandated by USEF and The Commonwealth of Kentucky under which these events will be conducted.

The requirements and suggestions outlined are carefully considered to allow athletes to compete safely. The protocols will be enforced uniformly. Any questions regarding the protocols should be emailed to hak@kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Please remember that at the end of the day it will be your cooperation that dictates the success of our return to competition.

For the 2020 show season, all Kentucky Horse Shows prize lists will only be available in digital format. For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please refer to the prize list on www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

FEI General Assembly 2020 Moves Online

The FEI General Assembly 2020, which was due to be held in Johannesburg (RSA) in November, has been cancelled and will now be held online due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements and travel restrictions.

The decision was approved by the FEI Board during its three-day videoconference meeting this week, and the Board also gave its unanimous support to allocate next year’s FEI General Assembly to Johannesburg.

“The safety of our community is our highest priority and although it is regrettable, cancelling our in-person General Assembly this year and going online was the responsible thing to do,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“We are very grateful to the National Federation of South Africa for the support and flexibility they have shown, as well as their willingness to host our General Assembly next year when the situation will hopefully have improved for everyone.

“We are lucky to live in a time where it is possible to meet virtually, even though face-to-face meetings and discussions keep us together as a community.”

With the pandemic legally defined as “force majeure” in Switzerland, the country’s Federal government has adopted ad hoc temporary measures to facilitate the organisation of General Assembly meetings for Swiss based associations like the FEI.

Under these special regulations, the FEI is permitted to hold its General Assembly electronically. Other large international gatherings, including next month’s IOC Session, will also be held online.

The FEI is currently considering a number of electronic solutions for running the General Assembly online and will communicate these to National Federations in due course

“While we are of course disappointed not to be able to hold the FEI General Assembly in South Africa this year, we appreciate the confidence that the FEI has shown to us by giving us the opportunity to host the General Assembly next year,” President of the National Federation of South Africa Adv Willem Edeling SC said.

“It will be the first time that an international equestrian gathering of this scale will be held in South Africa and we look forward to welcoming delegates from around the world to our world class meeting facilities. 2021 is the centenary of the FEI, and we feel privileged that our event will form part of the 100-year celebrations.”

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

Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2020 Postponed to 2021

The Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2020 have been postponed until May 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on equestrian sport. The decision to postpone comes following agreement between the FEI, the Italian National Federation, and the Organisers in Pisa.

The Championships were due to be held at San Rossore, Pisa in September this year, but the pandemic and the restrictions on both travel and training of horses has meant that is was simply not possible to maintain the original date.

The FEI Executive Board and the Endurance Temporary Committee were in favour of postponement and, following consultation with the Endurance Calendar Task Force and meetings with the Italian National Federation and the Pisa Organisers, the move to May 2021 was agreed. Final approval of the postponement was given by the FEI Board at an extraordinary Board meeting held by videoconference on 19 June.

Qualification for the Championships will be under Article 836 of the FEI Endurance Rules (11th Edition), which come into effect on 1 July 2020.

The FEI Board also agreed to prolong the qualification period for these Championships in order to allow more time for horses and athletes to qualify following the disruption to this year’s FEI Calendar caused by the pandemic. Details will be defined by the Endurance Temporary Committee and FEI Headquarters and communicated later.

Two Continental Championships are already scheduled to run next year – the FEI Endurance Pan American Championships for Seniors & Young Riders in Campinas (BRA) from 28-29 July and the FEI Endurance European Championships in Ermelo (NED) from 6-11 September. The FEI last week proactively reached out to all 51 National Federations that compete in Endurance in order to understand their views on the proposed postponement of the World Championships and its potential impact on next year’s Calendar.

National Federations were asked whether they were in favour of postponing the Longines FEI Endurance World Championships to May 2021 and if they would also participate in their region’s Continental Championships if the Worlds were moved to next year.

A total of 34 National Federations responded to the questionnaire, of which 33 were positive, both to the postponement and their participation, where relevant, in one of the Continental Championships next year.

“Our Endurance community made it very clear to the FEI that they want a World Championships, particularly after losing the last edition at Tryon in 2018, but horse welfare and a level playing field could not have been guaranteed if the Championships had run in September, so it was the best solution to move the Championships to May of next year,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“Having consulted with the National Federations that compete in Endurance, we now feel that we have reached a compromise that works for everyone, but especially for our horses, as there will now be time for them to do the necessary preparation work and achieve their qualification for this major event.”

The Secretary General is in charge of the FEI Calendar and, throughout the Covid-19 crisis, has chaired the eight discipline-specific Calendar Task Forces that have been working to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the sport and the fixture list. More than 800 events have already been cancelled and numerous events have been rescheduled.

The FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Horses and the FEI Endurance European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors, which are due to be held in Vic (ESP) from 25-27 September 2020, will be discussed by the FEI Board during this week’s three-day meeting via videoconference (23-25 June).

Media contacts:

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

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Days End Farm Horse Rescue: Staying Vigilant

These days, most of us are starting to feel like wearing masks and practicing social distancing are now a part of our daily routines. But for many families, their lives lately have been far from normal. Because of the pandemic, many companies instituted work-from-home policies (our DEFHR office staff included), and sadly, countless people in the U.S. were left unemployed. The financial repercussions from this outbreak have been staggering, and nearly everyone has been affected in some way. But for horse owners and rescue organizations, economic hardships can be especially challenging as they struggle to provide adequate care for the animals in their care.

In our recent article featured on The Plaid Horse website, we shared some of the ways that the fallout from COVID-19 can affect horses — and what you can do to help. One of the most important things is to keep an eye out for animals in trouble.

“There are fewer eyes and ears on things right now,” says DeEtte Hillman, DEFHR’s Equine Programs Director. “Horses, depending on situation and age, can decline rapidly. If you see or witness anything that’s concerning, make the phone call to report it. Don’t wait. Don’t stop watching out for them.”

Though DEFHR is still closed to the public for the time being, we are continuing to work closely with animal control and law enforcement agencies with active equine cases and rescue situations. Now, more than ever, we all need to remain vigilant to help horses in need. Want to learn the best way you can help us right now? Email us at info@defhr.org.

What to Do if You Suspect Neglect or Abuse

In the State of Maryland, suspected cases of abuse or neglect should be reported to the animal control organization or humane society for the county in which the horse is located. In other states, the procedure may be the same or you may have to contact a local law enforcement agency such as the police or sheriff.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue – www.DEFHR.org

America’s Horses Will Benefit from the COVID-19 Matching Campaign Underway

Horses across the country need us now more than ever and many are in dire need of a lifeline. Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate between now and June 30 becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 – programs that not only increase adoptions of at-risk horses and provide a safe haven for aged horses, but also increase opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new innovative ways.

Many more horses now are at risk of losing their homes – and their lives – due to this global crisis. The EQUUS Foundation helps America’s at-risk horses and we are asking for your help so that, together, we can offer a safety net for horses that now have no place to go.

With so many people facing hardships, our fear is that many more of our four-legged equine friends may be subjected to abuse and neglect and the number of horses heading to the slaughter pipeline will increase.

At the heart of the EQUUS Foundation’s mission is the EQUUS Foundation Guardians program. EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities undergo a rigorous vetting process annually to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest standards for horse care and are transparent and accountable by making their horse care practices and operations available to public scrutiny. Only EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

Our rescues are reporting an increase in requests from owners who can no longer care for their horses — and our charities providing therapeutic services are finding it difficult to foresee when they will needing their full herds for a long time.

There’s no better way to give with confidence than to give to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities — and there’s no better time to give than RIGHT NOW because every dollar you give will double between now and June 30th.

Will you lend a hand to America’s horses and help us reach our goal by June 30? Please make your gift here!

Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

A Recap of the First ESP Shows with New Safety Protocols

What to expect at ESP June Show Series

Wellington, FL – June 1, 2020 – The first two weeks of schooling shows at Equestrian Village have wrapped up, after a successful reopening of the facility following the COVID-19 closures in mid-March. While the situation continues to evolve daily, the ESP staff was hard at work to ensure the safety of all its exhibitors, trainers, and staff during competition. New protocols were put into place, including specific points of entry complete with thermal scanners, an online system for show entries, and social distancing across the grounds.

A total of fifteen security guards, five dedicated cleaning personnel, two paramedics, and two Palm Beach County fire rescue crew members were stationed at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to assist with these protocols. Another fifty-six ESP staff members were on-site to operate the competition and oversee social distancing. Approximately seven gallons of hand sanitizer, one thousand pairs of gloves, and six hundred masks were utilized over the past two weeks.

Although public sentiment for attending public events varies across the country, the first two weeks of ESP competition showed that equestrians are ready to get back in the show ring. During the May Schooling I Show (May 22-24), a total of 412 horses were entered, while Schooling II (May 29-31) had 473 horses compete. Entries are expected to rise for the upcoming June Show Series, which will feature Equitation Days, USEF “A” National, and Jumper 4* level competition. CLICK HERE to view the ESP June Spring Series Prize List.

“Overall, everyone was very respectful of our new policies and obeyed the rules for wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart,” stated David Burton Jr., Show Manager and COO of Equestrian Sport Productions. “I think everyone was just happy to be back and showing again and returning to some sort of ‘normal’. However, it’s very important that all exhibitors continue to help us with these protocols so we can continue operating.”

Here’s what to expect if you are planning to compete at PBIEC in the coming weeks:

  • Come prepared with your own face mask and gloves. If you forget yours, packs of both are available for purchase in the show office for $10, with proceeds going to charity.
  • Enter the show grounds at Checkpoint D for thermal camera detection.
  • All ESP Staff will be wearing yellow vests, reminding you to stay 6 feet apart and wear your mask properly (covering nose and mouth).
  • Mounted riders do not need to have a mask on, but must wear one as soon as they dismount.
  • Hand sanitizing stations and newly installed temporary sinks have been placed around the grounds for continued cleansing.
  • Refrigerators with free, individual water bottles have been placed by each arena for exhibitors.
  • Prepare to stand in designated positions when entering the show office and only entering when capacity is under 6 people.
  • Only 2 people are allowed at each jump in the warmup ring (one person per jump standard).
  • Course maps are uploaded online HERE the night before competition to reduce congregating by the in-gates.
  • Live streaming will be available HERE for each arena so friends and family can safely watch from home.
  • For a full list of all safety protocols, CLICK HERE.

Trainers – As we prepare for larger entry numbers and on-site stabling to be at full capacity, please remember that it is YOUR responsibility to uphold the safety protocols within the barns at PBIEC. This area is very difficult for ESP Staff to monitor, so we need you to maintain your barn area to the same standards that ESP is applying to the rest of the show grounds. One picture of incorrect behavior in the barns could be catastrophic for the whole sport.

Equestrian Sport Productions is also working on ways to keep its competitors updated in real time while on-site, with a new texting service. Those who opt-in will receive texts regarding impending weather alerts, safety reminders, links to course maps, and more. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Remember, the only people allowed on-site are the following:

  • ESP Staff & Officials
  • Essential Personnel (Vets, Farriers, etc. actively treating horses on the grounds)
  • Trainers (that have exhibitors competing today)
  • Grooms (that have clients competing today)
  • Riders (that are competing today)
  • One Guest per Rider (One family member or one friend of the rider)

As entry numbers grow in June, it is essential to our industry’s continuation that everyone follow these rules to control our numbers and ensure social distancing and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not enter the grounds if you are not allowed. We look forward to welcoming you all back when it is safe to do so. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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

Breeches.com Delivers Memorial Day Campaign Food to Medical Workers

Wellington Regional Medical Center leadership unload food for their busy workers. Photo by EQ Media.

WELLINGTON, Fla. – May 29, 2020 – Timmy Sharma, owner of breeches.com, arrived at Wellington Regional Medical Center on the morning of May 28, bearing a truckload of groceries. He was met by Chief Executive Officer Pam Tahan, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Hays, and the key leadership of the hospital who helped unload the food destined Wellington Regional Medical Center’s Grab-n-Go Pantry. Established by members of the Wellington community, the Grab-n-Go Pantry alleviates the burden of grocery store shopping for busy hospital personnel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pantry is a repository for donated goods, including food and household necessities. Many workers end their shifts after grocery stores with shortened hours are closed and the Grab-n-Go Pantry helps keep their families supplied.

Sharma and his wife and partner Laurie wanted to do something special for their Memorial Day Campaign. Typically, Memorial Day is reserved for honoring and remembering armed service members who risked and gave their lives to protect the freedom of U.S. citizens. This Memorial Day, the Sharmas and their breeches.com also decided to honor medical workers fighting the COVID-19 battle.

“We wanted to do something to help those working on the front lines,” Sharma said. “We are all part of the equestrian community in Wellington. So many of us have been at this hospital. We wanted to show the staff how much they are appreciated. They’re doing such an amazing job, working long hours and giving of themselves.”

During the breeches.com campaign, each purchaser received a 15% off coupon on their entire order. Breeches.com matched the discount and created a fund for an equal value donation. Around $3,000 was raised to purchase food from the Wellington Costco store and delivered to Wellington Regional Medical Center.

“Thank you so much for your generous donation,” Tahan said. “This is such a great help to our personnel and their families.”