Tag Archives: COVID-19

Virtual Windsor 2020 Set to Recreate Royal Windsor Horse Show Magic Online

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have launched VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020, a new online hub, which is free to the equestrian community. This enterprising initiative aims to help fill the gap left by the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2020 due to Covid-19.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will host exciting features, the Show’s 200 shops, virtual Showing competitions, training videos, social media feeds, and the best of online content from previous Royal Windsor Horse Shows and from the equestrian world at the moment.

The shops that would normally have a physical presence at the Show will be displayed on the hub, giving users the opportunity to access some of equestrian’s best brands, including the latest technical equipment, country and lifestyle collections, and clothing. One of the key drivers of the “Virtual RWHS Shopping Experience” are the deals some of which will be available exclusively on the platform.

Those visiting VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can also enter online equestrian competitions, including a variety of Showing classes adhering closely to the original Royal Windsor Horse Show schedule. Those wishing to compete will upload their entry in the form of a photo to put them in the running, with applicants able to enter via email or social media. A Royal Windsor Horse Show judge will then select 10 finalists, before announcing the winner. The winners of each class will then progress to the Championships being judged on Sunday 17 May 2020.

To further help fill the void, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will give users access to features from the official Royal Windsor Horse Show programme, content from the archives, guest bloggers, live Q&A sessions, and insights into Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021, which is already well into its planning stage. Giving equestrian fans a central hub to find training videos, light-hearted posts, the latest updates from top competitors, and tips from other riders, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will support trainers, coaches, physios, and riders who may be struggling during this time.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “This online platform is a way for the equestrian community to come together; it aims to support and entertain, keeping the spirit of Royal Windsor Horse Show alive during this difficult time. The platform involves everyone, from fans to riders, shops, competitors, and officials.  We wanted to find a way that we could support the shops at the show and engage with our competitors and customers and I’m genuinely excited to see what we can accomplish. Our hope is that it will go part of the way towards recreating the magic in Windsor Castle’s iconic private grounds that we all expected to see in May.”

Ben Buxton, Events Manager of Fairfax and Favor, said: “Virtual Windsor is an exciting real and online opportunity for Fairfax and Favor to have a presence at one of the leading horse shows of the year. Whilst we may not see customers (both new and existing) in person, we relish the opportunity to connect with anyone who would have seen us, and let them see our range, including the launch of our Spring Summer 2020 collection.”

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/.  The site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show will return next year from 12-16 May 2021.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

USEF Provides COVID-19 Facts and Resources as Pandemic Changes Equestrian Life

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting equestrians’ routines around the country as barns employ social distancing techniques and increased human biosecurity practices, and, in at least some areas to date, even close to all but essential staff by choice or by local restrictions.

READ MORE

Congress, President Deliver $2 Trillion Relief Package, Address Many Horse Industry Concerns

Following a week of intense negotiations, on Friday, March 27 House lawmakers finally passed – and the President signed into law – the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, teeing up approximately $2 trillion in emergency aid to American taxpayers, small business, independent contractors, and non-profits and charities. Because most equine enterprises characterize themselves as small businesses and include many non-profits such as state associations and equine rescue operations, the package addresses many challenges facing the horse industry.

READ MORE

Equine Non-Profits Granted More Than $100,000 by USA Equestrian Trust – Deadline for 2020 Submissions Is April 22

USA Equestrian Trust® has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to help fund equine-focused projects by more than a dozen non-profits. The organizations receiving funding all submitted applications as part of the Trust’s 2019 application period. Since the inception of its grants program, the Trust has awarded more than $2.2 million in grants.

The Trust is also pleased to announce it is now accepting proposals from IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations for its 2020 grants program. To submit an application, visit trusthorses.org and complete the online form. Any organization applying must submit copies of its IRS non-profit determination letter and most recent Form 990, as well as a proposed budget for its project. The deadline to submit applications for the foundation’s 2020 grants program is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 22.

LEARN MORE

FEI Creates New Policy for Calculating World Rankings during Covid-19 Outbreak

As part of its measures aimed at minimising the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the FEI Calendar, the FEI has put in place a new policy for calculating the world rankings from 1 April until the Calendar returns to normal. The new policy was initially discussed with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) specifically for the Longines Jumping Rankings, but will now be used for each of the disciplines where a rolling 12-month period is used for the calculations.

Starting from 1 April 2020, the period during which ranking points remain valid in Jumping (Longines Rankings), Eventing, Dressage, and Para Dressage 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.

Points earned in ranking competitions at events that take place during the current Covid-19 affected period will continue to count, and the maximum number of results that count for each athlete will remain, i.e. for the Longines Jumping Rankings best 30; Dressage best eight; Eventing and Para Dressage best six.

Rankings for the other FEI disciplines – Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining – are calculated on a fixed period (calendar year or other fixed period) so they will remain untouched. The change to the Driving Rules that means the discipline rankings will be based on a rolling 12 months does not come into effect until 1 January 2021.

For Jumping, Eventing, Dressage, and Para Dressage, the following system will apply:

– The rankings established after 29 February 2020 remain unchanged (points valid for 12 months: best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020)

– The rankings established after 31 March 2020 have been calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 March 2020 (points valid for 13 months)

– The rankings 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 rankings 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 timeframes 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 timeframe 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.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

2020 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows Canceled

Lexington, Ky. – April 1, 2020 – It is with regret that in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis we must announce the cancellation of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, which were scheduled for May 5-10 and May 12-17, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park.  It is clear now that the country will at best be in a recovery phase and it will be too soon to ensure the safety of our staff, participants, and the wider community. Therefore, we must cancel.  Payments for stalls and entries which have already been made will be refunded.

We are hopeful that this trying time for all of us will pass and that life will return to some semblance of normality soon.  We will be publishing the prize list in the coming weeks for our Kentucky Summer Series.

Please exercise care in your daily lives and stay safe. For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Old Friends Debuts Virtual Tours

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 30 2020 –  Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Kentucky, debuted the first in a series of Virtual Farm Tours that will enable fans to continue to access the non-profit organization’s 100-plus equine retirees at its Georgetown location during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The series, dubbed “Monday Mornings with Michael”, is hosted by Old Friends founder Michael Blowen and will offer short visits with a few equine retirees each week. They will be posted on Old Friends social media platforms on Monday mornings and will also be available via their website and YouTube channel.

The first video showcases Old Friends’ oldest retires, multiple stakes winner Dinard, who is 32, and one-time claimer Archie’s Echo, who is 31.

You can see it on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.

For more information, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org

FEI President Welcomes Speedy Decision on Rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Dates

The FEI President has welcomed the announcement of the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will run from 23 July to 8 August, and for the Paralympic Games from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

“While it was of course demoralising for everyone that the Games had to be postponed from their original dates in 2020, the decision was absolutely right in the current terrible global pandemic, but it is really good to have the new dates agreed so soon,” Ingmar De Vos said.

“The decision was taken in full consultation with all the International Federations, including the FEI, and we all had the opportunity to voice our opinions. Now, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, our athletes across both Games can get their training back on track with confidence, knowing exactly when they and their horses need to be at their peaks.

“We are conscious of the fact that this has been a very complex decision for the IOC to make, with multiple factors to be taken into consideration. The athletes’ health and well-being across both Games not just for equestrian sport has to be the top priority, and we have all the protocols in place to protect our athletes – both human and equine – and help them to optimise their performance in the challenging climate we can expect in Tokyo.

“Of course, there will be an impact on the international Calendar across all sports, and from an FEI perspective this includes four major European Championships, but we are already looking at ways we can minimise that impact. The remit for our discipline-specific task forces that are evaluating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Calendar has now been expanded to cover 2021 and now we have confirmed dates for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We need to explore possible alternatives for a number of major FEI Events, notably the European Championships in Jumping, Dressage, and Para Dressage in Budapest and the European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin, France. This process will be started immediately.”

The five-discipline European Championships in Budapest (HUN), which also include Driving and Vaulting, are currently due to run from 23-30 August 2021 and the Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin (FRA) from 11-15 August.

“We need to also look at deadlines for obtaining minimum eligibility requirements and extending the deadline for registration of ownership for Olympic horses and will announce those as soon as possible, but we have had confirmation from both the IOC and IPC that National Olympic and Paralympic Committees which have been allocated Olympic or Paralympic quota places will retain them despite the postponement of the Games to next year.”

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Equestrian Aid Foundation Opens Disaster Relief Fund

Wellington, Fla. — Mar. 26, 2020 — The Equestrian Aid Foundation has opened its Disaster Relief Fund to assist equestrian professionals and industry service providers in unexpected financial crisis as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation will prioritize assistance to industry professionals and service providers who have lost their primary or only income as a direct result of the pandemic. A one-time emergency grant payment of $500 is intended to assist qualified applicants with basic living expenses. The grant window for EAF’s COVID-19 relief program is open through April 15.

In light of the recent guidelines set by US Equestrian regarding the suspension of horse showing for an extended period of time, the equestrian community is facing critical need now more than ever.

Donations made to EAF’s Disaster Relief Fund at this time will be directed in full toward assistance for equestrian professionals and industry service providers in financial crisis directly due to the suspension and related cancellations caused by COVID-19.

For more information about Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

FEI to Create Task Forces to Deal with Impact of Covid-19

Lausanne (SUI), 25 March 2020 – The FEI is to create a series of discipline-specific task forces to evaluate the impact on the FEI Calendar of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in multiple Event cancellations and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021.

The FEI Board approved the creation of the task forces during its monthly teleconference 24 March. The task forces, each of which will focus on a single discipline, will remain in place until any further decision by the Board.

The FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar, will chair each task force. The FEI Vice Presidents Mark Samuel (CAN) and Jack Huang (TPE) will be members of each task force together with the European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers (NED) and the President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen (BEL). The FEI Calendar Administrator and a representative from both the FEI IT and FEI Legal departments will sit on each of the task forces.

The individual task forces, which will also include the Chair of the relevant Technical Committee, a representative of the Athletes, and the FEI Sports Director of the specific discipline, will review all FEI Calendar related issues caused by the Covid-19 virus and make recommendations to the FEI on ways to address them.

The FEI President will be kept fully updated by each of the task forces, and will attend meetings when necessary in order to assist in finalising proposals for solutions to be put forward to the FEI Board for approval.

Following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the FEI has already received assurances from the IOC that it will work in tandem with all the International Federations to find the best solutions for all issues that arise, including the dates for rescheduling and the impact that will have on the international calendar for all sports.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Longines Masters of Lausanne – Information

Originally scheduled for June 18-21, the second edition of the Longines Masters of Lausanne won’t be going ahead, EEM, the founder, owner, and organizer of the event announced. The decision was taken as a precautionary measure, in view of the intense and unpredictable developments in the COVID-19 epidemic which is currently striking Europe and the rest of the world.

“To date and, in the current state of the global health crisis, no one knows whether sporting and cultural events will be able to go ahead in Switzerland in mid-June. No one can guarantee that we will be out of this crisis, that we will be able to welcome horses and the public and deliver the wonderful event that everyone is awaiting. More importantly, the current dialogue with suppliers and partners, who, given the context, may be reluctant or even unable to operate due to containment and/or due to the economy being at a standstill, means that running the event is made impossible. The Longines Masters Series is world-renowned for its excellence, a level that we are not sure we can achieve under the current conditions for preparation,” explained Christophe Ameeuw, founder and president of EEM.

“After the cancellation of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong and Asia Horse Week, we have cautiously proceeded with the organization of the Longines Masters of Lausanne, with the passion that characterizes the team surrounding me. Despite this, wisdom dictates that we should forego the Swiss leg of our series this year. This is a difficult and strange period: it is up to us, as players in the global equestrian sector, to take heed of the lessons we are learning, and start building our world for tomorrow.”

The Longines Masters Series is an intercontinental series of show jumping competitions, recognized by the FEI, Fédération Equestre Internationale. The best riders and horses of the world take part in this series. The next stage in the series will be the Longines Masters of Paris, from December 3 to 6, 2020.

Download the press release.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center COVID-19 Update

In response to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and with the guidance of US Equestrian, Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) will maintain their cancellation of previously scheduled competitions but hopes to aid riders, trainers, and owners in keeping their horses fit and healthy.

Based on feedback from the equestrian community, and in an effort to preserve equine welfare and keep the staff of PBIEC and those industry professionals who work at ESP events in jobs they can depend on, ESP will offer the following:

  • Open schooling through the end of this week (March 22). Please check schooling schedules on PBIEC.com. Riders must wear their assigned back numbers. No new back numbers will be issued. Next week schedule to be determined.
  • Limiting the number of people accompanying horses to the ring to five per horse (rider, groom, trainer, no more than two additional).
  • No more than two people should be at any fence at one time (ring or schooling area) and a six-foot social distancing protocol is encouraged between all people on the grounds.

How we are keeping you safe:

  • Spectator and public access remains prohibited.
  • ESP has purchased sanitation foggers to clean seating areas and public spaces.
  • ESP staff will continue to diligently clean and sanitize bathrooms.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the grounds. ESP recommend using hand sanitizer both before and after the schooling session. Remember, people are touching the same items (rails, cups, etc.).

Stabling and access to stalls is available for those that have purchased stabling packages until the expiration of those packages. ESP can accommodate those in need of stabling during this period as long as the horses have already been issued WEF back numbers. Staff will be available in the horse show office as needed, but everyone is encouraged to organize weekly close outs and stabling arrangements online, or via telephone.

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick or uncomfortable being in public, except to get medical care.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

The goal of PBIEC is to keep all humans and horses healthy and safe during this time, while doing our best to help encourage an easy transition back into competition when the time comes. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to provide updates through our website at www.PBIEC.com.