Following last week’s communiqué to National Federations on the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding mass gatherings and the necessity of event organizers to conduct a full risk assessment together with local authorities, the FEI has issued a further message to the equestrian community:
“The spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 has taken a rapid turn for the worse and sport worldwide is affected. 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 organizer puts into their event. While the FEI does not itself organize 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 organizers should cancel all events for the next four weeks until a reassessment of the situation can be made.
“The FEI and Board will work together with the International Equestrian Organizers Alliance to evaluate what can be done to try and accommodate dates for events that have been impacted during this period."
“We are aware that this is no simple matter, as clearly no single organizer can be favored to the detriment of others, and we do not know how many events will be impacted nor how long the current situation will last."
“We have decided that calendar fees for events that have had to be cancelled because of COVID-19 will be waived. We are also assessing the impact of cancellations of events on other areas such as ranking points and on athletes and horses seeking MERs for the Olympic or Paralympic Games and qualifications for FEI Championships.”
“We can guarantee you that we are monitoring the situation hour-by-hour and that we are constantly looking at what specific situations need to be addressed. Our thoughts are with all of you and we strongly believe that our community will do the right thing and work to support each other through this crisis.”
A case of EHV-1 (neurological) has been reported in Ocala, Florida, similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia (ESP) and other European countries. The horse was not shipped from Europe and was not on show grounds at the onset of symptoms. USEF is working closely with the Florida Department of Agriculture and state authorities who are completing contact tracing and identifying the potential source of the virus exposure.
Five-star eventer Kim Severson taught a show jumping clinic in January at Milestone Sport Horses in Lovettsville, Virginia where she instructed riders on the importance of forward riding for successful jumping. In this exercise, which Severson progressively adds additional pieces to, riders are instructed to focus on the quality of their canter.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Central time, join Eric Dierks for a live stream interview with David O'Connor. David was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and riding Wilton Fair, was part of the U.S. team at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, where he placed 35th individually and the team finished fourth.
Billy Jackson was introduced to horses at a young age through his local 4-H program. “One of my mom's close friends was a large animal vet and she really encouraged me to stay with it,” Jackson said. As an adult, he is a Marketing Project Manager, and when he’s not at work, he’s a lower level eventer based at Poplar Place Farm.