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.”
Having this historic competition close isn't the right result for the sport, and the United States Eventing Association (USEA) is working hard to find a solution. The organizer and landowners operate exceptional events on a beautiful piece of land. We are deeply sensitive to the history of the word "plantation" and its connection to slavery; however, this property has no known connections to slavery and was instead named after 'plantings' on the property.
After a quiet spring season due to COVID-19, the fall season is ramping up and this weekend we have the first of two West Coast CCI4*-S events taking place at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California.
Dawn Robbins is a current USEA Board of Governors member, Area VI adult rider, and a contributor to the development of the Event Management System (EMS). Note that this article was written more than a year ago and serves as a guide for future USEA software development.
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