We are nearly two full months into a return to competition. While we are all grateful for the opportunity to enjoy competing again, the challenges and risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic remain part of our daily lives. Governors are beginning to pull back or even reverse reopening initiatives in several states as positivity rates are increasing.
We truly appreciate the diligence and cooperation of participants and organizers who have gone above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of their competition communities by adhering to the various state and local requirements, as well as the requirements and recommendations outlined in the USEF Action Plan for Licensed Competitions. However, USEF has received reports of non-compliance with and non-enforcement of the Action Plan. Every instance of non-compliance and non-enforcement not only endangers the health and safety of your fellow participants, but also threatens our ability to continue having competitions in this extremely tenuous environment.
The ability to keep competitions operating depends on every one of us, individually and collectively. It hinges on our cooperative participation in efforts to control the spread of the virus.
With that in mind, effective immediately, USEF mandates the use of face masks/face coverings at all times while on the competition grounds except when mounted on a horse or driving a horse-drawn carriage or cart. The USEF Action Plan update, released yesterday, reflects this strengthened mandate.
In addition to the updated face mask/face covering requirement, USEF expects that:
We all share the enormous responsibility of doing our utmost to maintain a safe competition environment. It is no easy task. It can sometimes be uncomfortable, even unpleasant. However, in this significantly altered environment, these steps are necessary to keep our competitions as safe as possible and keep them operating. We cannot lose sight of the wide-reaching and devastating impacts facing our industry that would result from competitions being shut down due to failure to comply with mitigation efforts. If you are unwilling or unable to adhere to the COVID-19 requirements mandated by USEF or state and local agencies, please stay home and refrain from attending or operating USEF-recognized events until the pandemic resolves.
We continue to monitor and assess the pandemic impact, and we will keep you informed of any updates to our position as circumstances warrant or as instructed by the government and public health authorities.
The safety and welfare of our members and their horses remains our top priority, and everyone must do their part and take every step necessary to keep fellow competitors as safe and healthy as possible and to keep the competition environment open.
It's the day we have all been waiting for, cross-country day at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star! Both the CCI5*-L and CCI3*-L field will contest Ian Stark's terrain-filled track across the historic grounds at Fair Hill today and there is lots of chatter about how the questions, terrain, and time allowed might impact the current placings.
Chris Talley came into the Dutta Corp USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships knowing that the Corwin Sport Horse LLC’s owned 5-year-old Hanoverian mare Gina (Gentleman x Ballerina) possessed a lot of quality, but to emerge victorious out of the 42 horse field was an absolute treat for the pair.
No one could catch Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class in the dressage arena today despite the remaining 23 pairs' best effort. Angela Hislop’s 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ramiro B x The Swallow) will stand at the top of the leaderboard on a 21.1 heading into the Maryland 5 Star cross-country – the day which is on everyone’s mind.
Yesterday half of the CCI5*-L and CCI3*-L pairs had their turn in front of the judges at the 2021 Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, and today the remaining groups will canter down centerline in the main arena. The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships also kicked off yesterday with the 4-year-old champion being crowned and the 5-year-olds doing their dressage and conformation phases.