US Equestrian (USEF) released the following letter this afternoon in regards to upcoming plans for allowing spectators at USEF competitions. The United States Eventing Association (USEA) follows all protocols and rules set by the USEF for USEA recognized events.
Dear USEF Members,
We have all been watching the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking forward to the day when our world will return to a level of pre-pandemic normalcy. As more and more individuals across the country are getting vaccinated, hope is increasing that we are getting closer to this goal. However, the threats posed by the numerous virus variants, coupled with the increase in COVID cases in many of the states that have recently lifted restrictions, remind us that now is not the time to let our guard down. We must remain vigilant and continue to engage in the practices proven to reduce the risk of virus transmission (mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing).
To this end, the current USEF COVID-19 Action Plan remains in place for all USEF-licensed competitions. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to permit a limited number of spectators at USEF-licensed competitions by mid-May. Further updates and new protocols will be provided in the coming weeks so that organizers and spectators have time to prepare in advance.
To develop the safest possible USEF spectator protocols for use at competitions nationwide, we are regularly consulting with our USEF Chief Medical Officer and national public health organizations while staying up to date on the COVID status in each state. Like the other requirements outlined in the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, these protocols will apply unilaterally to all USEF-licensed competitions, regardless of location. The only exceptions involve instances where state, county, or local government and health authorities or a particular competition organizer have more stringent requirements in place, in which case those more stringent requirements take precedence.
We thank you for your participation in USEF competitions and your support of the COVID-19 Action Plan. Your efforts have helped keep you and those around you safe and healthy and our sport open and operating during this devastating global pandemic. It is important that we all continue to work together on a safe return to more normal and healthier times for everyone.
Thomas F. X. O’Mara
William J. Moroney
USEF Chief Executive Officer
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.
The forecasted downpours held off until the last horse and rider crossed the finish flags during the CCI5*-L cross-country at the Maryland 5 Star today, confirming the event’s decision to move up the start. The majority of riders had sunny skies and a cool breeze as backdrop to tackle Ian Stark’s five-star course across the sprawling grounds at Fair Hill in Elkton, Md. Before cross-country there was much chatter about the testing terrain, but 11 pairs managed to make the time despite the hills. At the end of the day, the top three riders held onto their podium positions going into show jumping tomorrow with overnight leader Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B x The Swallow) impressing all who watched at each and every question.
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.