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
This year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian has already begun in dramatic fashion, with a snowstorm blanketing the Kentucky Horse Park the night before the first horse inspection. Now, the snow has melted, the spring flowers are out, and we are set with 63 combinations ready to canter into the Rolex Arena for the CCI5*-L, and 46 combinations in the CCI4*-S, after all horses passed the first inspection.
With snow taking the place of spectators, the first day of the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by MARS Equestrian looked much different than any other year. A total of 63 horses were presented today (Wednesday, April 21) to the ground jury of Christina Klingspor (SWE), Robert Stevenson (USA), Peter Gray (CAN), and the veterinary delegate Karen Nyrop, DVM (USA).
On Saturday morning 65 horses will leave the start box at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS to tackle Derek di Grazia's cross-country course. With 28 fences and 50 jumping efforts at 570 mpm, the horses and riders will need to be fit as they take on the highest level of the sport and the first CCI5*-L in the U.S. since 2019.
While the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian will look very different this year with spectators not allowed under the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, fans will still be able to tune into every minute of action via the live stream and wall-to-wall coverage on the USEA’s website and social media. The 2021 LRK3DE gets underway this afternoon at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.