Spectating At Horse Shows is OK Again! ~ Well, almost….
I have been waiting and waiting and WAITING for this announcement from USEF, or US Equestrian organization. That is USEF Announces Competition Spectator Capacity for the 2021 show season!
Even if I am not planning on showing at The Colorado Horse Park this summer, I am planning on going to the horse shows the hold there. And this pandemic has definitely put a kink in my chain. Not only because of how devastating COVID can be. And the fear that has been propagated around the virus, but because it has upended everything about our normal every day lives.
New Year, New Rules, New Normal
I am really fortunate that I live in a more rural area, so not too many people congregating. And having my horses at home means I can enjoy my horses without having to wear a mask or worrying about social distancing.
But being able to come and go as I please, or do the things I love, with my horse friends, like going to the horse shows has been a no go for the past year. Which has been a huge bummer. And COVID showed up on the heels of no horse shows at the horse park the previous year. So my sanctuary, my escape of going to the horse park has been taken away for the last 2 years. What a bummer!
However, it looks like the show will go on at the horse park, and other showgrounds this summer. And it even includes spectators like me, and my friends!
Here is what USEF has recently released on their website:
“US Equestrian is pleased to announce that beginning May 3, 2021, licensees of USEF competitions are permitted to welcome a limited number of spectators back to their competitions. Dr. Mark Hart, USEF Chief Medical Officer stated, “In the spirit of moving our sport forward and recognizing the ever-changing dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic resulting from the increasing number of distributed vaccines, we are working to finalize the specific protocols related to a measured return of spectator attendance. We continue to collaborate with our USEF stakeholders and public health officials and plan to distribute these new measures along with any other pertinent updates in the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan next Tuesday, April 20, 2021.”
Beginning May 3, 2021, spectators will be allowed on competition grounds under the following capacity restrictions:
Outdoor Venues: A maximum of 40% of the ticketed spectator capacity for competitions that operate with a ticketed gate, OR a maximum of 400 spectators for competitions that do not ticket spectators, whichever is greater.
Indoor Venues: A maximum of 30% of the ticketed spectator capacity for competitions that operate with a ticketed gate, OR a maximum of 300 spectators for competitions that do not ticket spectators, whichever is greater.
For venues that consist of both outdoor and indoor components, the above capacity restrictions apply accordingly.
It is important to note that spectators must comply with all applicable requirements of the Action Plan, including but not limited to wearing face masks/face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing. The capacity numbers included above are the maximum permitted at a USEF competition each day. Because of the requirement to socially distance, some venues or situations might not allow organizers to accommodate the maximum allowable number of spectators.
Additionally, USEF has expanded the definition of sponsors to include individual persons or business entities that have an agreement in place with the competition to provide goods, services, or financial support integral to the sustainability of a competition. Sponsors, participants, competition staff, support personnel, volunteers, and service providers are not included in the spectator capacity numbers.” ~ From USEF
Let’s Go To A Horse Show
How exciting is this?!?!?!? I for one am super excited.
This means for a period of the summer, I will get to go and watch, as well as photograph my favorite riders and horses again.
For me, this really feels like things are returning to a more normal, pre-COVID time. And I for one am glad. I think this will give me an even greater appreciation to the show organizers for coming to Colorado with their shows.
Getting Things Back To Normal
And while we aren’t having as many shows as there has been in the past at the Horse Park, there are only 6 shows over the summer instead of 9, there are still 6 horse shows to go to. And there are 2 shows in May beginning May 20, 2021. So 2 shows, then no shows for 2 weeks, then 6 more shows.
I didin’t usually go to the spring (or May) shows because they were a little smaller than the June and July shows. But this year, you can bet I will go to every single show. And I will be grateful for the opportunity to be a spectator again.
I haven’t had the opportunity to go to a show put on by The Langer Equestrian Group yet. So it should be interesting, and will definitely be a new experience for me. But even though the shows won’t be the ‘same’ as the prior organizer, at least there are horse shows right? And I for one am happy to have the opportunity to go to any shows at all. Will I have to wear a mask? Probably. Do I care? Not really. A mask is a small price to pay in order to go to a show.
I keep searching for concrete information of whether or not I will be able to spectate at the shows. And I can’t find any information other than what I have posted above. But I guess the only way I will find our for sure is to show up at the show, and see if they let me in. So, wish me luck in actually being able to watch the horse show. And if you have found anything concrete – I would LOVE to know!