Like this one, Create an Emergency Response Plan specific to a COVID-19 incident or outbreak that includes local medical resources and addresses outbreak protocols including medical evaluation, isolation and quarantine, and reporting. I am sorry, but how is an "outbreak" going to occur at a horse show, and how in holy f--- would we KNOW that an outbreak has occurred? Will people become infected immediately and begin foaming at the mouth? I certainly hope not, but I've seen a lot of movies where that happens.
Need more? How about these three:
1. Prohibit the public, spectators, and non-essential personnel such as guests from being on the competition grounds until further notice. What about our small summer show series that's held at an equestrian center? How do we prohibit paying boarders from coming to the barn? I am not sure how we can kick them out for spectating or grooming or riding their own horses. We already can't prohibit them from using the warm up arena during the show. Now USEF wants us to prohibit them from showing up at their barn, the one they're paying to use. We can "prohibit" all we want, but we have no way of enforcing this rule.
2. Organize horse arrivals and departures to limit contact between people. I already get to a show a little before my scheduled ride time and leave when I am done. Are we now going to wait in a line on the side of a road as each person unloads her horses and stuff so that we're doing things in isolation? Funny how 400 people can be in Costco, but 20 ladies can't show up at the show grounds throughout the day.
3. Arrange judges’ and other officials’ areas to comply with social distancing requirements. I can't wait to see how they work this one out. I guess the judge can just shout out her scores and comments to her scribe. Maybe they'll buy walkie-talkies.
I get it. There need to be some guidelines, but USEF likes to offer solutions that are one-sized fits all. SafeSport showed us that. COVID-19 is only reinforcing how USEF likes to deal with problems. They want a solution that can be applied to everyone and at every show. But seriously, some of USEF's requirements are going to be really hard to police, especially since events like ours are held at equestrian centers with their own clients. Our shows, whether it's our little one-star CDS shows or our "bigger" three-star CDS/USDF/USEF shows are already lightly attended. Because our venues tend to be fairly spread out and wide open, we'll be practicing social distancing without even trying. As much as I want the world to reopen and get back to work, I am not sure USEF has thought this through all the way.
My friend Jen, who is the show manager for close to a dozen CDS/USDF/USEF shows each year, sent me an entry for the Summer Dressage II show at El Sueno in mid-June. I filled it out over the weekend. I want to go, I am planning on going, but I am just not sure how much fun it's going to be. And showing is, after all, supposed to be fun.
Bakersfield is California's 9th largest city by population, and Kern County ranks as the 11th largest county by population (3rd largest by area). Out of all of those many, many people - nearly 900,000 here in Kern County, 15 people have died from COVID-19. FIFTEEN. And for that, my county now has a jobless rate of more than 15% as of April. California's population is nearly 40,000,000. Forty million. Do you know how many have died? 2,678.
Do I want to go to a dressage show without having to wear a mask? Yes, I do, but not because I am selfish. It's because I am desperate to see my city, my county, and my state get people back to work. I want kids to go back to school, and I want us to think about what we have lost and given away for 15 people.
In my mind, It hasn't been worth it.