The New England Horsemen’s Council has come up with the recommended steps competitions could take as our industry and sport emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. Below are suggested Best Practices organizers can consider as they plan for events and take steps to help competitors and staff stay as safe as possible. We are fully aware that types of shows, location and types of facilities and other regional differences will influence both the practicality and necessity of implementing these Best Practices. Organizers are strongly encouraged to abide by guidelines provided by local governing entities in implementing chosen Best Practices. We encourage organizers to use this list as a guide, and determine additional Best Practices specific to their circumstances.
In order to commence our show season, it is recommended that competition organizers reach out as soon as possible to the individual facility owners to assure them that the following guidelines are in place to provide a safe environment for owners, exhibitors and professionals. Additionally, show organizers are encouraged to reach out to their respective insurance providers with any questions regarding levels of coverage as a result of COVID-19.
- Monitor CDC, federal, state and local guidelines regarding safe practices as well as USEF recommendations.
- Close event to the general public and spectators
- Institute a safe environment for office staff
- Accept online or electronic entries only
- Establish appointment times for check in and check out
- +Changes (scratches/adds) to be completed electronically
- Class number sheets, scratches and daily schedules to be emailed or texted
- Set up office to provide proper social distancing guidelines
If this method is not possible we suggest that the office only allow one stable at a time to check-in or out with two people maximum from the same farm. Face masks must be worn at all times.
- Social distancing throughout show grounds
- All participants and staff on the grounds will wear mask/face coverings at all times except when mounting/dismounting horses.
- Limit to two people per horse in warm-up arena
- Additional two-minute gate holds between classes so people can move in and out of warm-up ring with no congestion
- At facilities where there is “moat-like rail” limit the number of people on the rail to trainers and instructors only and require those in this area to wear gloves
- Request seating areas at barns to be limited as to limit congregating + Eliminate exhibitor parties and hospitality areas (coffee etc)
- Ensure vendors are spaced out accordingly and are set up to abide by social distancing recommendations
- Sanitizing stations throughout show grounds and in center ring
- Provide hand sanitizer to all officials, ring crew, office staff and maintenance staff
- Provide gloves and masks to barn staff and other official personnel
- Create a method to present ribbons and trophies that has less hand to hand contact
(Consider an alternate area where ribbons can be picked up as to reduce contact in the ring )
- Require food service to institute methods to deliver their food abiding by social distancing guidelines
- For one day shows we are waiving the need for a food service, but show will be required to supply bottled water
- Managers should have a staff meeting prior to the show to discuss issues, protocol and procedures that will be in place during the event
- Configure box seating to allow for social distancing * Arena should be closed at an allotted time between sessions to properly sanitize and/or clean show arena
- For shows holding Jumping Classes. Schooling jumps will be routinely disinfected by staff throughout the day, and spray bottles with sanitizer should be available at the jumps for participants to use as well. * If space allows separate stabling areas and configure stabling for social distancing
- Restrooms should be routinely sanitized by horse show staff throughout the day by show staff/facilities staff. Hand sanitizer, soap and cleaning supplies should be readily available in the restrooms if anyone wants to sanitize before personal use.
- Consider offering live feed (if possible) to give families and fans at home the ability to stay in touch. (This also may be a way to generate corporate sponsorship knowing that the feed is being seen by a larger audience) * The horse show officials are responsible to make sure all exhibitors, trainers, grooms and family members sign a NEHC Waiver.
- The horse show must have a person at the entrance gate of the horse show grounds to check in exhibitors, trainers, grooms and guest of exhibitors. The horse show secretary should supply this person with a list of exhibitors and trainers to work off of.