Jumper/Hunter Horse Shows Tentatively Scheduled for Wellington, Florida, Chicago & Princeton, New Jersey in Early June, First USA Events Since Coronavirus Suspension Mid-March
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May 2, 2020
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Jumper competitions have been tentatively scheduled beginning in June at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, HITS Chicago at suburban Wayne and Princeton Show Jumping in New Jersey. If the shows go-ahead they will be the first since the coronavirus-triggered suspension in mid-March.
The organizers of the three events, unrelated to one another, were announced Saturday with USEF “A” rated and 4* jumper shows in Wellington for three weeks beginning June 3 and Regional 1 “B” rated competitions at Princeton June 7 and June 21.
The Wellington shows will be held after two schooling events at the Palm Beach center in the second half of May.
The announcement of the shows comes a day after the U.S. federation indicated shows could start on a phased regional basis June 1 for the first time since suspending competitions in mid-March until the end of May.
There was no indication whether any of about 24 national dressage competitions on the calendar for the first week of June across the United States, including qualifiers for the North American Youth Championships in early August, would go ahead.
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has not announced when its suspension of shows will end.
Eight FEI-recognized dressage shows are still on the schedule for June, beginning with the youth Nations Cup competitions at Hagen, Germany June 9-14 as well as a CDI2* in California, CDI3* in Brazil and five others in Europe.
Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) that organizes the Wellington shows that includes the winter circuits Global Dressage and Winter Equestrian Festivals said in a statement it had been working with the sport’s governing bodies seeking approval to “resume competition” at PBIEC.
“While ESP takes the COVID-19 threat very seriously,” it said, “it also recognizes the economic hardship that has been placed on all equine industry professionals due to the lack of shows. In order to ensure exhibitor and staff safety at the Equestrian Village facility, an extensive list of COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented since the shut down in mid-March.
“These protocols are being enhanced as the newest information and recommendations are released by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. Our modified COVID-19 protocols will then be submitted to and endorsed by our local health officials.
“ESP is very cognizant of the serious nature of the pandemic. With the support of the State of Florida, Palm Beach County and the Village Of Wellington, we will begin operating our shows with strictly enforced protocols as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The tentative schedule announced by ESP were for USEF “A” rated and 4* jumper competitions June 3-7, June 10-14 and June 17-21.
May schooling events, it said, will be announced as soon as accurate information can be supplied.