Restrictions Eased on Athletes, Officials from Europe, Other Nations for USA Olympic Level Events–Boost to Equestrian Shows

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Sept. 8, 2020

Travel restrictions into the United States have been eased for international athletes and officials such as judges of Olympic sports ahead of a lineup of five dressage World Cup events and Olympic qualifiers before the end of the year and major winter circuits in Florida and California in the winter of 2021.

The waiver of significant restrictions imposed in an effort to counter the spread of coronavirus was granted by Homeland Security at the request of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The waiver applies to athletes, support staff, International Equestrian Federation (FEI) licensed officials such as judges, course designers and other individuals from more than 30 countries traveling to the U.S. for an Olympic-discipline event at 3* level and above which includes dressage, eventing, jumping and para-dressage.

The countries impacted by significant restrictions but for which a waiver may now be available are China, except Hong Kong and Macau; the Schengen area of 26 nations in western and central Europe; Great Britain; Ireland, Iran and Brazil. Some countries for which a waiver is not required include Australia and Canada but restrictions have been imposed on travelers arriving there that presents difficulties from residents returning home.

The waiver for dressage events is critical as FEI rules require no more than two judges from the home country on the panel of five judges.

The dressage World Cup events scheduled for the fall include Tryon Oct. 22-25; Thermal, California Nov. 12-15 and Nov. 19-22, and Wellington, Florida Nov. 12-15 and Dec. 10-13.

The CDIs are the first international dressage events in all of the Americas since mid-March when the Wellington shows were halted by coronavirus pandemic. The World Cup Finals of dressage and jumping scheduled for Las Vegas was canceled and the Olympics in Tokyo postponed for a year to the summer of 2021.

The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s winter circuit of 12 weeks for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and the Winter Equestrian Festival for jumpers beginning in early January typically attract large numbers of international riders and their horses and connections, mostly from Canada, Europe and Latin America.

California’s Desert circuit of jumpers at Thermal also has participants from the same areas, although the circuit is smaller.