Dear USEF Members, Competition Organizers (Licensees and Managers), and Licensed Officials,
Now that some competitions have resumed, it is important that we all remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission when attending a USEF-licensed competition. Please remember that we are among the first sports to reopen, and by strictly adhering to these requirements and best practices we can demonstrate to local, state and federal authorities that the equestrian community is able to manage our sport in a safe and responsible manner. This process might be inconvenient and even uncomfortable at times, but together we can keep our sport going and avoid any further shutdown.
Public health authorities continue to promote social distancing and the use of face masks/face coverings as two of the most important tools in combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Included here are some best practices and guidance to assist you in maintaining compliance with the requirements.
Please note that there have been some recent adjustments made to the USEF requirements concerning use of face masks/face coverings for participants in driving competitions and to the social distancing requirements for members of the same household. These modifications can be found in the latest version of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan.
Face Masks/Face Covering
Requirement: Face masks/face coverings must be worn whenever you have the possibility of being within six feet of another person (including members of your own household), except when mounted on a horse or seated in a horse-drawn carriage or cart. Please do your part and wear your face mask/face covering as required.
Because you cannot predict when another person may be within six feet of you, it is best to keep your face mask/face covering with you at all times while on competition grounds, including those times when you are going to an area where you may be alone or at a greater distance than six feet from another person. This will ensure that you are able to apply your face mask/face covering prior to being within six feet of another person.
Make sure you are wearing your face mask/face covering prior to entering competition areas where you are likely to be near other people, including areas such as the in-gate, arena, schooling area, restroom, food stand, show office, vendors, stabling, etc.
If you become hot while wearing your face mask/face covering, move to a location where you are alone or at a distance greater than six feet from another person (and preferably 12 feet or more), and lower or drop one side of your face mask/face covering to cool off.
If an official, competition organizer or member of the organizer’s team requires you to don a face mask/face covering, you must comply. The competition organizer can impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the Plan.
Requirement: All individuals must practice social distancing (or physical distancing) at all times while on the competition grounds by staying at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from any person who is not a member of their immediate household. Exception: social distancing is not required while competing (including warm-up) in driving classes where more than one participant is seated in a horse-drawn carriage or cart.
An immediate household is comprised of individuals who may or may not be related but are consistently living in the same house or dwelling.
Members of an immediate household are still required to wear face masks/face coverings when there is a possibility of being within six feet of any other individuals, including members of their own household.
Competition organizers are encouraged to implement a system that visually (e.g., numbered or colored IDs or some other form of credential) identifies members of the same immediate household.
If a competition organizer requires that everyone on the show grounds respect social distancing for the consistency of enforcement, you must comply with this requirement. The competition organizer can impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the Plan.
We encourage competitions to utilize the downloadable, printable poster and digital graphic below to assist in communicating the face mask and social distancing requirements.
It is critical to our sport that if (or when) a positive case is reported on a show grounds, participants and competition management have complied with the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for USEF-Licensed Competitions. If contact tracing takes place and the investigating party determines that protocols were not followed, then equestrian sport as a whole can be shut down.
The safety and welfare of our members and their horses must continue to be our top priority. Thank you for doing your part to make sure everyone stays safe.
William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer
Source: Press release by US Equestrian Communications Department for USEF / US Equestrian – United States Equestrian Federation
Photo: © US Equestrian / USEF – United States Equestrian Federation