Lexington, Ky.—April 29, 2020
Dear Fellow USHJA Members,
I hope that you and your loved ones are safe. Our world has been knocked off its center by the emergence of COVID-19. Although the pandemic has hurt us, it has brought us a chance to return to our roots and turn to one another for support. I am truly proud of the USHJA members. So many of our members have shown a true sense of community in these troubled times.
I know that you are thirsty for information. Our situation seems to change on an hourly basis and the USHJA Board of Directors meets often to discuss our plans.
It seems likely that the return to horse shows rests in the authority of each individual state. Of course, USEF as our National Governing Body and USHJA as the Recognized Affiliate for Hunter/Jumper competitions have the right to decide on whether points are awarded.
On Saturday, April 25, 2020, USEF announced the extension of the suspension of all USEF owned and named events, selection trials, training camps, clinics and activities through May 31. As such, USHJA is continuing suspension of all USHJA programs and events through May 31, 2020.
On Tuesday April 28, 2020, the USHJA Board of Directors discussed the importance of points and award structures. The Board decided that points and awards were not of importance at this moment. Instead, we believe that a safe, socially responsible return to competition is important. And, even more important is remembering why we compete.
We compete for the love of the horse. We compete to see our friends. We compete to measure ourselves against others. For those reasons, the USHJA Board chose to focus our attention on supporting our industry and opening competitions as each state mandates the return of gatherings.
I regret to announce that we have chosen to cancel our USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships and USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships for 2020. In the Board’s opinion, we felt it was unlikely that horses would be fit and ready to compete and qualify by the time of the Championships. They will return in 2021.
I will continue to meet with each zone’s competition managers as we search for a safe plan to re-open our industry. I also will be holding another Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, May 6 at 6 p.m. ET to once again hear your thoughts and ideas. We are always interested in your feedback, and you will be able to submit your questions and suggestions in advance of the Town Hall here.
I know that many of you are under immense pressure. Please remember to lean on each other for support. If you can be with your horse, draw strength from their gentle patience.
Please stay safe and stay strong.