** Following is a Joint Leadership Council special release **
We hope you are healthy and staying safe during these unprecedented times. The negative impact that COVID-19 has had on our families, communities and nation must be considered some of the greatest economic and health challenges we have ever had to face.
The timing of any catastrophic disaster is never good, but the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for the show horse community. Barns are closed and shows are being cancelled during what is usually peak season for the show horse world. The economic and emotional fallout has been felt by every member of every one of our associations.
We want you to know we have been working diligently and collectively, including with the Arabian Horse Association, to help during these difficult times. Later this week you will all receive the results of the survey the JLC conducted to ask our respective memberships your thoughts regarding a start of show season. Nearly 4000 of you took the time to respond. Your responses have helped us direct our efforts in way that you find important.
A task force was formed last week to develop some suggested best practices for re-opening horse shows that will be sent to horse show organizers on Monday, April 27. On Wednesday, April 29, these suggested best practices will be shared with our members. All the suggested practices will be consistent with CDC guidelines.
A second task force has also been appointed to address the re-opening of barns. This group will develop a set of suggested best practice recommendations for barn owners to utilize. Both the horse show and barn re-opening best practice recommendations will be sent to local and state officials (who must, of course, authorize shows and re-openings) in the hope of demonstrating that the show horse community is ready to get back to business safely and responsibly, and has developed a plan to do so. Our members can expect to see all these suggested best practice recommendations by May 1.
You might also be interested to know that the JLC Relief Fund and the Dewey Henderson Benevolent Fund have awarded several grants to trainers, riding instructors, show secretaries and show personnel who have suffered economic hardship due to the pandemic. We continue to process applications and are grateful for all the contributions made to these Funds which make these efforts possible.
Thank you for your continued support. Please stay well and safe.
Maureen Quackenbush, AHHS President
C.A. (“Tony”) Lee III, AMHA President
James Nichols, ARHPA President
Marty Schaffel, ASHA President
Sandy Currier, ASR President
Cindy Mugnier, UPHA President