Are Horse Shows Hiding Exposure to COVID?



As COVID spreads rapidly throughout the United States and the world, many of us feel protected at horse shows. We’re outside. It is not that complicated to social distance, and we’re all masked-up with temperature-checks and USEF guidelines to keep us safe. If there is any change to that, they’ll let us know, right? 

The Plaid Horse learned this week about allegedly positive COVID cases at a large horse show venue recently back to horse showing. There was, allegedly, no email sent out from the horse show, nor email sent from USEF. Checking in with attendees of the facility, they told TPH they were completely unaware that they personally were exposed or that there were positive cases on site. 

Upon investigation, USEF has been changing COVID rules and protocols weekly and sending information to horse show officials each Tuesday—not the membership. Surreptitiously posting online, but no announcement that any information has changed. Apparently one of these rule changes, pasted below, stated that competitors, staff, and other management no longer have to be notified if there are positive cases on site, contact trace, or that they have been exposed to active cases of COVID-19. 

If you are at a USEF competition, taking care of your health becomes a whole lot more complicated if the competition will not notify you as to an outbreak on site. Are money and competition more important than transparency and people’s lives? 

The Plaid Horse does not believe shows should shut down—simply that people should be notified and have the opportunity to make their own informed decisions before they risk their own health, their staff, and their business liability. Let people know if their workplace is unsafe and if they were exposed to COVID-19. This alleged change in rules, done behind closed doors, only benefits the horse show managers and holds no accountability to the members they purport to serve. 

USEF will comment at a later time. 

USEF Covid-19 Plan for Operating

Rule Change Details

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