1. Will face masks or face coverings be required at competitions?
Yes, all competition staff, officials, volunteers, service providers and participants are required to wear a face mask or face covering at all times while on competition grounds, except when mounted on a horse or riding in a horse-drawn carriage or cart. Competition Organizers may impose more stringent requirements than USEF and if this occurs, you must comply with these requirements.
2. Why are face masks/face coverings required all the time at a USEF-licensed competition?
The use of facemasks is a key component to limiting the spread of the virus. In order to ensure a consistent application and enforcement for the wearing of facemasks or face coverings, USEF determined it is necessary to require a mask at all times while on the competition grounds. The only exception to this is while mounted or while in a horse-drawn carriage or cart.
3. Does USEF have recommendations of facemasks or face coverings?
4. Does my young child need to wear a mask at all times?
Children who are Participants are permitted on competition grounds, and every person, two-years-old and above, must wear a face mask or face covering at all times. To support the safety of everyone, only individuals who are essential to be on the grounds as per the USEF Action Plan may be present. Please do not bring siblings who are not participants to a USEF-licensed competition.
5. If a face covering is required at all times on the competition grounds, how can I eat or drink?
Remove yourself to an area away from others and lower your mask for a moment to eat or have a drink.
6. It’s too hot to wear a face mask or face covering all the time. Can I remove it to have a break?
If you need to cool off or take a break, remove yourself to an area away from others, such as going to your vehicle or another private location to take a short break from wearing the mask over your nose and mouth.
7. If I am showing a horse in-hand, do I need to wear a mask?
Yes, face masks or cloth face coverings that fully cover your nose and mouth are required at all times at USEF-licensed competitions, including while exhibiting horses and ponies in-hand. However, if absolutely necessary, you may lower your mask while jogging or running with a horse or pony in-hand, or while executing a pattern, but only if you are able to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while doing so. The mask must be replaced immediately once the jog, or run, or pattern, is completed.
8. Is social distancing required in all areas of the competition grounds?
All individuals must practice social distancing (or physical distancing) at all times while on the competition grounds by staying at least six (6) 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 the horse-drawn carriage or cart.
Members of an immediate household are still required to wear masks or face coverings at all times while on competition grounds when not mounted on a horse or riding in a horse-drawn carriage or cart.
9. What is the definition of close contact?
Close contact as defined by the CDC is someone who was within six (6) feet of an infected person for a cumulative 15 minutes or more, over a 24-hour period* beginning two (2) days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. It is important to note that close contact has occurred even if one, or both individuals is wearing a mask. Click here to review the CDC FAQ on contact tracing. Anyone who has been in contact with an individual who is confirmed or suspected to be COVID19-positive should quarantine in accordance with CDC Guidelines.
*Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).
10. Can family members or my children join me at competitions?
USEF strongly discourages participants from bringing additional family members who are not essential to providing care to the participant or their horse. Each participant must acknowledge and exercise personal responsibility while attending a competition to minimize risk for themselves and those around them.
USEF does prohibit the public, spectators, and non-essential personnel such as guests from being on the competition grounds until further notice.
11. Where can we find the updated liability waiver we are required to complete prior to competing?
Competition organizers will include a copy of the updated liability waiver in their prize lists, but you can also find the updated liability waiver in the USEF Licensed Competition COVID-19 Toolkit or by clicking here.
12. Is the updated liability waiver part of the entry blank?
The updated liability waiver is a standalone agreement.
13. Who needs to sign the updated liability waiver?
All individuals on the entry form must sign the agreement, as well as competition staff, volunteers and licensed officials.
14. Can the updated liability waiver be signed and submitted electronically to minimize touching paper and pens?
Yes, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act was approved and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in July 1999. To date, it has been adopted by 47 states as well as Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Illinois, New York, and Washington are the three states that have not adopted the UETA, though each has adopted its own law governing electronic signatures and records. Competition organizer must ensure compliance with the applicable law governing the enforceability of the electronic signature.
15. Will there be a Spanish version of the updated liability waiver available?
Yes, it is available on the website and can be accessed by clicking here.
16. How will stabling be organized at competitions so that distancing can be practiced?
Stabling flow and assignment charts will be dependent on each individual organizer and venue. Organizers will need to configure stabling to comply with social distancing requirements.
Competition organizers are encouraged to plan and publish their stabling requirements prior to the start of competition for exhibitors and staff to review. Competition organizers will also limit the congregation of groups in the stabling area.
17. What symptoms or actions could result in access denial or removal of an individual from competition grounds?
Any person who has a temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days cannot enter the competition grounds. Healthcare personnel who have treated patients using appropriate medical-grade PPE during the course of performing professional duties are exempted from this restriction.
18. If an individual requesting access to the competition grounds has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, but no other symptoms, is it acceptable for the person to have an additional temperature screening after a period of time?
As long as the individual has no additional symptoms and they are not taking fever-reducing medication, they may re-present themselves the following day for a temperature check.
19. How can competitions offer VIP/tailgating/sponsor opportunities if the USEF Covid-19 Action Plan prohibits spectators from being on the grounds?
Any VIP tailgating or hospitality experience must be limited to individuals who are eligible to be on the grounds because they meet the definition of participant, service provider, or support personnel. This amenity is only available to individuals who are members of the same immediate household and these persons are still required to wear masks or face coverings at all times while on competition grounds.
With regard to sponsors, competition organizers must determine whether a sponsor can be present on competition grounds by assessing whether the sponsor meets the criteria of being essential to providing care to the horses or athletes, or provides direct services contracted by the competition organizer. If sponsors are present, they must comply with face mask/face covering, social distancing, and all other requirements.
20. Would you potentially restrict members to showing in their own region vs traveling to others?
USEF is not making restrictions to entries based on geographic location. The decision will be made by the competition organizer, based on state and/or local restrictions and/or an organizer’s ability to accept out of state entries.
21. I don't completely understand how these USEF guidelines interact with, state regulation? Would those supersede and preclude shows?
Federal, state and local regulations will supersede USEF or organizer requirements except when USEF or organizer requirements are more restrictive. If a state or locality imposes limitations on the number of individuals allowed at a group gathering, that ordinance would guide a competition’s ability to operate and dictate the number of individuals allowed at a venue.
22. In a situation where several individuals travel together in one vehicle to a competition and upon having their temperatures checked at the competition, one (or more) has a temperature above 100.4, what happens?
It’s advised that all individuals take their temperatures prior to traveling to the competition to ensure none travel to a competition already experiencing a fever. In the event this does occur, any individual(s) with a temperature of 100.4 or higher may not enter the competition grounds. It is at the discretion of the competition organizer to determine whether the other individuals who traveled in the same vehicle and who have a temperature below 100.4 would also be prohibited from accessing the grounds. This decision would need to be made based on local/state health authority, CDC and WHO guidelines, and the requirements and protocol communicated to everyone in advance of the competition.
23. I understand that spectators are not allowed at competitions. Does this mean I cannot watch my friends compete?
The COVID-19 Action Plan mandates that Competition Organizers must prohibit the public, spectators, and non-essential personnel, such as guests, from being on the competition grounds until further notice.If permitted by the Competition Organizer, competition participants may watch the competition, provided they wear face masks or face coverings and practice social distancing while doing so. In accordance with the Action Plan, participants must avoid congregating in a single area and all are advised to minimize their time at the competition.
24. How will classes conducted collectively, also known as under saddle or flat classes, be managed since multiple participants are in the ring at once?
Competition organizers will be responsible for managing the operation of flat classes, including scheduling, class size, and entry sequence into the arena to ensure social distancing practices are followed. This may require conducting flat classes in sections.
25. What happens if social distancing isn’t happening at a competition?
If social distancing and/or mandatory requirements are not followed at a competition, please contact the Competition Manager and/or Steward/Technical Delegate at the competition. The Steward or Technical Delegate must report instances of non-compliance to the Federation in their USEF Steward/TD Report. These matters should be handled immediately at the competition, if possible. If you are unable to resolve the issue with competition management and/or the Steward/TD, you can contact the USEF directly by submitting a Competitors Evaluation Form.
26. During a dressage test, when a caller is utilized to announce the test movements to the participant, does the caller need to wear a face-covering or face mask?
The caller is required to wear a face mask or face-covering throughout the test and at all times while on competition grounds. The only exception is if the individual has applied to the USEF and received a modification to this requirement as per Section F of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan (USEF Covid-19 Action Plan).