US Equestrian has updated its COVID-19 Action Plan for Licensed Competitions (Action Plan) to include protocols specific to allowing spectator attendance at a limited capacity beginning May 3, 2021. Last week, US Equestrian announced the maximum capacity for spectators at competitions in its April 14 communication. This follow-up announcement of the specific spectator protocols will provide competition organizers, licensed officials, and other stakeholders with sufficient time to prepare for a return of spectators beginning May 3, 2021.
These protocols represent a first step in implementing responsible measures that allow the equestrian sport community to begin to ease restrictions related to the pandemic. USEF realizes that the maximum capacity figures provided may not be appropriate for all venues. Therefore, due to size, configuration, or other factors, some competitions’ capacity limits may be far lower than the maximum numbers allowable under the USEF protocols.
It is important to note that allowing spectators at USEF competitions remains a choice for competition organizers. In some instances, venue limitations or other restrictions may not accommodate the ability to safely allow spectators. USEF will support any organizer’s decision to restrict further or prohibit spectator access.
As more and more Americans become vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, USEF is optimistic it will be able to further ease restrictions in the coming months. It is critical that everyone continues to adhere to the Action Plan and its requirements in the interim. Equestrian sport was one of the first sports to resume operations last spring, and this is largely due to the effectiveness of the Action Plan and the safeguards it puts in place.
USEF recognizes that the last twelve months have been challenging for everyone, especially organizers and licensed officials who have been on the front lines ensuring Action Plan compliance. Thank you to each of you for your patience, fortitude, and continued support of the Action Plan as USEF begins transitioning to a less restrictive environment while still keeping everyone as safe as possible.