April 2020 - Editor's Notes
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 01 April 2020 01:02

editors

Hard to believe it was only three weeks ago that I was volunteering as press officer for the new Pacific Coast Dressage CDI3* March 6-8 in Temecula. We were all talking about COVID-19 at the time, but in a relatively unworried way -- jokingly trading elbow bumps instead of handshakes or hugs as we met. The show ran smoothly, but we all came home to a world that radically changed with the March 11 declaration of a global pandemic. Even then, it took a while to realize the wide-reaching impacts it would have on all of us.

 


California show organizers scrambled to do the right thing. Some first altered the nature of their shows, then later cancelled them all together or sought to reschedule them for later. The USEF’s March 13 declaration that all its owned events were cancelled for the next 30 days, and the request that organizers follow suit, pretty much put the kibosh on competitions and gatherings of any kind. Mandates from local, state and federal government cemented that new reality. The cancellation of the Del Mar National and the World Cup Finals, in Las Vegas, hit particularly close to home. The USEF’s suspension was initially through April 16, then extended to May 3, per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.

 

Deadline week, March 22, brought the news that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed ‘til some time in 2021. Those are still shocking headlines, but the broader waves of impact are being felt at private and public stables throughout the state. As we went to press on March 25, some stables were still allowing owners to come ride and care for their horses -- most on structured schedules to limit human interactions. Some had immediately closed to boarders while trainers and minimal staffs care for the horses.

By the time this issue arrives, I’m sure a lot more will have changed. Please consider donating to the California Professional Horsemen’s Association’s GoFundMe effort to help some of our colleagues who’ve been most immediately affected: CPHA Fundraiser for Horse Show Work Force at www.gofundme.com. California horse people have helped each other through some pretty terrible things in the past, and I know that will be part of this crisis’ eventual resolution.

We welcome the chance to spread helpful and encouraging news as it becomes available. With a mid-deadline 180° turn in what we should report on, I am super grateful to my friends and excellent writers Nan Meek and Marnye Langer for their great articles in this issue. And, how timely that performance psychologist Dr. Darby Bonomi, PhD, answers a question this issue about staying focused amid distractions? It was submitted by a reader well before any semblance of normalcy went out the window, and it applies now more than ever.

And to USEF photographer Taylor Pence for capturing Sabine Schut-Kery’s joyous expression and sharing it as our cover image.

Thank you to Premier Equestrian for sponsoring our cover feature on footing innovations. I have been following this company for many years and it’s impressive how they’ve found ways to contribute to elite-level innovations and make them available to those of us at the more “normal” economic levels of our sport.

Stay healthy, please. If you are healthy and have access to your horse, give him an extra hug for those who can’t hug their own right now.
    
Kim F Miller, Editor
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