Did they feel safe? Competition in the Pandemic. II

This past weekend there was a dressage show organized by Caledon Dressage at the Angelstone showground. You may have seen my previous post about this show. I have to say that the show organizer was absolutely on top of the Covid concerns and went to great lengths to make sure that anyone attending would be safe. Recently the Covid numbers have risen in Ontario and new government regulations took effect. They would not have affected this show however and the organizer posted on Social Media, Sunday morning, to make sure everyone knew that .

I was admitted as an “essential person” to photograph my coach Belinda Trussell and her assistant trainer Lynsey Rowan. I had filled in the required forms and submitted them online. I was checked before I was allowed onto the showgrounds for temperature and I had to sign a Covid waiver. I was also on the list of people who had filed their online forms. I was given a wristband so I could be identified as an approved person. This show was not open to one and all who just happened by.

How did the competitors feel about their first show in Covid Times? I spoke to Belinda, Lynsey and groom Lexi. I asked each of them the same three questions. Here is what they said.


  1. When was your last show? “In March at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida.”
  2. Did you have any reservations , regarding Covid, about coming to a show? “I was only worried about staying in a hotel for the weekend. Andrew (Woodley, the show organizer) has done an incredible job. I feel very safe and the risk level is extremely low. “
  3. How have you found the showing experience with the Covid restrictions? “Getting used to remembering to get my mask on, as soon as I get off the horse. And we are not permitted to visit others in the stabling area so there is no socializing but I can still say hello from a distance. “
Lexi and Megan Lane at the warm up for Belinda


  1. When was your last show? “I don’t think I have shown in a couple of years.”
  2. Did you have any reservations, regarding Covid, about coming to the show? “No. I had spoken to Andrew ( show organizer) and the staff in advance and they had the protocols set up and so I didn’t worry about it at all.”
  3. How have you found this showing experience with the Covid restrictions? “It has gone really, really, well especially considering what they are having to deal with for Covid. It’s weird wearing masks but if it let’s us go to the show and do what we love, then that’s easy.”
Carlucci says: “I’m braided and ready to go. So come on Lynsey lets get on with it. “


  1. When was your last show? “In March at the Global Festival in Florida.
  2. Did you have any reservations, regarding Covid, about coming to the show? “A little bit. But with the precautions they have in place I knew they were very much on top of it.”
  3. How have you found this showing experience with the Covid restrictions? “Just a little bit more difficult. I have to keep remembering my mask. For example when I am working with the horse in the stall grooming or braiding I do not have to wear a mask but as soon as I come out I must put it on. It is a little bit tricky but I think that this will be the new normal from now on. And for the horses there is no difference. I think Caledon Dressage has done a really good job with the problems of Covid. And they have put in some really good ideas. There is a ‘no touch’ tack check unless the steward thinks one is needed. “

From what they said it is clear that the Covid restrictions put in place made everyone feel safe. When I was there everyone was masked unless they were mounted. Everyone was social distancing. There was no show office but the organizer would respond to messages within minutes. There was a stall in the vendor area with ribbons. On an honor system once you knew your placing in your class (available via a phone app) you could go and pick up a ribbon.

This was the “normal” look on a cool morning.

I am not planning to show this year but next year if we are still dealing with the Covid situation, and I suspect we will be, I would go to compete at a show that was this well run. And here is a sign I saw at the in gate to the Kubota ring.


16 responses to “Did they feel safe? Competition in the Pandemic. II”

  1. Marsha Avatar

    Great post, Anne. Our Kiwanis group was known in our small town for our fabulous events. This give many ideas of how we can start again. Everyone is looking for ways to cope with Covid and the restrictions so that everyone feels safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thanks for reading this post Marsha. I’m glad that some of the things that were implemented at the horsw show may translate to the Kkwanis.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marsha Avatar

        I love all the pictures of the masks. The one with the nose piece is particularly interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Prior... Avatar

    I like that sign about the reminder to keep things “fun”
    And also – I truly hope this is not the norm next year this time ;(
    But it could be ….
    And this post was special for highlighting different ways life is moving forward as the world begins to reopen – enjoyed it !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I think that the show organizer made a tremendous effort to put the different things in place for Covid security and all the people attending followed the rules because they were happy to be rhere. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Prior... Avatar

        I am so glad that people are making things happen – it is time!! Take care

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Subbashini Meenakshi Sundaram Avatar

    Now we are used to it and accepting this as normal. Best wishes for your next show.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma Cownie Avatar

    Interesting that participants were not worried about competing in the show but rather staying in the hotel. I should that that dressage is so used to high standards that adding in covid regulations wasn’t that alien to them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I think adding in masks was the biggest thing that was new. Also not being able to socialize with horsey friends was hard for some people. The hotel would have been my issue as well. I know the show organizers made such an effort but I would have been wondering about how thorough the hotel was in sanitizing etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dprastka Avatar

    We do need more normal!! That’s so awesome they were able to hold the show and with all the precautions it sounds like it went smoothly! I’ve been working the whole entire time, even during the shutdown and we wear masks at work so I’m really use to it. We have gloves and lab coats but then I work in a vet laboratory. The only issue wearing a mask for 8+hours is it sometimes bothers my allergies. Other than that it’s all good. 😍
    I love the sign at the end! Remember… this sport is FUN!! ❤️🐴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I found with a mask on all day I wanted to lift if away from my face when no one was around an take in a fresh breath. We were all outdoors so that helped a lot. Thanks for commenting Diana. And yes….this sport is fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. David Avatar

    When my daughters rode Saratoga, they did feel very safe competing. A single violation of the COVID rules could have meant an automatic DQ from the show and future shows. The show managers felt they needed to wield the “one-strike-you’re-out” enforcement, especially beginning at the front end of a restarted season, and in a state that saw high COVID numbers weeks earlier. At the time, it was the only way to ensure everyone’s safety. We weren’t the only ones who were traveling quite far. Nicole and crew traveled from California along with her horses. Her sponsor group paid for the transport of her four horses. After Saratoga, they were planning to go down to Florida but changed their schedule to compete in Traverse City, in Michigan. They’re now waiting out the CA firestorms at a friend’s horse farm in Missouri.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sagittarius Viking Avatar

    I think it is wonderful that there is some “normal” = having a show, during these crazy times. We need more of that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      As Lynsey said to me, it allows people to do what they love and I agree with you, we need more of that! Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 3 people

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