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.
- When was your last show? “In March at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida.”
- 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. “
- 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. “
- When was your last show? “I don’t think I have shown in a couple of years.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- When was your last show? “In March at the Global Festival in Florida.“
- 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.”
- 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.
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.