Looking Ahead: A Letter From Robert Ridland, President of Blenheim EquiSports

The following letter was released on April 24 from Robert Ridland, President of Blenheim EquiSports. Blenheim EquiSports incredible equestrian competition at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park (San Juan Capistrano, CA), Del Mar Horse Park (Del Mar, CA), and South Point Equestrian Arena (Las Vegas, NV).

Dear Friends,
It goes without saying that we are in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime situation for our entire country, and there is no way around acknowledging the pain and suffering that so many are experiencing right now. The entire equestrian industry has taken a tremendous hit, however many of us can take solace in the fact that we are in much better shape than so many in our country who are far less fortunate than we are.
As for when we’ll be able to resume our show schedule…that is a question that no one can answer at this time. Nevertheless, we are tentatively (perhaps optimistically) planning on a June restart, assuming of course that we get the green light at that time. Accordingly, we have been in constant contact with the USEF as well as various governmental agencies as to when we may be able to start up again, and more importantly under what conditions. It should be noted that whenever we get back into action, the closing date of entries will be one week out from the start of the horse show, not the normal cut-off date three weeks ahead of time.
Fortunately, the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano happens to be a uniquely secure facility with only one entrance, and its size and layout allows for various health-related protocols to be put in place. In our favor is the very nature of equestrian sport, an outdoor non-contact individual athletic activity which is easily adaptable to the social distancing requirements pertaining to non-spectator events.
What the “new normal” will be is a question for another day, but it is one we are putting all our efforts into. Under consideration are a variety of proposals, all of which have only one objective: top sport under the safest of conditions. We do know that at least for the foreseeable future, we may have to give up some of the activities we are accustomed to and have always taken for granted. What we know will not change however are the core values of our sport and the pleasure we get out the interaction between us and our horses…and of course, the satisfaction of a job well done on the field of play. While there may be no spectators to enjoy and acknowledge the participants, the high standards and level of difficulty will remain the same. A clear round will still be a clear round…and won’t be any easier to achieve than it’s always been!
As we inch closer to our much-anticipated resumption of operations, we will stay in touch with all of you by sending out weekly updates as to our progress. Thank you for your support and patience.
Robert Ridland
President, Blenheim EquiSports

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