Weekly Blenheim Update & COVID-19 Reminders from Robert Ridland

The following letter was released on July 19 from Robert Ridland, President of Blenheim EquiSports. Blenheim EquiSports holds 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,

What a week! For the first time in ten months, horses were jumping again on the grass in San Juan Capistrano! The weather was beautiful, and the competition intense, as perennial favorite Jenny Karazissis took top honors in the USHJA Hunter Derby while newcomer Zume Gallaher scorched the field in the Markel Grand Prix.

What was most appreciated however was how much cooperation was evident from the outset regarding the COVID-19 protocols. Unfortunately, while 99% of exhibitors tried their best to adhere to the mask and social distancing mandates, a few did not. I cannot stress strongly enough how the actions of a few put the entire event in jeopardy. It is no secret that Blenheim EquiSports has in place the strictest COVID-19 protocol procedures of any horse show management company in the country…but not without reason. Orange County health officials and the City of San Juan Capistrano have notified us that full compliance is imperative in order to avoid the immediate shutdown of the event. It’s a hard reality that as long as the State of California designates horse shows as “professional sports without live audience,” owners are categorized as “spectators” and only one parent per child is designated as “essential.” We of course look forward to the day in the very near future when the State once again allows family members, owners, and friends to witness the accomplishments of their children and horses in the manner to which they have been accustomed to. That being said, the participants and the horses are to be commended, as they all put on quite a show this week!

Zume Gallaher on Edita. Photo by McCool Photography.

Here are a few reminders on the Check-In Process:

  • Each week, every essential person entering the property must fill out the current week’s release which can be found on our website here.
  • Upon your arrival for the first time this week, please have your release confirmation code ready to show upon entering the Riding Park. If you don’t have an email address, the waiver is available in printable form online.
  • Each day, please arrive with your mask on. You will be asked about symptoms of COVID-19, exposure to COVID-19 and your temperature will be checked upon arrival. If there are no issues, you will be given a wristband. Keep the wristband on until you return the next day, at which time you will go through the same process and be issued a new wristband.
  • Please allow for extra time in your schedule to complete the check-in process.

Additional reminders:

  • Please adhere to the “show and go” policy requiring all competitors and trainers to minimize their time spent on the grounds. SPECTATING IS NOT ALLOWED. When you are finished competing, please retire to your barn or car…or the nearest shade tree of which there are many on the property!
  • Cloth masks or face coverings must be worn at all times, especially when social distance requirements can’t be met.
  • Remember to maintain a 6 ft (2m) distance from one another.
  • Hand sanitizer/gel stations can be found through-out the property. Remember to continually “Gel-In” and “Gel-Out” when entering and exiting the schooling area, show offices, and all other common touch surface locations.
  • Please refer to the Blenheim & USEF COVID-19 Action Plan daily by visiting the Blenheim EquiSports website.

Once again, it was great getting that first week under our belt, and we look forward to another tremendous week of competition starting on Wednesday!

Best Regards,

Robert Ridland

President, Blenheim EquiSports

To learn more about Blenheim EquiSports and view prize lists, click here.