DIHP Newsletter #8
Foremost in my mind this morning is my appreciation for many things about the last two weeks of showing at the horse park. We had record participation and an endless number of incredible classes – from the Grand Prix to walk/trot. We showed we could achieve a balance between safety protocols required during the pandemic and providing a fun refuge for everyone. So, thank you to everyone for your support, participation, and adherence to required protocols. We will continue to invest in the horse park and aspire to be a bright light for the sport on the West Coast.
Equally on my mind is how we handle the weather. The vast majority of the time we are spoiled by the incredible weather and scenery in the desert. We are fortunate not to have tropical storms or lighting but we do have wind. While we navigated the wind successfully on Saturday, Sunday was another story. Late morning the conditions became unsafe and so we needed to stop competition. At the time, the forecast, which had been accurate all Sunday morning, was for increasing winds and gusts. As a result, I decided to stop rather than pause. Obviously, there were other options. Most important to me is to ensure horse and rider safety and to communicate a clear plan instead of constant delays. And to learn from what we did.
So that everyone has a better idea of what to expect on windy days in the future, we’ll begin communicating our plans in advance should competition need to be stopped. Obviously, we’ll respond to the specifics of the day but we think providing greater clarity upfront is better. Our plan will likely include one stop of competition for one hour to see if the weather is changing. If it does change favorably, we’ll provide adequate time for warm up and then restart. If the weather does not improve, or should a second stop be required, depending on the time of day, we’ll be very clear on an extension of the delay, a second pause, or a suspension of competition for the day. We will also include better coordination with each in-gate person to tailor the stop of competition to the situation in each ring.
Finally, we have worked with USEF, and are able to declare division champions for the vast majority of the divisions that started but did not finish. We’ll provide a final list shortly.
Again, I appreciate all of the enormous support we have received and importantly your patience as we learn how to apply our principles to the daily reality of running the horse show.