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TWHBEA/WHTA release COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association and Walking Horse Trainers' Association have released a set of recommendations for horse shows management, participants at horse shows and Horse Industry Organizations. The recommendations allow for shows to safely happen during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the heart of the recommendations are the requirements for social distancing and modifications to certain areas on the show grounds. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture released earlier this week the guidance for all livestock competitions to start back after Governor Lee's executive order 30 expires on May 29, 2020. The below set of recommendations do not prohibit a show or HIO from releasing additional guidance specific to their show or inspection program.

Recommendations for Horse Show Management
Horse show officials, volunteers and staff
-Monitor temperatures prior to each performance for volunteers, officials, competition staff and service providers once daily.  Anyone with a temperature above 100.4° should be sent home from the premises
-Require the use of a mask for all staff, officials, and volunteers
-Post signage at all entrances to the competition grounds which identifies the symptoms of COVID-19 and states the following:

-To protect others from possible transmission of the virus, anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks, cannot enter the competition grounds. Participants must assume responsibility for themselves and their own staff (e.g. grooms, assistants, etc.)

-Post signage throughout competition grounds which includes recommendations about good hygiene along with informing participants and others about ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
-Post signage that displays all applicable federal, state and local regulations, requirements and orders
-Provide hand sanitizing stations with access to soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer on show grounds
- Configure center ring so that all officials in center ring are practicing proper social distancing
-Provide hand sanitizer to all officials, ring attendants, office staff and maintenance staff
-Create a method of giving ribbons and trophies that reduces or eliminates hand-to-hand contact
-Frequently sanitize surfaces touched by many including door handles, arena gates, wash racks, etc.
-Frequently clean and properly sanitize public bathroom areas before, during and after horse show
-Prohibit the use of public water fountains

• Show Office
-Strongly encourage all exhibitors to complete entries online and provide electronic entry and payment
-Require all trainers to complete entry forms in their entirety prior to entering the show office
-Install clear plastic or other type of protective shield/barrier in front of office staff
-Provide hand sanitizer near the entry and exit doors
-Provide markers to delineate 6 feet spacing between people in the office

• Social distancing
-Enforce social distancing requirements throughout the competition grounds at all times
-Arrange judges and other officials areas to comply with social distancing requirements
-Restrict show office access to essential personnel only, configure space and limit the number of office staff to comply with social distancing and limit the number of participants who can enter the show office at one time

• Ticketing and Parking
-Where applicable recommend free parking and free entry to horse show grounds to reduce the amount of human contact and the exchanging of monies
-If parking and/or ticketing is collected, post clear signage, and ask for correct dollar amounts to reduce personnel for handing back change
-All parking and ticketing personnel must wear masks and exercise proper social distancing
-Allow and encourage participants to bring their own chairs and to place them according to proper social distancing requirements
-If box seating is available reduce capacity to maximum of 50% of space and encourage only immediate family sit in same box
-Either close off or reduce public seating areas to 50% and mark seating for proper social distancing

• HIO Functions
-Increase the area of inspection station to allow all required personnel to social distance from each other
-HIOs will only allow one handler per entry and one entry per DQP in the inspection area at one time
-All DQPs will wear masks and be required to sanitize their hands after inspecting each entry
-All custodians of horses through inspection must wear a mask while the horse is in the inspection area
-Any equipment used in inspection (hoof testers, measuring sticks, tape measures, etc.) should be properly sanitized after each use
-Management should make the warmup area as large as possible and where applicable have multiple warm up areas (each area must have a DQP to monitor) to comply with social distancing guidelines.
-Enforce diligently the access to warm up area to only one trainer, one exhibitor and one groom per entry.  ----Juveniles may have one additional adult in warm up area
-Encourage all exhibitors to wear a mask in warm up area until mounting their horse
-Allow exhibitors to wear face masks in competition and there should be no penalty assessed by judges for exhibitors with face masks

• Concession Areas
-Allow participants to bring their own food and drink on the show grounds to prevent public gathering at concession areas
-Advise all concession sponsors and volunteers to take precautions in accordance with federal, state, and local regulation and CDC guidelines
-Where possible encourage concession organizers to provide only pre-packaged food and drink

• Stabling Areas
-Configure stabling area/stalls to comply with social distancing requirements in order to manage concentration of horses and people
-Restrict access to stabling areas to veterinarians, exhibitors, officials, grooms, trainers and other essential personnel
-Remind and post signage to encourage all in stabling areas to follow social distancing guidelines
 Provide hand sanitization stations in the stabling area and encourage stable personnel to use frequently

• Participants
-Participants are required to self-monitor their temperature once daily prior to entering the show grounds.  Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above should not be allowed or come on the show grounds
-Anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive within the last two weeks cannot enter the show grounds
-Participants are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering when not mounted on a horse and will be allowed to wear such covering in competition if desired
-All participants should comply with social distancing requirements at all times while on the show grounds
-Wash hands often and adhere to other sanitation practices throughout the day
-All shared equipment (saddles, radios, whips, spurs, etc.) should be properly sanitized after each use and before anyone else touches

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