American Haflinger National Showcase 2020 Postponed
June 11, 2020
The Board of Directors decided at its June 10th meeting that because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future with respect to restrictions on large gathering events that it would not be possible to hold our National Showcase Event in 2020. The event will be rescheduled for 2021, when we hope our lives have returned to a more nor-mal routine.
The Board reviewed all the risks associated with operating the show under the current conditions.
• The economic upheaval surrounding COVID-19 resulted in the loss of over $15,000 in sponsor commitments in the last few months, significantly increasing the financial risk of proceeding with the show.
• Cancellation of major fairs across the Midwest and other large shows around the country demonstrate the concern and difficulty of operating a horse show event in this environment.
• We see cases increasing again as we move to open the economy, increasing the possibility of restrictions on gatherings for social events to control the spread of the virus without crippling the economy again, if possible.
• We considered your responses to our survey on attending the Nation-al Showcase sent to members in May. The most significant concern of those that responded was the COVID-19 virus exposure, with many of you telling us it was too soon to have the show and others indicating that your plans to attend would change if the Coronavirus returned or there was an increase in new cases.
Evaluating all these factors and considering it highly probable that Coronavirus cases will increase over the next few months as we continue to open the economy and fall brings back flu season, the only prudent and responsible decision was to postpone the event until 2021.
I would like to thank the members of the National Showcase Committee for their hard work on organizing the National Showcase over the last 7 months. I know they are as disappointed in this decision as many of you. However, it is the right decision for the health and safety of our members, competitors and friends. We look forward to a bigger and better National Showcase event in 2021.
COVID-19 Impact on AHR
March 23, 2020
The global outbreak of COVID-19, continues to evolve and disrupt many aspects of our daily lives. This is a difficult and uncertain time, and our first concern is for the safety of you, your families and our staff in the office. We hope you are all safe and taking precautions to stay that way. It seems nothing in our lives has not been touched by COVID-19, including AHR registry operations. With things changing everyday, the Board wanted to take this opportunity to update you on several issues impacted by the virus.
AHR Office Operations
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, declared all workers in non-essential businesses across the state of Ohio are required to stay at home starting Monday, March 23 at 11:59 PM in order to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This Order shall remain in effect until 11:59 PM on April 6, 2020, unless rescinded or modified at a sooner time and date. For purposes of the Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities.
The Non-essential business directive means that the physical office in Fredericktown, Ohio, with be closed for the next two weeks. The two office staff members, Tammy and Teresa, are deemed as non-essential workers under the Ohio directive, so they will not be able to go to the office to work. Fortunately, the office systems are web based, including the phone system. This means your phone calls can still be answered and work can progress uninterrupted. However, our largest issue is the work arriving via snail mail. If you have mailed something to the office, it will be delayed. In addition, although we will still be able to register and transfer ownership of animals, the mailing of physical registration certificates will be delayed until at least April 7th.
If you would like to register or transfer an animal during this period, now is a perfect time to take advantage of DigitalHorses. If you need assistance logging into the system, please contact the office and we will happily assist you.
The UC Davis genetics lab also remains open and will continue to process the DNA samples for registration. Again, the biggest challenge for the lab is the access to items sent via regular mail. We may see some slow down in processing at the lab because of mail delivery.
World Haflinger Show
As we have published earlier the World Haflinger Show scheduled for May 21st – 24th for Ebbs, Austria is on hold. The COVID-19 virus has hit the European continent very hard and with current travel restrictions, the World Haflinger Breeding and Sports Federation has placed the event on hold and will update its planning on April 6th.
AHR National Showcase
The National Showcase committee has been hard at work planning an event for September to showcase the Haflinger breed in the United States. Although September seems like a long way off, it is just around the corner. Considering COVID-19 and the uncertainty of government restrictions on events, the Board will be discussing our response on that the next Board meeting on April 8th. We understand that the COVID-19 virus may have adversely impacted many of our members and the businesses that we depend on for sponsorships to operate the event, and we do not want to add to this burden. While no decision has been made nor will a decision be made for at least a couple of weeks as we monitor government regulations, restrictions and COVID-19’s progress in the United States, we need your input. What we do not know is how the current situation is impacting you and your ability to participate in and or to help sponsor the event. We understand that people may have been laid-off as businesses are forced to shutter their doors during the pandemic and vacation time normally used for events like the Showcase may now have been used to keep cash flow going during these uncertain times. Our Board members have been faced with the same events and challenges. However, we do not want to make the decision just on our experiences. Let us know your thoughts. All Board member emails are published on the website or send your input to [email protected] Send us a note
We will strive to keep you updated as events unfold with postings to the website, Facebook, blast emails and the Horse Bits newsletter. However, the most important thing is the health and well-being of our members and friends during this challenging period. We will survive and come out the other side stronger and more prepared for the future if we all stick together.
Please, stay healthy and safe!