TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Red Hills International Horse Trials is set to host 200 horses and their riders this weekend, March 11-14, 2021, for the annual Eventing competition that transforms Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park into an equestrian showground. New this year are numerous safety protocols to protect humans and horses.
“While we are disappointed not to host our usual 20,000 plus spectators this year, we are thrilled to be running,” said Jane Barron, Red Hills organizer. “Between the pandemic and the horse virus EHV-1 , we weren’t sure we could move forward. We’ve implemented numerous biosecurity protocols to protect both humans and horses.”
Once Red Hills received approval from the City and County Commissioners, volunteers went into hyperdrive to implement the safety protocols outlined by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and City of Tallahassee and Leon County governments to protect volunteers, riders and all involved with the event.
Some of the safety protocols include that all volunteers and riders must have their temperatures taken daily when entering the park and masks must be worn at all times, unless mounted on a horse. USEF COVID-19 Guidelines prohibit spectators from all recognized equestrian so there are no spectators, no Avenue of Shops and no Food Court. Everyone on grounds will be required to wear masks and adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing.
Two horses during a competition in Ocala tested positive for the EHV-1 virus last week causing the Red Hills team to implement new biosecurity measure to ensure horses coming to Red Hills are protected.
“Red Hills working with our vets and technical delegates quickly implemented safety procedures to protect the horses, Barron continued. “We’ve modified the arrival process for our riders and horses to take their temperatures.”
Three-Day Health Certificate is required for each horse, in addition to Coggins and requisite passports. The veterinary staff and the Welcome Volunteers are going to each rig and taking the temperatures of all horses and passengers. All of the tents and stalls have been disinfected and pressure-washed, then sprayed with Symbiont Agricultural Spray. Twice-daily temperatures must be taken for each horse and recorded on stall cards. Additionally, a quarantine tent has been set up in case any horses that are suspected to be ill.
Red Hills will run six divisions in 2021: Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced in national competitions and CCI2-S, CCI3-S and CCI4-S in the international.
For more information, visit rhht.org.
Red Hills International Horse Trials is a United States Eventing Association annual event held at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Red Hills Horse Trials, Inc. is a 501c3 organization.