Weekly Update | July 19, 2020

Announcements, Featured

Zume Gallaher

Zume Gallaher and Edita
Winners of the $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix
Photo: McCool Photography


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!

As she did last week, Melissa again asked if I would include the following reminders:

How the check-in process works:

  • Each week, every essential person entering the property must fill out the current week’s release which can be found on our website.
  • 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.

Also as a reminder:

  • 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’ or 2-meter distance from one another.
  • Hand sanitizer/gel stations can be found through-out the property. Remember to continually “Gel-In” & “Gel-Out” when entering and exiting the schooling area, show offices, and all other common touch surfaces 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

Blenheim EquiSports, an equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, produces events in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas, NV. The events include 19 USEF “Premier” rated hunter-jumper shows featuring five FEI CSI events, including a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League event; the Markel Insurance 1.40m – 1.45m Jumper Series & Final, Developing Jumper Qualifiers & Championships, USHJA International & National Hunter Derbies, Pony Derby Finals, the Whitethorne Equitation Challenge, Medal Finals and more. New for 2020 – an additional four County Horse Shows sanctioned by the Orange County Horse Show Association and the Greater San Diego Hunter-Jumper Association.