Should the Desert Circuit be cancelled? Or are you going?

There’s a tool to look up hospital capacity in any county in the US. I live in SoCal and have been hearing trainers talking about going out to Thermal as usual. However, I just looked up Riverside County available beds and…there are none. Area hospitals are at 96-100% capacity.

Anyone going?

Should it be canceled considering the likelihood of people needing care?

Not to mention the outbreaks at local barns and the horrible surge in COVID-19 cases.

Yes, I’m a worrier. :wink:


Unfortunately, this pandemic has shown that a large amount of the population thinks of no one except themselves. Those of us who worry - do what is needed to keep us and our loved ones safe.


Where can you look up the hospital capacity?

I’m sitting here doom scrolling, so I can’t find it. Lol

Must have been in one of the newspapers. I’ll keep looking. It was National, I know that.

ETA: Found it!


Yuuuup. There’s also the issue that an event of this size, with the amount of travel involved, clearly violates the regional stay at home order, but, clearly we’re in the minority for caring.


Personally I think it’s ridiculous that sporting events have continued in the capacity they have, from horse shows to college football.

At any rate, I won’t be showing until a large portion of the country, including myself, have received the vaccine.


You raise a good point. Any multi-week horse show would, I imagine, generate a number of ER visits and possibly even hospitalizations. Right now in SoCal, hospital capacity is actually less then 0%–they are putting patients in gift shops and conference rooms, and requiring them to stay on ambulances sometimes for 8+ hours.

One of my daughters attends USC, and last week the university sent all students an email asking them to delay their return to the LA area for at least several weeks since having thousands of students converge on LA can only increase pressure on the health system.


It will be interesting to see who’s showing… I know I won’t be there.


Not going. I have zero desire to stay in a hotel or move around/get food outside my very local area. Plus I really don’t want to end up in the ER at the moment for a variety of reasons. I’ve also opted out of the no show and a county show in the OC even though it wouldn’t involve staying overnight. Just too much virus circulating at the moment for my comfort level. Not to mention that I’m still getting in sync with the (very nice, but still different than what I’m used to) loaner horse I have while mine is rehabbing.

I think they’re getting around the hotel restriction via the professional sports exemption; otherwise, private rentals and motor homes (and camping?) would be the only options.

At the moment I don’t think there’s a travel restriction for Riverside County so people would be able to travel to Thermal without quarantining for ten days as they would for a (at the moment highly hypothetical) show in LA County which does have a travel restriction for people coming from outside the designated Southern California area.

@paw - it’s pretty easy to see who’s entered via ShowGroundsLive, though I don’t think entries close for the first set of shows for a few days.

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Different side of the country, but I cancelled my plans to attend WEC. It’s a clear violation of the CDC’s recommendations. I learned yesterday that WEC will even allow spectators. SMH.


Are there no spectator restrictions for sports in FL (probably a dumb question) or in the NSBA rules?

Though my understanding is that the shows at Galway over the summer and in November had spectators and that’s CA and USEF.

According to the latest column by Nancy Jaffer, there are no restrictions on spectators at outdoor events in Florida. And in fact, they are planning to have the Super Bowl in Tampa next month in the stadium that used to hold the American Invitational. Yikes.

The shows in Wellington are being run under very strict Covid guidelines with no spectators. According to some comments I’ve seen on Facebook, the shows at WEC are allowing spectators, but I don’t know that for a fact. I believe there are no mask requirements in Florida in general, although some businesses are enforcing them on their property.

A friend of mine who just got to Florida from New York said it looks exactly backwards there. In New York you rarely see a person in public without a mask, but he said in Florida, he rarely sees anyone with a mask.

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Why would anyone travel during a pandemic? I’m amazed anyone would consider leaving home right now.


My farrier mentioned yesterday how busy he has been getting horses ready to go and I was shocked. I no longer show, keep my horses at home, and guess I’m out of touch as I really thought it would have been cancelled given the conditions down there. If there was ever a year to skip, this is it. I lost what little respect I might have for those trainers that are headed down from this area, that is for sure.


This is not true. I live in south Florida and masks are required whenever you are outside and cannot maintain social distancing. The order for Palm Beach was extended to 1/20/21

:Per Palm Beach County Emergency Order 12 , facial coverings ar​e required in public spaces, including any outdoor areas that are open and regularly accessible, where social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines is not possible or not being practiced. Individuals are not required to wear facial coverings when actively engaging in exercise and maintaining social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.​"

Florida is a big state and each county, city and individual parks/establishments can have stricter regulations. One park may allow you to walk without a mask and others will not. In Broward County, south of Palm Beach county, we have greater restrictions. Recreational sports have started, but only the participants are allowed to be there. They limit you to groups of 10, even outdoors, at the beach, etc. You are required to wear a mask at all times at the gym, even when exercising. You must wear it in a restaurant unless you are actively eating or drinking. No more than 6 unrelated people at a table, max of 10 total. The tables must be 6’ apart. On premise dining is closed from midnight to 5 am. In my condo, I must wear it at all times in all public spaces. I am supposed to wear it when I walk down the hall to throw out my trash.
Other parts of the state are less restrictive. Also remember, the population is much different up north and Ocala is more rural than Wellington. Palm Beach county has almost 1.5 million residents. Marion County (Ocala), has 365,000. Ocala mask mandate dated 10/20/20 was extended for 60 days, I do not know if it extended again.


A bunch of eventers were on Facebook planning a huge party/gathering, bragging about it and throwing it in everyones faces.

I hope these riders realize that a lot of potential clients and sponsors are seeing this reckless behavior and making note.


My friend is in Ocala, where they do not seem to have similar restrictions. Or if they have the restrictions, they are not being followed.


The Nancy Jaffer article says that two spectators per rider (or was it horse?) plus owners and sponsors are allowed at WEF.

The stated policy at the Oaks is no spectators except for one parent per minor child, no owners, and no spectating at the ring. I do think there might be more “grooms” on the premises than usual.

I don’t remember what Thermal said about spectators/parents/spectating, but it is possible for “other barn personnel” to submit an application for approval to come on to the show grounds.

Galway didn’t seem to have any policy with respect to who they let in though I think they were writing names and/or handing out wristbands, and they were putting platters of food out for people.

The Southern California race tracks weren’t letting even owners in for awhile, but I think they might have starting allowing that at some point. Not sure what they’re doing now.

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I believe the word in the article was two guests, not spectators, per rider. I would think that would mean maybe a trainer and a groom per rider. Or possibly a parent. Or some combination thereof.

I do think WEF is unusual due to the layout. So many people have stalls off the property and lead or ride the horses over to the showgrounds and then home again after they show. So there are an awful lot of access points to the property via the bridle paths.

It’s one thing to have a checkpoint at the main gate for people entering by car. Much different to keep tabs on everyone going in and out from different directions on two feet or four feet.

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