Message from Pam DeGregorio, NEELMCC President
Hope that all of you are staying safe and doing well during this crazy pandemic. The Board of Directors wants to make sure that all of you are aware that we are very eager to get back to holding events at the park! We have been in direct contact with MIchael Cahill, the Director of the Division of Animal Health at the Department of Agriculture for the State of Massachusetts to obtain accurate guidance about what we can and cannot do during the governor's phased reopening plan. We realize that these have been tough and frustrating times and that everyone wants to start having more fun on horseback at NEECA. Apparently, some of our members have voiced concern that other organizations and barns have been holding events in MA and wondered why we have not done so. We are in full compliance with state's mandates for Outdoor Activities during the phased reopening. We are committed to obtaining the latest information and guidelines from the state and will move forward with other events as soon as we are given approval. There are different guidelines and mandates for different outdoor activities (e.g. clinics, camps, lessons, competitions). Gymkhana is considered a horse competition, which is not permitted right now.
Michael Cahill clearly let us know in writing in June that at that point in time, we could not have any horse competitions at the park until Phase 4 (which may be by the 3rd week in July, depending on numbers of COVID cases, etc.). It is possible that things may change and competitions could be pushed to Phase 3, but there is not a guarantee that will occur. We will check as each phase begins because we want to start holding events. We miss them and you!
Although we were able to hold individual timed barrel and pole runs at the park this morning, we would be out of compliance with state guidelines if we held a competition now. Not only would NEECA be subject to fines, but we would also be held fully liable for any medical issues that may result from virus transmission.
Please know that we will keep you updated as we get new information. Thanks in advance for your understanding!