COVID-19 Impacts Equestrian Team

Spring Competition Canceled

COVID-19+Impacts+Equestrian+Team

Alexa Napolitano, Staff Writer

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, many school activities are canceling events to protect the health and safety of the community. Like most of the nation, events or activities clubs had planned for the rest of the year are being canceled in response to social distancing requirements.

While most clubs may be able to still meet and practice their content online, clubs such as the Pinkerton Equestrian Team are not able to do this. In normal circumstances, the club would have several mounted meetings where members bring their horses to one location and practice for the competitions. Had the season not been canceled, the team would have attended three district shows and the state championships.

The Equestrian Team Captain Ava Corrente said, “Everyone was disappointed because we were really looking forward to showing, especially the freshman on the team because it was their first year.”

On Sunday, March 15, the New Hampshire High School Equestrian Team (NHHSET) officially made the decision to cancel their competitive season due to coronavirus safety precautions. In preparation of the state competition held in the spring, equestrian competitors begin in December at district meets in walk-trot, walk-trot-canter, team classes, and in-hand classes. Also, classes are offered in English, western, dressage, jumping, trail and freestyle. 

Ms. Samantha Pollari, the Equestrian Team advisor, only just started advising the club this year. Sadly, she won’t be able to see students compete until next year. 

In regards to the shows, Pollari said, “They were canceled, the board members discussed whether they could reschedule, but due to conflicts with the Tack Shack and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, decided it was better to cancel & refund the participants for their dues to NHHSET.”

For some riders, this is only the beginning of their bad news. Many were planning to compete in other competitions over the next few months as well. Riders have been forced to readjust their whole competitive season, and with the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no guarantee they will be able to compete at all.

Corrente said, “I was planning on going to UPHA (United Professional Horsemen’s Association) to support my barn and that, unfortunately, got canceled. I’m planning on taking my horse to New Hampshire Horse and Trail but I doubt that is going to happen.”

Barns across the nation have been closing due to quarantine requirements. Most riders have found themselves stuck at home with their passion on pause. 

Corrente offered her advice for everyone stuck at home: “Exercise during your free time and maybe try and pick up a new hobby to keep yourself busy. Don’t go in public unless absolutely necessary because the sooner we all quarantine, the sooner we can get back to normal life.”