The Drought Buster reined cow horse show has relocated to Rapid City, South Dakota, and is poised to take place May 14-17. The show, which is held by the Colorado Reined Cowhorse Association, is slated to be one of the first shows held after COVID-19 brought the show season to a halt.
Originally planned to take place at the Kiplinger Arena in McCook, Nebraska, the show had to relocate to the Central State Fairgrounds in Rapid City, South Dakota, after Nebraka’s coronavirus quarantine measures interfered with the event.
Colorado Reined Cowhorse Association Executive Director M.J. Anderson said the Central State Fairgrounds layout lends itself to social distancing, and the show faculty will take further precautions to “make sure everybody is safe.”
A plentiful supply of stalls at the facility and judicious stall assignments, outdoor warm-up pens and tape on the floor to distance people in high-traffic areas, such as the concession stand, are some of the precautions Anderson said the association will take advantage of during this time of heightened health awareness.
The general manager at The Central State Fairgrounds, Ron Jeffries, has a laundry list of precautions and measures in place to increase the safely of participants.
“We’re going to follow the CDC guidelines and the guidelines that come to us from our local government including social distancing, a posted cleaning schedule and restricted occupancy levels,” Jeffries said.
According to Jeffries, at least two outdoor arenas will be available for warming up, and only a set number of competitors will be allowed into the arena area at a time. The facility will accomplish this by using a flight system.
“We’re not going to let anybody line up and wait to go in the show pen in a big, huge group,” Anderson said. “We’re going to ask folks to separate themselves in the bleachers and only have one person in the show office at a time so that we don’t have [lots of] people in a closed-in space at one time.”
Anderson expressed a positive attitude ahead of the show, which features $25,900 in added money, a Derby, Bridle Spectaculars and two horse shows.
“We’re really excited to get back into the show pen, that’s for sure. We’re hoping we get enough people to make a good horse show,” she said.
According to Anderson, since the Monday morning announcement that the event will go on, the show office phone rung “nonstop” with people from Idaho to Wisconsin showing interest in the Drought Buster show.
“The one thing that’s going to hurt us is that it was a fast turnaround. It was planned for Memorial Day weekend, but we didn’t find out until last minute that Nebraska wouldn’t let us have the show.”
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