03/20/2020

USBCHA Statement on Effect of Coronavirus Pandemic on 2019-2020 Trial Season

UPDATED MAY 18TH 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, USBCHA has canceled the 2020 National Sheepdog Finals scheduled for October 6-11 at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Virginia.  The uncertain trajectory of infections over the coming months, competitor safety, availability of the venue if social restrictions persist, travel restrictions, and sponsorship loss due to economic conditions were among the many factors the Board of Directors considered in coming to its decision.  Related to this, USBCHA has extended the withholding of sanctioning of both sheepdog and cattledog trials until July 31, with further reviews scheduled on a monthly basis.  A decision on the 2020 National Cattledog Finals has been deferred to mid-June. 

The Board has requested the 2020 National Sheepdog Finals Committee to update its 2020 proposal to an October 2021 Finals at Belle Grove, and has tasked its internal committees to provide continuing guidance on the disease’s epidemiological outlook, qualifying criteria for the 2021 sheepdog Finals, and liability concerns associated with sanctioned trials during the pandemic.

 

UPDATED APRIL4TH, 2020

On the recommendation of its COVID-19 Committee, the USBCHA Board of Directors have approved an extension of the HA’s decision to withdraw or withhold sanctioning of all sheepdog and cattledog trials from May 10, 2020 to June 10, 2020.  This is due to the increasing transmission of the virus, more stringent social distancing rules, and additional travel restrictions imposed by most states and provinces.  Note that the window for applying to the HA Secretary for sanctioning remains seven (7) days prior to the trial entry opening date, from thirty (30).  The HA Secretary will change dates for trials already sanctioned if the host emails the name of trial, date of trial and new dates and entry opening dates.  Otherwise, trials scheduled prior to June 10 will be listed as non-sanctioned unless canceled.

Going forward, the Board has directed the COVID-19 Committee to report to the President on a bi-weekly basis to allow for informed decisions in this rapidly changing environment.  USBCHA will update membership on sanctioning for future trials as the situation merits.  A Qualifications Committee is continuing to discuss a temporary system for qualifying dogs for the Finals in the event conditions permit such activities to occur.  As a reminder, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that poses a serious risk to human health.  USBCHA encourages its members to follow all federal, state and local guidelines on gatherings, travel and social distancing.

Minutes of that meeting are available here.


Due to the intensifying Coronavirus pandemic in North America, the USBCHA has withdrawn the sanctioning of all sheepdog and cattledog trials through May 10, 2020, effective immediately.  This is in line with the current CDC recommendation limiting events to 50 people or less. 

In addition, the window for applying to the HA Secretary for sanctioning has been temporarily reduced to at least seven (7) days prior to the trial entry opening date, from thirty (30).  The HA Secretary will change dates for trials already sanctioned if the host emails the name of trial, date of trial and new dates and entry opening dates.  Otherwise, trials scheduled between March 20 and May 10 will be listed as non-sanctioned unless canceled.

To allow the HA to make informed decisions moving forward, USBCHA has formed a Coronavirus Committee that will re-evaluate the situation on a bi-weekly schedule and make recommendations to the Board.  USBCHA will update membership on sanctioning for future trials as the situation merits. 

 

The Board has also authorized the creation of a Qualifications Committee to recommend a temporary system for qualifying dogs for the Finals in the event conditions permit such activities to occur.  USBCHA encourages its members to follow all federal, state and local guidelines on gatherings, travel and social distancing.

Minutes of the Directors' Meeting are here