INCLUDED IN THIS UPDATE:
- EVENT CLOSURES
- ESNZ PLANNING AND WORK THROUGHOUT THE LOCK DOWN
- REGISTRATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- AREA GROUPS AND AGMS
- DATABASE CHANGES TO PROFILES AND RESULTS UNDERTAKEN DURING LOCKDOWN
- OFFICIALS PATHWAYS AND FEI PLANNING
- CHANGE THE REIN – ADVOCATING FOR GREAT BEHAVIOUR IN EQUESTRIAN SPORT
Dear Members of our equestrian community,
We hope this letter finds you well and that you are all safe and sound and maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst in your bubble. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly provided us with an interesting time in our lives and a challenging set of circumstances across our business landscape, our personal lives and our sporting/equestrian endeavours.
No-one could have foreseen the cascading range of issues that have come from the lockdown and the closure of our lives as we knew them. Who knows what the new normal will look like, or even when we will get back to some sort of regular lifestyle.
We can assure you that the planning and work being done by the ESNZ staff throughout this time has been ongoing as we identify potential problems and work to provide solutions in a timely manner so when the green light is given, our equestrian sport can resume.
This letter is an update on some of those issues to bring you up to speed with where we are at and what you can expect in the next few weeks.
Since Horse of the Year we have closed all events which, we know, is sad for many of you across all disciplines; the last events of the season were always planned to be the finale and the last catch up before we all retreated for the winter. To have that cut short was disappointing but was the responsible decision to be made. The fact that we moved early meant that by the time lockdown came, we were already planning for the next challenges before us.
The status of events will be reviewed by the ESNZ board on 29 April 2020 and we will communicate that as soon as we can. Of course, the aim is to get back to competition as soon as possible but we will have to work within the Government guidelines for each level. Later this week we will release how equestrian sport might look under each of those guidelines.
During this time we have also started the ESNZ Covid-19 web page where we have placed all of our information, FAQs and updates from MPI, the Government and the FEI for you to access quickly the link below will take you straight there. If you have anything you would like added to that please let me know. It has some interesting information so take a look.
If you would like any updates to be posted please email [email protected]
ESNZ PLANNING AND WORK THROUGHOUT THE LOCK DOWN
During this period, we have been answering many questions and keeping an eye on issues that have cropped up. We have also spent some time working with all disciplines on financial forecasting as we see levies, fees and income take a hit due to a lack of competition.
Cost cutting has been a high priority but has also happened organically as travel, competition costs, accommodation and general costs have not been incurred during the lockdown. For some, ongoing cost cutting may need to be considered and the central staff are working hard on this with discipline staff and boards as they prepare budgets for the 2020-21 year.
ESNZ has received the Government wage subsidy which has gone a long way to assist the organisation through a period of time when income levels have been cut completely. This has been distributed across the organisation as per the requirements. Careful consideration of ongoing wage and salary costs has been undertaken and will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the organisation can manage through the winter.
REGISTRATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
We have received a few emails asking if there will be a refund or extension of memberships and registrations due to the lockdown. At this stage there is no plan to provide refunds or extensions. However, the ESNZ board will consider this again at its 29 April meeting.
We have, of course, noted that membership and horse registration renewals due since the lockdown started are not being paid. We completely understand this but wish to urge members not to leave their renewals too late. As we return to competition it is likely the busy registration period will be even busier. So when the green light is given, let’s be super prepared and get them in early.
ESNZ is researching ways we can ensure we meet our members needs going forward including payment plans and payment spread options. We will come back to you when we know more about how this might work.
AREA GROUPS AND AGMS
Some area groups have expressed some concern that they might not be able to hold their meetings to decide on remits, to vote and to have their say on rule changes and other issues leading into discipline AGMs. All disciplines understand this could be a problem and are taking steps to ensure that the intent of the AGMs – for members to have their say – is protected.
There may be some changes to your AGM timetable as a result and we ask you to continue to accommodate changes to the norm, for good processes to be put in place. The discipline sport managers are your first port of call for any questions about this and they will be communicating directly with Area secretaries, chairs and delegates to ensure everyone knows what the plan is.
For area group updates please contact your sport manager on the following email addresses or check their facebook pages where all updates will be posted:
Jumping: Marilyn Thompson – [email protected]
Eventing: Eliza Johns – [email protected]
Endurance: Jo Lankow – [email protected]
Dressage: Wendy Hamerton – [email protected]
DATABASE CHANGES TO PROFILES AND RESULTS UNDERTAKEN DURING LOCKDOWN
In early March we provided an update on the ESNZ Database. Here is the link in case you missed it. https://www.nzequestrian.org.nz/2020/03/esnz-database-update/
In that update we noted it was likely that all results from the past two years would need to be reloaded to ensure they pulled through to profiles correctly.
We will be rebuilding the results profiles for you and your horse/s over the coming weeks and months. We have discussed many options to undertake this piece of work, however it has been decided that the best solution to get us back to a true source of data is to rebuild the results.
Members will not see any difference in their results while we work through this process. To ensure that this work and process is correct, we will first be rebuilding the results profiles in our test site. Once this has been completed, we will be calling on members who have kept accurate records of their results or, those members who have had issues with their results, to volunteer to check the validity to ensure they are correct before we apply the solution to the live site. When we have the results rebuilt and working correctly, we will release them on the live site.
Please note that Katie, Maddy and Aimee from Member Services are also taking the opportunity during the lockdown to cleanse the current ESNZ database of duplicate accounts, missing data and incorrect spelling of horse pedigree and horse colours to name just a few. So, if you receive an email to say something has been updated on your account – don’t worry, your account hasn’t been hacked, it is just one of our team updating something on your file.
OFFICIALS PATHWAYS AND FEI PLANNING
Sadly, there were several officials’ seminars and courses planned for the end of the season, all of which had to be postponed or, in some cases, cancelled. Staff have worked hard to ensure that any flights or costs incurred have been recovered and that the courses will be held at another date – some dates have already been proposed and all attendees will have been informed.
The FEI has been working hard on officials upgrades and training, these are all posted on the ESNZ Covid-19 web page. However if you have any specific questions speak with your discipline sport manager or our National Sport Administrator Heidi Bulfin [email protected]
CHANGE THE REIN – ADVOCATING FOR GREAT BEHAVIOUR IN EQUESTRIAN SPORT
Many of you will be aware of the “Change the Rein” campaign and project which is about a conscious change in behaviour in our sport, to ensure we are welcoming, accommodating, and that people feel safe, valued and encouraged to take part in equestrian sport.
I heard a great saying the other day that is incredibly aspirational for this campaign:
“People won’t remember what you said.
They will remember how you made them feel”.
As part of Change the Rein, a survey has been available for all members to take part in, we encourage you to give this 10 minutes of your time as it will be used to inform future outcomes from this strategy and project. The link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KJ32YXD
There are opportunities for young people to get involved in the project in terms of a design led approach by members in the age group of 12 – 18-years old. So, if you want to be a part of this exciting project into the future, we would love to have you on board. Please contact Michelle Tayler at [email protected] and she will make sure you get any further information available.
It is worth remembering that there have been far greater crises in the world in previous times and we need to look for the silver lining. Of course, many families will be finding this a very difficult time and the unknown future is equally disconcerting for many, our thoughts are with you.
For us, horses are our silver lining, the privilege of owning and caring for such incredible animals brings joy to all of us each day. For those who wish to, the following YouTube clip provides other thoughts and perspectives – it is from the UK but the message is really important.
The ESNZ staff are here for you during this time. The phones are operating and all queries are welcomed. Please call on the usual line 04 499 8994 and we will be happy to assist.
Stay safe, be careful and we look forward to seeing you all again very soon.
Kind regards on behalf of all of us at ESNZ.