If you wanted a sign that 2021 was going to be an improvement over the dumpster fire that was 2020, this might just be it.

The United States Equestrian Federation (“USEF”) and World Equestrian Center Ocala (“WEC”) released a joint statement today declaring their intention to work together—like the friends to horse sport we all hoped they’d be.

Here is the press release in full:

The United States Equestrian Federation (“USEF”) and World Equestrian Center Ocala (“WEC”) are pleased to announce that they have agreed to work together on a plan for WEC to host USEF sanctioned competitions in the future. USEF and WEC agree that it is in the best interest of the sport for them to work collaboratively.

Formulating this plan will require some time for both USEF and WEC to meet and consider what is best for equestrian sport and all of its stakeholders, while prioritizing horse and rider welfare and operating under the rules that govern all USEF organizers. 

To allow time for that process to unfold, the USEF has withdrawn its request to the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) to declare the 2021 Ocala Winter Classic Spectacular unsanctioned and therefore riders, officials and horses may compete there this winter without being sanctioned by the FEI or USEF. Assuming development of a mutually agreed upon plan, WEC has agreed not to host any other new competitions that are not authorized by USEF. The USEF recognizes WEC’s existing relationship with NSBA and that WEC will endeavor to include NSBA within such authorized competitions.

In agreeing to this interim measure, the USEF considered how important it was for its members to have abundant competition opportunities this winter following a period during which many events were cancelled because of Covid-19. 

The goal now shared by both USEF and WEC is to have a plan agreed in the coming weeks and once that is achieved, the plan will be shared publicly. 

Happy holidays, indeed!