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From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: A Personal Message to Our Members on COVID-19

Dear ASHA members, Following the guidelines of President Trump, USEF, and health professionals, we issued our statement to members. Our sister breed organizations have issued theirs as well.

I am saddened for our members at what has transpired with this health emergency. It is a tragedy for everyone. I pray it goes away quickly. But it can only resolve itself if we limit the opportunity for it to spread.

I sincerely hope it resolves itself in 30 days. Unfortunately, it may take longer. And that will depend on our ability to test our population and limit its spread.

The suspension of horse shows is painful. Just as the closure of schools, suspension of sporting events and other large gatherings, this too is damaging to our industry and our members. We do not take this lightly. The leadership of ASHA met today to determine what we must do. This was our best guidance. I don’t like this. You don’t like this. It hurts us all. It takes away from is what we truly love to do.

And this will pass. But only if we prevent the spread of this. This virus is ten times more deadly than the common flu. 250 people died today in Italy.

I am sorry this is happening, and I know many will suffer financially as a result. I beg you to let me know what we can do to help you through this. We are one big family. And when one of us hurts, all of us hurt. But until this virus stops being spread, it can only get worse. So we must follow the lead of our sister organizations and take the necessary precautions. We will get through this. By the time we are all together in Louisville, I hope it will be long gone.

But until that has happened, let’s work hand in hand to solve this problem together. My thoughts and prayers are with all of our members.

Marty Schaffel, ASHA President 

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