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OXC Covid-19 Safety Plan

*This is a working document and changes will be made as required, according to Provincial government regulations.*

OXC Covid Safety Plan - Updated June 28th, 2021


Ontario Extreme Cowboy Covid Race Guidelines

The Ontario Extreme Cowboy Association has worked to adopt a set of COVID19 Rules and Guidelines to provide our members opportunities to race. These rules and guidelines should serve as minimum requirements and may be adjusted accordingly to continue to provide a safe environment to prevent the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. 

Every race is unique and therefore there is no “simple” roadmap to success. It is important that we maintain standards to protect all members and fans of the sport through social distancing guidelines and continued sanitizing efforts. These rules and guidelines have been established from physicians and Ontario Ministry of Health recommendations. By applying basic infection control principles to each situation, the risk of disease spread can be diminished. Our association will also work with public health departments to review these rules to ensure there are no additional requirements. 


1. COVID-19 Symptoms, Social Distancing, and Staying Safe 

1.1 If members are experiencing flu-like and COVID-type symptoms, they will be advised to “please not participate” and to leave the race grounds to protect the health of all members. 

1.2 Flu symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, headaches, and fatigue. 

1.3 COVID-19 symptoms: Some people may experience aches/pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea. Onset of cough or worsening chronic cough, unexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing and a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher. Decrease of loss of taste or smell, difficulty swallowing and pink eye.

1.4 It is important to maintain social distancing and health requirements for the protection of contestants, race officials, members of the board, volunteers, and fans when possible.

1.5 All individuals attending the race MUST be registered prior to arrival. Please LIMIT the number of individuals who will be attending to those that need to be directly involved. While we all want to have friends and family cheer us on, race committee must adhere to group numbers and additional persons attending will increase these numbers over acceptable limits.

1.6 Individuals should not congregate in groups larger than specified by provincial regulations at any given time. If there is a need to congregate, masks must be worn at all times.

1.7 Safe distance of at least six feet apart must be maintained and all contestants and spectators while not in the arena for their race must wear a face mask. Masks may be removed during your race time. 

1.8 There will be no race check ins. If you have to scratch out of the race please call race secretary.

1.9 Race committees, officials and staff should minimize and limit the exchange of items between contestants.

1.10 Any and all meetings for the race should observe a safe distance of at least six feet and all attendees must wear a face mask over the nose and mouth. Participants will don a face mask prior to the course walk. All persons on the course walk shall sanitize their hands prior to the course walk. Masks will be available for those that do not have them. 

1.11 Local and/or municipal health department recommended sanitizing solutions can be implemented. 

2. Host

2.1 The host is responsible for implementing a property check in system with full Covid screening and tracking for health departments purposes should it be required.

2.2 Should the host operate a facility which has non-race personnel attending the host will need to pre-determine the acceptable number of persons allowed on the property according to local Covid restrictions

2.3 Host will need to communicate to their own boarders or students where they are permitted to be during the race, while adhering to Covid protocols

2.4 Host boarders and students will need to adhere to masking protocols and social distancing during any interactions that pertain to race participants and/or staff

2.5 Should over night camping be permitted HOST will need to pre-determine protocols and numbers which allow this to happen

3. Race Secretary 

3.1Race Secretary shall work with only one contestant or race personnel at any time, unless those persons are from the same household. 

3.2 Race Secretary shall minimize contact and exchange of items with contestant, contract personnel and race personnel. 

3.3 Race order will be provided to contestants 1 hour in advance of the race and it will be their responsibility to ensure they are ready and on time.

4. Race

4.1 One contestant is allowed in the arena at any time and must exit after each run. 

4.2 Contestants shall not congregate in groups larger than specified by provincial regulations and follow social distancing guidelines. Contestants should wear face masks covering nose and mouth when not competing. 

4.3 All race personnel should wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth. Please adhere to local/county/ health department rules. 

4.4 All contestants should practice safe distancing and line up accordingly. 

4.5 Contestants should not have their horses side-by-side unless a safe distance can be maintained.

4.6 Contestants enter the arena when called upon.

4.7 Contestants should not congregate near entry and exit gates. 

4.8 Host to designate a waiting area for contestants following social distancing guidelines and if six feet separation is not possible, contestants are required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth. 

4.9 Contestant shall exit arena at end of run and follow social distancing guidelines. 

5. Judges 

5.1 Judges shall wear face masks covering nose and mouth while interacting with others.

5.2. Where a judge and scribe is part of the same household, both parties are not required to wear masks while in the arena and performing their duties

5.3 Judges shall be encouraged to design courses with as few touch points as possible for competitors

5.4 Judges are encouraged to place “high touch point” obstacles near the beginning of the course so that ring crew can sanitize obstacles before the next competitor enters the ring and keep the flow of the event moving.

5.5 Judges are encouraged to produce courses that have a simple “flow” to them as competitors will not be provided maps and ring crew will need to sanitize obstacles between runs.

6. Sanitization of touch points and obstacles

6.1 Conduct a risk assessment to identify common areas that contestants would touch – these areas will require additional sanitization measures throughout the the day

6.2 Assign staff to sanitize these areas throughout the day

6.3 Common obstacles that require touching and thereby increased risk for the transmission of Covid-19 are: any obstacle that requires the contestant to touch it in any way.


7. Announcers, Secretary, Timer(s), Sound, Scoreboard Personnel

7.1 The announcer stand (tables, seats, microphones, scoreboard, sound boards, etc.) shall be wiped down before and after each performance with a sanitized solution of bleach and water. 

72 If possible, provide at least six feet of distance between personnel and mark accordingly. 

7.3 Contract personnel, excluding announcer(s), should wear face masks over the nose and mouth if within six feet of other personnel.

7.4 Limit access of personnel to announcer stand during all performances. 

8. Race Committee COVID-19 Guidelines 

8.1 Perform a risk assessment to determine where members and public interact and focus efforts there. 

8.2 Keep ill race committee personnel at home and encourage ill attendees to stay home.

8.3 Clean and disinfect items, entry/exit locations, doors, railings, etc. as often as possible, with the focus on highly congested and congregation areas. 

8.4 Use approved disinfectants to clean. As with any registered product, carefully read the label and only use the product as described in its directions.

8.5 Physical barriers and physical distancing are your best lines of defence. 

8.6 Limit physical contact to the greatest extent possible. 

9. High Traffic and Congested Areas 

9.1 Race committee to remind attendees on the importance of wearing face masks covering the nose and mouth. 

9.2 Provide sanitizing stations. 

9.3 In highly congested areas, try to provide six feet markings to follow social distancing recommendations. 

9.4 Place signage around spectator seating and highly congested areas regarding safe distancing. 

9.5 There will be no provided spectator seating. Spectators are discouraged in order to maintain acceptable maximum head counts, however any spectators must provide their own seating.

10. Scorecards, Course Maps and Prizes/Prize Ceremonies

10.1 Digital copies of scorecards will be provided when emailed by show secretary

10.2 Course maps will not be provided. One map will be provided per course and posted. Contestants are encouraged to take a photo of the map with their cell phones and study the course map this way. Please do not congregate around the course maps

10.3 Ribbons will be available after the division placings have been announced at the ribbon prize table

10.4 There will be no formal presentation of ribbons/ribbon ceremony


EHV-1 Protocols


EHV is a common DNA virus that occurs in horse populations worldwide. The two most common species are EHV-1, which causes abortion, respiratory disease and neurologic disease; and EHV-4, which usually causes respiratory disease only but can occasionally cause abortion and rarely neurological disease.

Respiratory disease caused by EHV is most common in weaned foals and yearlings, often in autumn and winter. Adult horses are more likely than younger ones to transmit the virus without showing signs of infection.

EHM results from widespread vascular or blood vessel injury after damage to the lining of the blood vessels of the blood-brain barrier. Neurologic signs result from inflammation of the blood vessels, blood clots, and death of neurologic tissue. Cases of EHM occur singly or can affect multiple infected horses. They may or may not be associated with a previous or ongoing EHV-1 respiratory or abortion disease outbreak.

EHV-1 is contagious and spread by direct horse-to-horse contact via the respiratory tract through nasal secretions. It is important to know that this virus can also be spread indirectly through contact with physical objects that are contaminated with the virus:

  • Human contaminated hands or clothing

  • Contaminated equipment and tack

  • Contaminated trailers used for transporting horses

  • Contaminated wipe rags or other grooming equipment

  • Contaminated feed and water buckets

The air around the horse that is shedding the virus can also be contaminated with infectious virus. Although it is known that the virus can be airborne, it is difficult to establish the distance the virus can spread in this manner under typical horse management and environmental conditions.

The virus can survive up to 7 days in the environment under normal circumstances but can remain alive for a maximum of one month under perfect environmental conditions. The most important measure is to first clean equipment and horse housing areas. (Please note: It is important to wash and rinse surfaces when possible prior to applying disinfectants.) Cleaning first allows for removal or organic material which makes the disinfectants more effective. After cleaning the surface, follow with a disinfection process. The virus is easily killed in the environment by most disinfectants. Conventional disinfectants and detergents are the best. It is important to perform hand hygiene (wash hands with soap and dry thoroughly or use alcohol based hand sanitizer) when moving between horses that are grouped separately to avoid spreading pathogens that may contaminate your hands.


To limit the potential risk to horses and handlers:

  1. Limit horse to horse contact (keep visiting horses separate from barn herds)

  2. Limit horse to human contact (avoid touching horses other than your own)

  3. Avoid use of communal water sources (bring your own buckets to events

  4. Avoid sharing of equipment unless thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses