IMPORTANT COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT
Like the rest of you, I am watching the COVID-19 coronavirus situation unfold. Because things are changing very rapidly, I wanted to get a statement out today.
We have a few rules which will be in effect beginning immediately and will be in effect through April 30. Note that these rules may be changed or modified at any time as the situation warrants.
Handlers must handle their own leash/collar. The leash/collar will not be touched by anyone but the handler. The leash can be draped over the fence, placed in a bucket provided by the Club which can be either on the inside of the ring gating or inside on the floor at the corner of the start box. Or the handler can leave the leash on the floor. Handlers can put the leash in their pocket if it is completely in the pocket (already a rule). It cannot be carried in the hand or put around the waist or neck (safety issue). Dogs must still run naked. If the handler chooses to put the leash on the floor or in a bucket on the floor and the dog returns to play with the leash, all regular rules apply (cannot touch dog until call rat, could be subject to Lack of Control). Even if a bucket is provided if the handler feels it's safer to hang the leash on the fence they may do so. Slip leads are strongly encouraged. The fence and/or bucket will be cleaned often.
All Clubs who can do so are advised to increase their blind size to a minimum of 10 x 15. If the Club cannot increase to that size, all blinds for all classes will be reduced to 4 dogs per blind, with handlers/chairs being in each corner of the blind. Please note, this will add time to the day. Be patient please. Expect your day to be longer.
Spectators must be back from the fence and cannot touch the fence. Let's maintain good distance between people.
Not Rules but strong suggestions:
When using Restraint for rat removal, please if at all possible turn yourself and your dog AWAY from the RW. Let's not breathe at each other. RWs will be wearing gloves.
Don't touch, hug, kiss people. Crate out of your car if possible and if not let's have as much room as we can between folks. You already know the drill on washing your hands very regularly. Especially wash directly after you have been in the ring.
If you are sick with ANY type of cold/respiratory thing, DO NOT COME TO THE EVENT.
At this time no events have been cancelled. I will work with Clubs as necessary. If an event is cancelled prior to closing, refunds will be offered. There is NO GUARANTEE of refunds if events have to cancel after closing. I know many of you will be angry over that. Please understand that Clubs have many fixed fees which they have already paid prior to the event (ribbons, judge airfare, deposits and building rentals, etc.). Many of our Clubs are small. If they have to cancel they will be taking a big financial loss, and may not be able to give refunds and still stay viable as a Club to hold future events. We will all feel the pinch of this, from competitors through Clubs, Judges, and the Association. But we want you to be safe and we want to come out of this with viable Clubs who can pick back up and offer events again quickly.
The Barn Hunt Community is a wonderful one. We will get through this together. Thank you to all of you for your support of our great little sport.