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The VERA SMC would like to advise that the Tallangatta Valley ride has now been cancelled for 2020. They will be back in 2021 and we look forward to joining them again up in the lovely valley for a great ride. Thanks Naomi and all the crew up there for looking at ways in which to run the ride under very restrictive conditions.

The SMC has also been talking with David and Trish Reeves to see if they could run a ride at Dergholm. Despite a promising start to arrangements it seems that Parks Victoria won't come to the party and allow them access to the tracks required for the ride. For the dates available to Trish and David it was also getting into fire season and access to the forestry tracks was going to be difficult.

The SMC is still trying to source a location in which to run an event but conditions in Gippsland have been pretty wet and available venues are still waterlogged at the moment.

The VERA SMC have been able to source Bandana Buffs with the VERA logo imprinted. This product has a dual purpose - it works as a face covering for COVID-19 and also, when we get back to rides, they can be used for those freezing mornings when you ride out. The buffs are light weight, stylish and breathable. The cost will be kept low at $15.00 each plus $6 postage.  This is a great opportunity to support VERA with its latest initiative.  Attached is an order form.  Please complete the order form, make the payment and send the form to the Merchandise Officer, Mezcal Manners.  Also attached is a mock-up of the buff.

 

 

Mock Up

 

Order Form

The VERA SMC has held an emergency meeting tonight to discuss the current COVID-19 situation and the Stage 3 restrictions being enforced by our State Government.  As a result of these restrictions all community sport, which includes endurance riding, has been stopped from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 5 August 2020.  

Horse riding can still occur provided members meet the restrictions determined for this activity which include staying close to home, maintaining social distancing, wearing face coverings and riding with only one other person and an instructor. 

The Department of Health & Human Services website details the restrictions:  https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sport-and-exercise-regional-victoria-covid-19.  Please ensure that you all stick to the restrictions to avoid any fines for breaches.

We know that this will be disappointing news but this is only a short term halt that is necessary for the health of many Victorians.  We are endurance riders and we will endure this situation. 

In light of the lack of rides on the calendar and possible restrictions on training opportunities for members the SMC, in conjunction with David and Trish Reeves, have decided to cancel the State Champions for 2020.  This is, again, disappointing but necessary given the uncertainty that is our lives thanks to coronavirus.

Now that we’ve delivered the bad news here’s a couple of good news items.  Bek Williamson has offered to organise a virtual ride again to help keep us all motivated.  Over the next week or 2 Bek will pull together the details of the virtual ride and post them on the VERA FB page.  Please join us all in this event to keep up the fitness levels for both ourselves and our horses.

The other good news is that David and Trish Reeves have indicated they are happy to offer up the Dergholm ride still.  Running a State Championships without any lead up rides is not ideal and we want everyone to be able to come along and get at least one or two rides in before the season ends, COVID-19 allowing us of course! 

There will be a number of ride distances with, most likely, an elevated ride with a few points at which riders can retire.  We are still working through the details of what will be offered with Trish and David so we’ll keep you updated as soon as more information is made available.

Thank you for your understanding.  Please stay safe, follow the restrictions and take care of yourselves.  Please also make sure that you make your mental health a priority during this period of lockdown and seek help if required.

The VERA SMC is disappointed to announce that the Dergholm ride has been postponed. David Reeves has advised that the COVID-19 situation is such that the risk associated with running the event is not acceptable.

In addition, Trish is not residing in SA as she works there and the new border restrictions means that she must reside in SA to be able to attend her place of employment. This will make it difficult to get the event prepared.

The possibility of running the event will be re-visited once more information is available on the lifting of the Stage 3 restrictions.

The SMC thanks David and Trish for their ongoing willingness to adjust their ride plans according to the ever changing environment we are existing in.

Today the Victorian Premier has announced that regional Victoria will be returning to Stage 3 restrictions. As yet the full extent of these restrictions are not known but should become apparent over the next few days. The VERA SMC is continuing to monitor this situation and will provide advice, as soon as possible, on whether we will all be taking a bit longer break from endurance. Please remember to follow all regulations, start wearing your face covering whenever you leave home from tomorrow and, most importantly of all, stay safe.

If you wish to seek a refund on your VERA membership please make an application via the VERA Secretary, Ellen Prestage.

These are tough times for all of us so please let’s all stick together and plan for the day we can all catch up again. Take care.