“2020, what was that? I think I speak for all of us when I say that 2020 was not the best year. When the news of ‘some new virus in China’ reached us at the end of 2019, it seemed like a far-flung bed show. No way that virus would reach Europe, let alone dominate the entire world. At the time it still seemed ‘funny’ and I remember very well that at the end of February I was drinking a Corona in some Austrian ski resort with some friends to celebrate our ski vacation. At that time, Corona was still just beer, not a virus.
A few weeks later, however, it became clear that this was no joke and that COVID-19 would dominate our lives. The BWP inspection was stopped immediately, the competition in Den Bosch had to cancel its 2020 edition in a hurry, questions were asked at the Olympic Games and we all got grounded. Stay in, because you had to. New words like contact bubbles, contact tracers and the later cuddle contact made their appearance.
The fact that the virus not only shook up our daily lives but also the horse world is of course no surprise. In the spring there was no show jumping. Big events such as Knokke Hippique, the Stephex Masters, the World Cup finals and the Global Champions Tour could not take place this year. A busy summer, including the Olympic Games on the program, was almost entirely cancelled. Riders, organizers, sponsors and everyone active in our sport had to adjust their goals and wishes for this year. But, we made it. Is the virus over? No, it is not. Have we shown that we can handle a difficult situation creatively and flexibly? More than ever!
After all, the horse world has shown that it cannot be made small just like that. There may not have been any competitions, but there were exceptional opportunities in breeding. The best mares and stallions were used to ensure that foals born in 2020 are at least exceptional. The trade was not always easy, but then online auctions were organized. This gave buyers the opportunity to buy high quality horses without having to travel and go from one competition to another. Several competitions were cancelled but were given an online version.
I hate the expression ‘this is the new normal’. This is definitely not normal. If and when we will be able to go back to our normal life, only time will tell. But I am firmly convinced that one day we will be able to return to a relatively ‘normal’ situation. At the moment the first people in Europe are being vaccinated. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. No one knows how long that tunnel still is. But if we all bite our teeth together now, we will get there.
Me and the entire Equnews team would like to thank you, our readers, for continuing to read our articles. Our editors have continued to work very hard during this pandemic to bring you interesting articles, to keep you up to date with constantly changing measures and to offer you some distractions in these more difficult times. We are looking forward to a hopefully busier 2021. Therefore from our entire editorial team: thank you for 2020 and a happy, sporty and above all healthy 2021!