Posted by Ann Wilt

Hello Knollwood Families and Students,

As we are all well aware, COVID-19 has changed so many aspects of our lives; delayed the starting of activities, limited gatherings, meant wearing masks to the store (if we even go to the store), and put us all in our homes for our own safety for at least 30 days.  It has touched most, if not all aspects of how we run our daily lives.  One aspect of an equestrian's life that hadn't really been thought of much as being effected by this global shut down, was exhibitor age groupings and how this shut down might effect those Junior Exhibitors on the cusp of aging out.  

We've all heard, seen, or even experienced our "last year" as a junior exhibitor.  It's a bittersweet time as it truly means that you're growing up, but it also means that you're growing up.  Perhaps growing up means riding won't be something you can do in the next phase of your life.  Perhaps it means you will continue on into the amateur division.  Perhaps it means you will have to take a very long break and come back to it, or perhaps you ride equitation, where aging out is truly a milestone no matter what your next step is.  Either way, our typical show season begins in March or April.  That has been pushed to, well who knows when, meaning many riders have the uncertainty of whether or not they will even GET their last year as a junior exhibitor.  

Having a milestone pass unexperienced is of course not the worst thing that can happen during a global pandemic, but a few equestrians have gathered together to petition the United States Equestrian Federation to reinstate Junior Exhibitor status to those that would be aging out this year.  The petition has already been signed a whopping 6,013 times and only needs 7,500 to be considered a victory. So many communities have truly come together during this time of social distancing to care for one another.  Signing this petition is just another way the equestrian community is coming together to protect the youth and to protect their equestrian experience.  Click the button below to add your name to the list of signers and hopefully we can allow for all the junior exhibitors spending their last year in quarantine, another shot at experiencing their milestone in the show ring.