Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hold the NAN cards

Last Sunday there was a model horse show in Grand Junction, Colorado. I did not attend, but other people did. In fact, the turnout was the biggest in the history of this particular show. Pictures from the hall showed a distinct lack of masks and social distancing. 

You might think that this is an outlier, that most people would know better than to attend a model horse show during a pandemic. Sadly, that is not the case. In the last three months, there have been numerous shows in numerous states, with more planned in Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas. I don't know how to stop it, but I do know this: These shows should not be NAMHSA (North American Model Horse Show Association) sanctioned

My friend, Erin Corbett agrees. Earlier today, she wrote a proposal asking the NAMHSA board to stop sending NAN cards to shows. I hope everyone involved in the showing part of the model horse hobby will take the time to read this. If you agree - and you should - please reach out to your NAMHSA rep and ask her to support this motion. 

A Proposal for the NAMHSA Board

by Erin Corbett

I would like to see the board formally consider putting an indefinite hiatus on awarding NAMHSA qualifying status. In a nationwide pandemic, gatherings are not safe, and continuing to approve shows gives tacit approval of gatherings by NAMHSA. One of the challenges we all face right now is how to tell when things are safe enough to resume normal activities, given the extreme disparities in how local municipalities are addressing the virus. Using the guidelines being followed by many healthcare organizations to determine resuming normal operations seems prudent. I propose NAMHSA begin approving shows again when the following criteria are met:

  • When there are no states in the United States that ban gatherings of over 10 people AND,
  • When there are no states in the United States that mandate wearing of masks outside one’s home AND,
  • When there are no states in the United States with mandatory quarantine periods after travel to any other part of the United States
  • OR
  • When there is a vaccine available reliably nationwide

The above data points are available daily online, and I recommend the board evaluates them every thirty days to determine if it’s safe to resume the approval of shows.


  1. I wonder if it crossed the minds of show holders that they can potentially be liable if someone becomes ill. Some show halls will not provide liability coverage in the event someone becomes ill from COVID. This means, a show host can potentially be involved in one or more lawsuits to cover medical expenses of any exhibitor who contracts the disease at their show. It's a huge thing to consider if/when hosting a show without strict safety measures, and one of the things both my husband and I considered carefully for returning or not returning to work. I have liability coverage, while he does not. We simply cannot risk a 10k + lawsuit per individual at this time, so therefore I am the only one working at this time. The risk is too, too high for this for a hobby.

  2. I honestly think this is total BULLS**T. If you are afraid to go out and get on with your life then you go be you but there are more than enough of people like me who disagree with all this. I personally will jump at any chance to get back to live showing.

    1. Clearly you're not alone in your beliefs. This is why the US is number one.

    2. I'd care more about your opinion if you were brave enough to put a name to it.

      Sandra Gibson

    3. So, if you were only putting yourself at risk, that would be one thing. But you could be exposed and bring that home and infect someone who made a more responsible choice than you.

      I am an essential worker. I don’t have the luxury of working from home, and it is a slap in the face to those of us going to jobs made exponentially more difficult when people do this YOLO don’t like it stay home lol. Many of us do not have the option.

      We are all part of a community here and in order to get out of our current state we need to care about others-even people we don’t know well. I don’t know how to tell you to care about other people. Would you allow a friend to drive drunk?

    4. If you were the only one who could possibly get sick then I'd say whatever, you do you and roll your own dice with the ICU, Ventilator, or Death.

      But the problem is that you are likely to spread it to someone else. Someone who may already be physically compromised in a way that makes it even harder for their body to fight against covid. Someone who could DIE because YOU got them sick.

      Is it really worth it to you to risk someone else's life? To rape their immune system just so you can get your plastic pony showing rocks off?

      Says a lot about who you are as a person...

    5. Anonymous has a point...

      I am afraid: Of getting sick. I have been hospitalized for a severe infection before. It cost me $800 + out of pocket with good insurance, but without, cost $8,000+ (and that was just for a few hours of treatment).

      I am afraid: Of the horror of going through an unknown and terrorizing bodily infection again, knowing it is absolutely scary and awful. I cannot describe to anyone the scope of the bodily discomfort I experienced adequately.

      I am afraid: Of passing on respiratory diseases to my husband, my friends, and my family. They are more valuable than my model horse collection or any amount of live showing. I would give up collecting and live showing entirely for their well being if needed. They are my world, model horses are not.

      I am afraid: That if I attend, I am being part of the problem in the country and globally, and not part of the solution, in the event I put myself above others.

      Yes, I am most definitely afraid, but it would be folly to assume people like myself are "afraid" and are not living their life fully. People need to stop confusing irrational fear with rational, justifiable prudence. I want to get back to normal life just as everyone else does, but that's not what is real right now. Eventually, I take faith it will be.

      I should mention that I am someone who was once assigned to be terminally ill, and I am living life every.single.day. with a level of consciousness that knows the difference between there being a time and place for everything. I have wholly struggled with coming to terms with what violates my life philosophy of living for the day, and living within reason. I realized that I have given up nothing except a temporary pause on my life's luxuries, and count my blessings I have not suffered any greater losses since the pandemic began. I will return to live showing when it is prudent to do so, but in the meantime will enjoy what luxuries I am still most fortunate to possess.

      Nothing but love for y'all. <3

    6. Anonymous, I'm not afraid to go out, I just care enough about other people to not think attending a model horse show is worth the risk of potentially spreading this illness to other people. But you do you. (This was my comment I deleted, it ended up as a reply to the wrong post)

    7. I agree, and their is a preventative and a cure.. Hydroxachloraquine.. is a preventative, and they are lying about numbers...It's an election year... virus riots whats next? I don't want to know. But I want to have a good time while I still can.

    8. Unknown, You obviously didn't pass science in school. NO, there (not their) is NOT a cure or a preventative despite what the Cheeto would like you to believe. There are no studies that have shown that hydroxachloraquine does any good for the virus and some evidence to suggest that it actually makes some cases worse. And NO, they are not lying about the numbers. Over 150,000 people in the US have died because we can't be socially responsible people and follow the guidelines set up by the experts who actually know what they are doing. Every other country in the world has figured this out bu the US, and your type of behavior and thought process is why we, as a country, are in the mess we are in. (Sorry for the deleted comment above. I needed to edit it.

  3. Yes, we will be having a show in Texas in early August. If you READ the show packet, you will find that all the appropriate steps will be taken: Masks will be required, and the showholders limited the entrants to enable proper social distancing in the show hall. In addition, the show is being held in a county which had the smallest number of Covid cases in the entire state -- as recently as June, there were ZERO cases in the county. It's a matter of following the recommendations of the health care community.

    Another point -- At this point, this rule could go into effect only after a REASONABLE time. Showholders pay substantial fees for show hall rentals, and in many cases, those monies are NOT REFUNDABLE. So, if this rule is passed, it would only apply to shows not already approved.

    1. 1) Where are all the people going to the show traveling from?

      Have they all been quarantining at home with the exception of going to this show?

      2) If you honestly think that everyone is going to wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance for the whole show you're a much bigger optimist than I am.

      How many of those attendees are going to claim that they can't wear a mask the whole time due to "health issues"?

      How many of those people are going to still be near each other socializing (because you should really be maintaining social distance even while wearing a mask to be safe)?

      Are people going to leave the hall and go outside to eat and drink? Or are they going to take their mask off to eat/drink in a building that probably recycles it's air?

      3) Are they actually sticking to the mandated limit of people? Or is this one of the shows that is saying the hall owner said could allow more than 10 people?

      4) While I do agree a lot of rental deposits are non-refundable

      A) Some halls may make an exception and give a refund due to it being, you know, a fraking pandemic and it being unsafe to gather in groups

      B) If they won't make an exception, a lot of places will probably let you pick a new date in the future to move your reservation to

    2. I can say with absolute certainty that if the Jennifer Show was supposed to have been held this year, we would have cancelled. We would have been out a lot of money, because let me tell you, that was an expensive show, but we'd have done it anyway. People are more important than money.

    3. It is interesting that the poster used June figures. It is July, and the current numbers are readily available for that county. Per the local medical center, as of July 21 there have been 59 confirmed cases. They also state:
      "Recently, Somervell County has fared well in comparison to some of our neighbors. Our active cases had been dropping steadily. Unfortunately, we are on a small island surrounded by communities with obvious community wide, ongoing spread. This will continue to impact our community."

      But yeah, bringing people in from those surrounding counties, risking further spread in Somervell, is not nearly as important as whether or not the showholder loses her money.

  4. Since people need to wear masks to keep themselves and others from catching a fatal pandemic; and there truly are people who are at risk due to breathing issues from wearing masks, wouldn't it be better if we thought of EVERYONE who is at risk (those who "should" wear masks and those who "can't") by not having ANY live shows at all until the pandemic is over? That sounds like the most reasonable solution to me.

  5. Well, there may be about 40 active cases in my county right now, but then there also are 32,000 people in my county who don't have active cases.

  6. NAN, you are not a government body. Releasing NAN cards does not mean you agree with show holders having a show.

  7. I don't show model horses and I am brave enough to sign my opinions. The public health officials are TRYING to keep the public safe, but since you do not understand science, you will not do what they say. THIS DISEASE KILLS. If it doesn't kill you, it may seriously affect your health for the rest of your life. (Do YOU want to be deaf, for instance??) The more people that stay home, the more people that will live! It's that simple!

  8. FYI: This comment board is deleting identifying information

  9. I defiantly agree with this. Many we can have online NAMHSA shows!

    1. Although I love this idea in theory, I think it's beyond the scope of NAMHSA. It's time for someone or someones to jump in and forge a new future for the hobby.

  10. i'd love to see more leadership, with governing organizations and associates at all levels of society (including the top) providing more rigorous guidance.

    right now it feels like nobody really wants to take responsibility or risk taking an unpopular position. so instead it's turning into an 'every man for himself' type system where these major decisions impacting public health are left to those who likely have financial or personal stakes in carrying on despite the pandemic.

    in case you're interested, the Ocala Jockey Club just cancelled their major annual event that was intended to serve as a qualifier for the olympics -- and their press release is pretty explicit about WHY this choice had to be made. highly recommend anybody check it out, even if that's not your sport or hobby of choice.

  11. I'm a little saddened to read some of these responses. Especially because I joined and stuck with this hobby community because I've been blessed to meet some really kind people in it.
    Facts: we are in the middle of a pandemic; this requires changes to all of our normals; we are all suffering in some way due to this; I think it can be said that we are all dealing with varying levels of being scared/facing hardships due to this situation. But when did that become a reason to attack others without fully knowing the situation and have a lack of compassion and tolerance for one another?

    While I'm sure there are some people out there that actually have great disregard for others, there are also some people that are really scared or are suffering silently without access to adequate help. Maybe that's why their opinion is coming across as angry and hostile? It's not a justification, but maybe they don't feel heard or cared about, maybe they feel marginalized, maybe they're so scared they don't know how to cope, maybe they're afraid to ask for help because of the response they'd receive, maybe they're just afraid to ask for help or don't know where to turn to. All these reasons can cause people to have angry responses that may seem like lack of care and consideration for others. You often don't have the awareness for others when you yourself are drowning.

    1. Has anyone tried asking these people what their reason is for not wanting to comply? Before attacking and defending your stand point with an assumed reply, accusing them of not caring, could we be asking for their stand point instead? Sure, maybe they are a jerk at heart, but what if they really aren't? What if just by asking, 'hey, why is it that you feel this way?' could change everything for them, even if just for a moment, would you do it?

      I guess I feel this way because I have several mental illnesses and lost my job due to Covid. The business can't be open, so I have no job, and no job means no health insurance. I can't get access to my usual support system of doctors and therapists and access to medications I need to function because I no longer have health insurance. I'm scared, I'm isolated, and I've run out of places to turn to get affordable care/help.

      Yes, I'm one of these people considering going to a model show, not because I don't care about others, but because socializing is one of the last coping mechanisms I have left that could help stabilize and save my life. No, I haven't signed up because I feel torn and conflicted about it. It could hurt others, but it would help me hold on longer as well. Does it need to be a NAN card show, no, I just would give almost anything to see someone smile and feel some warmth or kindness from another human being. I am one of those people that know the stigma associated with mental illness, so I'm not open with everyone about it. I have a minimal social circle of friends, but I also know they can't and shouldn't have to carry the burden of someone with issues just because I don't have access to doctors and therapists right now.

      It is a fact that suicides, mental illnesses, domestic abuse, and substance abuse are all exponentially higher right now with the forced lockdown. I don't know of any resources that are being directed to help people in these categories. I don't qualify for any assistance with my healthcare costs because I don't make enough or I'm not disabled enough, I can't afford a plan outright with no job, and the local non-profit clinic has a massive waiting list. Is it possible that some people that still want to attend a show are experiencing one of these situations? What if a wife or mother or father was being abused and shows are their only outlet for safety or reprieve? Can we ask why he/she feels the need or want to go instead of just assuming she doesn't care for others?

      Photo shows don't have contact with other people. If we truely care about eachother in this community, sure take away live shows, but how about offering some type of video platform to get together with someone who needs it? Just talk horses or anything else really. Can we think to offer some, or any, alternative socialization, that could really benefit those who may be too afraid or can't ask for help? Can we please try and consider eachother during this trying time? We are one of the best hobby communities out there. Please be kind to one another. Please let's try to listen and be there for one another in this community. Not to just those that are vocal about it.

      Yes, I'm aware this is an unpopular opinion and I will be chastised for stating it. Sorry, but please don't shut out or forget your fellow hobbyists out there. Some of us suffer in silence and this hobby may be the only joy for some of us out there. They may be to scared to speak up, as I have been up until this point. Let's brainstorm alternatives to shows instead of canceling any means of contact some of us have with the outside world.

    2. Here's the thing, it is fucking hard to be in lockdown, no one is denying that. But the less you lockdown, and the less harshly you do it, the longer the pandemic will draw out. I'm from denmark, we locked down in march completely and with the support of the government. We never used masks on a grand scale, simply forced closure on almost everything. Now we have been reopening slowly over the past few months and everything seems to be getting more and more stable, with gatherings of up to 100 people allowed. The US has waffled on lockdown rules and half-measures, and now it's an absolute mess. The only solution is to bite the bullet and put in harsher lockdown measures, no ifs and buts. I'm deeply mentally ill, but risking other people's lives to cope is not ok, it's selfish and there are other things to be done. Socialize online, call your friends, engage in solitary hobbies like painting or sewing, it's hard but there's ways to cope. Your hobby is not worth someone else's life and the spread of the pandemic - if the only viable way you can engage with it personally is to endanger others, and that is what people are doing by continuing to hold live shows, then you need to find another coping method, full stop. This is about collective action.

    3. I'm wondering, why is it that you feel the need to curse? Does that make your point emphasized, stronger, or more believable?

      I'm also wondering if you either didn't fully read my post or only chose to pick out what you wanted to use from it. I didn't advocate for live shows, I provided one view point as to why some people might say they wanted to attend one. I suggested we ask people why they would still want to live show, maybe we can learn something. Maybe we can use that information as a way to come together and help eachother. Be a community that thinks of and considers others, not just themselves.

      If you did read all the way through, I postulated that we find an alternative to live shows. It doesn't even have to be a show. How about a clinic, how about pick a horsey topic and let's just have a discussion, etc? I would love for this wonderful community to band together and forge alternatives to live show socialization. Not everyone has the great social network you do. Also, I'm interested in reading your reference for how tough love in a 'just deal with it' scenario has been proven to be effective. Isn't that in itself not considering others as well?
      I guess that could just be me 🤷‍♀️

    4. Side note- I'm not trying to be mocking or sarcastic by asking questions. I literally just have different brain wiring and I can't think as most neuro typical people. I'm literally asking questions because I would genuinely like to understand your viewpoint and fears as well.

  12. I fully support you Jennifer and Erin. Now is not the time to host live show gatherings. For those concerned about costs of cancelling, just host an online show. The potential liability costs associated with meeting in person are much greater than your 1,000 deposit- does that at least resonate with you if the mentioned risk
    to human lives does not?

  13. Maybe some ideas need to be introduced for alternative shows. As Unknown said, she struggles and a show where she can interact with people is a way for her to hang on. Photo shows aren't exactly interactive. The model horse hobby needs some new ideas and needs to break some boundaries from just Live Show or Photo Show.

    Does anyone know if you can screenshare with Zoom? Maybe an Photo Show Live could be hosted, with the photos being sreenshared by the judges on Zoom as they judge them. I know with the Google Hangouts, the people who are on the video can keyboard chat with each other while someone is talking.
    It would be a big undertaking and take a lot of organization, but maybe there is someone out there who would be willing to take the leap into the technological world of Live Model Horse shows.