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Lexington National Horse Show carries on through COVID

The indoor arena at the Virginia Horse Center in Rockbridge County, Va., as it hosts the Lexington National Horse Show.
The indoor arena at the Virginia Horse Center in Rockbridge County, Va., as it hosts the Lexington National Horse Show.(WDBJ7 Photo)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - At the Virginia Horse Center, the Lexington National Horse Show is underway with some modifications.

At first glance, it looks like past years, with competitors jumping their horses through a course.

But of course, this is 2020, and nothing is quite the same.

“This has definitely, definitely been a crazy year for all this, that’s for certain,” said Alan Lohman, a rider and trainer at the show. “And you know at first you’re like, okay, if it’s a couple months, that’s – but now it’s like, okay, who knows where the end is, but it’s certainly a new environment.”

One where masks have to be worn everywhere, from ringside to outside. Only the riders themselves can be without.

And in the stands, row after row of empty seats. Spectators are not allowed.

But it’s a competition all the same, finally happening after so many were canceled.

“We come to the horse center about six times a year typically,” Lohman said. “This year, this is I think our third time because the events of the spring and the wintertime got canceled there when the pandemic hit.”

Which means, rather than riding for points to a championship, competitors are now doing it more for themselves.

“So really, we’re competing against each other, really not for a championship event that we qualify at the end of the year, but to kind of keep progressing and to get better and become better riders and horsemen,” Lohman said.

But, for someone dedicated to the sport, it’s hard to be disappointed.

“You know,” said Lohman, “They’re all just so glad to be able to get out and get some competitions in for this year.”

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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