Fellow ASCA Members,
By now, you’ve heard the news that the Board decided to cancel the 2020 National Specialty in Georgia. The decision was not made lightly, and we know that it is very disappointing for all. The 2020 National Specialty Committee worked diligently and with great heart and the Chairman, Peter Kontos, even managed to negotiate with the park so that ASCA would not be financially penalized. We have nothing but admiration and appreciation for everyone involved in the 2020 team. In the end, however, the Board had to consider all factors and came to the heart-breaking decision to cancel.
First, the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic was of extreme concern. There is a great degree of uncertainty as to whether this pandemic will be controlled by October and, if it was not, such an event could have possibly contributed to the spread of the virus among our members, competitors, and workers even with safety measures in place. Even though most of the events would have been conducted outdoors, making certain that so many people followed guidelines and minimally exposed would have been quite a feat. That uncertainty also included the possibility of travel restrictions that would have made it difficult for competitors to travel to and from the event. In addition, the social distancing measures would have limited the number of people in the rings/arenas for walk-throughs and line-ups, extending the times of the events.
Second, there were financial considerations. Even though the Chair, Peter Kontos, negotiated a deal in which ASCA would not be responsible for the site, the Board was still concerned that, if the state closed or the park closed in October, there would still be heavy losses that the consortium would not be able to handle since all entries would have to be refunded. Having unpaid items would have reflected poorly on the consortium and ASCA.
Third, the issue of ASCA’s name also contributed to the decision in other ways. Just about all other major breed specialties around the country have been cancelled because those organizations were concerned about their members and competitors. Continuing with the largest single breed specialty in the country did not seem like the right choice for the safety reasons mentioned above and in upholding ASCA’s reputation within the fancy.
Again, we acknowledge the disappointment and all Directors are disappointed as well. This was a very difficult decision, but the Board felt that it was necessary to protect competitors, members, and ASCA.
We know that there are still lingering questions regarding finals and finals ribbons. The Board has requested help from the committees as to how to deal with finals. We’re all working on it and will appraise the membership and finalists when we have more information. In the meantime, the Board will share the finals’ financial projections and budget so that the membership can see the information that went into the financial part of the decision to cancel finals.
We now look forward to 2021 in Bryan, Texas. Please, stay safe and follow guidelines when participating in the regular shows and trials.
The ASCA Board of Directors
Executive Secretary, Australian Shepherd Club of America
6091 E. State Hwy 21, Bryan, TX 77808 | (979) 778-1082
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