Dear USASA Membership;
After an extraordinary amount of painstaking deliberation, the USASA Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the USASA National Specialty planned for May 16-22, 2020 at Purina Farms.
Our first concern and highest priority is the health and well-being of our membership, exhibitors, judges, spectators, and vendors, most of whom are required to travel via airline or drive long distances to attend our event. States are daily implementing closure of non-essential businesses, and issuing mandates limiting public gathering size, with these restrictions generally lasting 30 days or longer at this point. And by now, many of you have likely received cancellation notifications from your hotel.
In addition, the Board is sensitive to the fiscal responsibility it bears to the Club and Membership. An almost-certain significant reduction in participation and entries across all venues for the May 16 -22, 2020 event, combined with fixed costs and expenditures, means a National resulting in a significant deficit to the Club.
As for a reschedule date in 2020, there are no indoor-facility dates available at Purina for the remainder of the year, and the only outdoor dates available would put us in direct conflict with the ASCA National Specialty. Out of respect to that Club and our mutual exhibitors, we have opted to not shift dates at Purina.
After additional research, we have found that most facilities that may be able to host a National Specialty are currently closed for an indefinite period, further delaying any action required to move locations on short notice.
Finally, uncertainty of when government restrictions on public gatherings will ease, conflicts with other large shows and Specialties, and the reality of the financial hardships and personal choices many will face in the coming months even further complicates the process of sourcing alternative dates and venues.
For the reasons noted above, the USASA Board has made the very difficult decision to not pursue further dates in 2020, and instead shift all efforts, resources, and funding into hosting an even bigger and better 2021 National Specialty at Purina Farms.
- All Judges planned for 2020 (Conformation, Performance, Top 20, etc.), will be contacted to determine their availability for the 2021 event, effectively shifting future Judging panels out by one-year.
Judges – The appropriate Show Chair(s) will be reaching out in the coming days to determine your availability for our 2021 dates. Thank you for your patience.
- 2020 Futurity: The Futurity Committee will look at this opportunity to introduce a Maturity competition, effectively shifting 2020 Futurity entrants to the Maturity competition in 2021, with Judge Flo McDaniel presiding. The 2021 Futurity Judge will remain confidential until next year as is standard. Additional information to follow in the coming weeks.
- Top 20: The USASA Board is sensitive to the efforts of those who obtained a 2019 Top 20 Breed ranking, and will work alongside the Top 20 Committee to ensure appropriate recognition for this group of dogs, breeders, owners, and handlers.
- All entry fees paid-to-date for Conformation and Performance venues will be refunded minus any minimal administrative fees imposed by Superintendents.
- All monies paid for Grooming, RV, Banquet etc. will be refunded.
- All Sponsorships (conformation, performance, juniors, etc.) will be transferred to 2021.
- Annual Meeting: The USASA Constitution and Bylaws state that “the annual meeting shall be held in the month of March, April, or May with the Club’s National Specialty if possible.” As most Parent Clubs are experiencing similar challenges, we will work directly with the American Kennel Club and within the laws of our State of incorporation (Colorado) to determine options available to us. More information to follow.
Important note: The management and refund of Fees/Payments will be a massive and time-consuming endeavor for our Treasurer and other partners during an already overwhelming period, so we respectfully request your patience. Please do not dispute payments via PayPal as that further complicates the process of refunds.
As mentioned in a previous communication, a National Specialty takes years of planning, so unwinding the many aspects of it under difficult circumstances and in a short time frame is no easy task. While we hope this communication addresses the primary concerns at this time, there will be other inevitable issues/concerns that arise, and the USASA Board is committed to working through them as they occur.
To end, as our dog-show community returns to normal (and it will), we strongly encourage you to enthusiastically support all local and national canine events. Our sport will depend on it.
On behalf of the entire USASA Board of Directors, we sincerely thank you for your continued support of USASA, and we look forward to seeing ALL of you at the 2021 National Specialty at Purina Farms!