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Josie Eliasson: "Message from a ghost town"

Monday, 23 March 2020
Waiting to go home...

Jessica Springsteen’s show groom Josie Eliasson is in Wellington, Florida – waiting to travel back to Europe, after the coronavirus Covid-19 brought the Winter Equestrian Festival to an abrupt end. 

"As I bring my equipment out of FEI stabling for the last time this season, I think about what a strange feeling it is being in Wellington, Florida during this time. This is the horse show that never takes a break. Even when the official 12 weeks of WEF (Winter Equestrian Festival) are over, there are still horses showing in more than 10 different rings at the show grounds. There is normally a pre-season as well, before it all starts in January. So, having no horses going in the rings gives the impression of a ghost town. 

After having one of the most successful WEFs so far, we are giving our horses some well-deserved easy time but are still keeping them fit and ready for the season to start back up again.

The hardest part is living with the unknown and the rumors. As of now the flights are still going back to Europe but will they keep going? The travel ban coming to America is making us speculate if they will keep sending empty planes here to fly people and horses to Europe or if those will stop as well? We keep hearing “borders are closed everywhere in Europe, only necessities are being flown over” and “the horses can go everywhere, but not the grooms flying with them”. It’s hard to filter out what is true and not. 

Anyway, apart from a 6am to 9pm curfew, things are running smoothly so far in “Wellyworld”. And I think it will, at least until they close the drive through at Starbucks. 

Our plan was to take the horses to Europe in the beginning of April, but we have decided to stay put here in Florida for a bit longer. Although I can’t wait to see my friends and family in Europe, the horses have everything they need here and we get to spend some more time in the sun. 

Hope everyone stays healthy and safe, and take care of each other! 



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