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March Madness


March 2020 was a tough month for horse show activities, with numerous cancellations of equestrian events to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Following are some of the many events that were cancelled or postponed until a later date.

The Volunteer State Pinto Organization show, scheduled for March 21-22 at the Show Place Arena in Memphis, TN was cancelled.

The Riverboat Parlay, Alabama Arabian 4-region show, scheduled for March 25-30 at the Tunica Arena & Expo Center in Tunica, MS, was cancelled.

The first annual Ames Youth Classic field trial, scheduled for March 20-21 at Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, TN, was cancelled.

On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association extended the suspension of all USHJA competitions and events until May 3, 2020. 

The West Tennessee Hunter/Jumper Association shows, scheduled for March 28, April 2-5, April 8-11, April 30-May 3, and May 7-10 at the Germantown Charity Horse Show Arena in Germantown, TN, were cancelled.

Likewise, Brownland Farm Horse Shows in Franklin, TN cancelled its spring shows through May 3.

The Mid-South Dressage Academy shows, scheduled for March 22, 28-29 at Hernando, MS, were cancelled.

Effective March 16, all events at Agricenter International, the Show Place Arena, and Farmer’s Market in Memphis, TN were postponed or cancelled through May 2, 2020.

The 52nd annual UT Martin Spring Rodeo, scheduled for April 11-13 at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex in Martin, TN, was cancelled, as well as the remainder of the Intercollegiate Rodeo Association season for the Ozark Region.

The Land Rover Kentucky 3-Day Event, scheduled for April 23-26 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY was cancelled.

The Kentucky Derby, scheduled for May 2 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, is postponed until September 5.

Road to the Horse, scheduled for March 19-22 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, is postponed until June 18-21.

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) executive committee canceled the remainder of the 2019/2020 competition season, as of midnight March 12, 2020. This cancellation applies to all IHSA shows including Zones, Western Semi-Finals and Nationals.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced: Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics, and activities will be suspended for the next 30 days. This includes USEF National Championships.On March 25, USEF then extended that suspension until May 3.

At Tryon International Equestrian Center, the following events were cancelled:

·       The Fork at TIEC Eventing competition on April 2-6
·       The Tryon Block House Races Pre-Race Party on April 10 and Steeplechase on April 11
·       The Carolina Classic at TIEC Reining competition on May 6-10

At the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the final two weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) were cancelled, following the close of competition on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

The World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio “elected to close after competition ends on Sunday, March 15. The facility will remain closed for next week and we will continue to address the closures week by week.”

The North American League (NAL) announced March 16 that it “will not sanction classes at any horse shows held during the next 30 days. USEF has recommended that horse show organizers suspend their competitions for the next 30 days and that exhibitors refrain from competing in any shows that do continue.”

On March 23, the Appaloosa Horse Club(ApHC) Board of Directors has cancelled all ApHC-sanctioned regional horse shows through May 1.

On March 16, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Keeneland had cancelled its entire Spring Race Meet (April 2-24), following guidance issued Sunday by the CDC to avoid large gatherings for eight weeks.

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR announced on March 15 that, since two people in Garland County, AR (county where Oaklawn is located) had tested positive for COVID-19, their casino would close for two weeks, March 16-March 30. But their live racing would continue with no fans permitted at the track. Oaklawn has scheduled live racing through May 2, with the Arkansas Derby on May 2. Update March 31: Oaklawn’s casino will remain closed until April 30.

The FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage World Cup, scheduled for April 15-19 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, were cancelled.

The Cinch USTRC National Finals event in Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center were rescheduled from April 21-26 to September 7 to 14, 2020. For more information, contact the USTRC office at (505) 899-1870.

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption, scheduled for April 24-25 in Cullman, AL, was cancelled.

The 2020 Equestrian Businesswomen Summit, scheduled for April 14-15 in Las Vegas, NV was cancelled.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics will not begin in late July 2020, but instead will be held “by the summer of 2021,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced March 24, 2020.

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