Another major aged event cutting was canceled due to COVID-19. This time, it’s the Breeder’s Invitational in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The show, which was scheduled for May 9-23, will be canceled due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and its associated disease, COVID-19. It joins other major events — the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes, National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity — that were either postponed or canceled due to the virus.
Breeder’s Invitational (BI) Executive Director Bob O’Bannon said the show had to cancel after the venue, the Tulsa Expo Square, adopted guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) regarding large gatherings.
The rules say gatherings of 50 people or more planned for any time in the next eight weeks should be canceled or postponed. That wouldn’t end until after the BI starts.
Although O’Bannon said he’d initially felt hopeful the fear surrounding COVID-19 might lessen in time for the show to be held as scheduled, in recent days he’d very recently begun to think that might not be the case. Tulsa Expo Square’s decision to go with CDC guidelines ultimately made the decision for him, he said.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said.
He said the pot of incentive money that would have been up for grabs for this year’s 4-year-olds will be available to them in 2021 as 5-year-olds. That’s what show officials did in 2012 for horses that were unable to compete for incentive money in 2011, when the show was one of many big equine events canceled due to equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).
Several other major Western performance horse industry events, shows and rodeos have been canceled in recent days, in large part due to the efforts of governments and local health agencies to try to disband large gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, officials abruptly halted the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo midway through the event, telling participants and spectators they had hours to clear the show grounds.
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