Best Little Derby champions north sail solitaire
The Best Little Derby in the West will not be held as planned in April due to COVID-19. Last year, Austin Seelhof and North Sail Solitaire were the Levels 4 & 3 Open Champions. • Photo by Caleb Tipton

Best Little Derby in the West Canceled Due to COVID-19

The Best Little Derby in the West will not be held next month as originally planned. Like many shows, the reining event was affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.

The show was originally planned for April 18-25 in Nampa, Idaho.

Show Producer George King said on Facebook the event will not be held at its original dates in April. Though he said it was canceled, King noted that rescheduling will be considered pending progress to combat the virus.

Last year, the $62,500-added event drew 442 entries who competed for a total purse of $106,594.

Many large Western performance horse industry events — the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes, National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes among them — scheduled for the next 30 days have been canceled or postponed as governmental and public health officials tighten restrictions on large gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, the Breeder’s Invitational cutting was canceled after its show venue adopted Centers For Disease Control & Prevention guidelines that said gatherings of 50 people or more should be postponed or canceled for eight weeks. The event blackout period extended past the Breeder’s Invitational’s original start date in May.

On Monday, President Donald Trump encouraged Americans to avoid social gatherings of 10 people or more. White House guidelines released the same day regarding COVID-19 encouraged people to avoid discretionary travel, work from home if possible and not to eat or drink at bars, restaurants and food courts.

On Tuesday, the fallout from COVID-19 captured another large event when organizers of the Kentucky Derby (G1) announced the nation’s most prestigious race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds would not be held in its traditional date of the first Saturday of May.

Instead, the mile-and-a-quarter race at Churchill Downs will be moved to Sept. 5, contingent on approval from the appropriate regulatory board, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

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