Andrea Fappani and Shine Plum Shine with a stop.
Andrea Fappani added a sixth Cactus Reining Classic Derby Open title a year ago, aboard Shine Plum Shine. He won't get a chance at seventh this year. Photo by Waltenberry

Organizers Call Off the Cactus Reining Classic

Officials with the Cactus Reining Classic announced Sunday morning that this year’s event, set to begin this week, has been called off because of continued and growing concerns with the national health emergency, COVID-19.

Organizers of the Scottsdale, Arizona, event made the call a day after the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) recommended from its base in Oklahoma City that events scheduled for the next 30 days be canceled or postponed.

“This action takes into consideration the health and safety of all NRHA members and their horses, as well as spectators, grounds crews, facilities management and show staff,” the NRHA said in a news release Saturday.

Cactus show producer Amanda Brumley did not immediately return a message Sunday morning.

Organizers had already announced that the qualifier for The Run For A Million (TRFAM) Million Dollar Invitational, planned in conjunction with the Cactus, had been moved to the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), citing the cancellation of the travel plans of film crews.

TRFMA Non-Pro and Rookie qualifying was still a go before Sunday’s announcement.

The NRHA rescheduled the NRHA European Futurity from March to November because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, where citizens are still coping with the effects of the virus. Some NRHA shows in the U.S. are being forced to cancel because of local mandates, such as prohibitions of gatherings of 250 people or more.

“I’m not sure any of us has experienced times like these in our lifetime,” NRHA President Mike Hancock said. “The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has been very scary to watch. It has accelerated and at a pace that no one could’ve imagined. Our international members are already suffering, and we all need to do our part to manage this situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been impacted by this outbreak.”

In addition to the Cactus, officials with the following events have notified the NRHA that they will postpone or cancel.

  • DRHA Spring Slide: Netherlands
  • FRHA March Spin: Jacksonville, Florida
  • KV Spring Challenge: Finland
  • EPRHA No Foolin Slide: Logan Township, New Jersey
  • French Kick-Off 2020: France
  • Heart of Dixie: Perry, Georgia
  • Carolina Classic: Tryon, North Carolina