The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity has been rescheduled.
On Wednesday, the NRHA announced that the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) and Maria Cecilia Fiorucci’s Elementa had partnered to host the European Futurity Nov. 20-28 during the IRHA/Italian Reining Horse Breeders Association Arcese Futurity and Italian Championship Finals.
Officials had postponed the event, which was supposed to be held March 22-28, due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) near the where the show was to be held in Northern Italy.
It was one of a number of large equine events cancelled or postponed in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, which had infected more than 118,000 worldwide as of Thursday, March 11, according to the World Health Organization. Some 10,149 of those cases were in Italy, where health officials say 631 people died due to the virus.
Several horse events have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus.
Just prior to the NRHA’s announcement about the new date for the NRHA European Futurity, officials from the city of Houston announced they were cancelling the remainder of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in that community.
The Road to the Horse colt-starting challenge — set for March 19-22 in Lexington, Kentucky, — also was postponed on Wednesday. A new date has not yet been announced.
Earlier, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) said it would cancel its 2020 Convention in Las Vegas.
The European Futurity will run concurrently with the IRHA 4-year-old Futurity [details to be determined]. The IRHA Futurity show will take place in Cremona, Italy, which is the same place the European Futurity had been originally scheduled.
In an effort to ensure that the event’s rescheduling was handled efficiently, the NRHA’s European Executive Board reviewed potential dates and venues. Roberto Cuoghi, president of the European Council and IRHA, sealed the deal — approved unanimously by the Board — to host the European Futurity in Cremona during the IRHA/IRHBA/Arcese Futurity & Elementa Italian Championship.
That was made possible through Elementa’s €200,000-euro sponsorship of the European Futurity, which with other sources pushes the added money to 400,000 euro.
“In this very difficult situation we are all facing, I took it upon myself to personally visit with Cecilia [Fiorucci] focusing on what is best for our NRHA members and our sport,” said NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Cuoghi. “Our passion is what moves us and this is the result of our passion. I would like to thank NRHA and our European Board for their trust and of course Cecilia for investing in our industry and our programs.”
This year Elementa will also be the presenting sponsor of the €150,000 euro-added IRHA Italian Championship finals. By hosting the NRHA European Futurity, the 2020 IRHA/IRHBA/Arcese Futurity [which includes the €250,000 euro-added 3-year-old futurity] will once again make the offer a total purse of €800.000.
For more news and information from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.