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The Show Won’t Go on at Devon This Year

Devon Horse Show and Country Fair (DHSCF) will not run in 2021, show organizers announced today.

But this time it’s not the pandemic shouldering the blame. It’s bureaucracy.

Originally scheduled for May 27–June 6, 2021, Devon Horse Show would have hosted its the 125th edition but has been cancelled due to the current spectator restrictions imposed by U.S. Equestrian.

From the press release:

“This decision was made only after significant evaluation of the far-reaching operational and financial implications due to on-going restrictions imposed by U.S. Equestrian (USEF) regarding spectators and other important issues at their sanctioned events. The organizers together with the Board of Directors evaluated multiple options, but were ultimately unable to operate under the current restrictions outlined by the sport’s governing body. 

“Despite the DHSCF’s many efforts to obtain information, the competition was told on April 5th that guidelines would not be available until “mid-May.” This time frame does not provide sufficient time to adequately plan and prepare for a show of the DHSCF’s size and caliber. In fairness to the competitors, sponsors, ticket holders, vendors, volunteers and all others involved, the DHSCF believes that the decision to cancel is the best under the circumstances.

“Although many other equestrian events are operating during this time, the DHSCF is uniquely tied to our local audience and spectator base and we did not feel that we could, in good faith, jeopardize future events for the sake of running this year against so many financial and operational challenges. This decision was made to protect the financial viability of the show for years to come.”

Earlier this week, U.S. Equestrian president Thomas O’Mara and CEO William J. Moroney announced that the federation was developing plans to permit a limited number of spectators at USEF competitions, but that the current USEF COVID-19 Action Plan remains in place:

“We have all been watching the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking forward to the day when our world will return to a level of pre-pandemic normalcy. As more and more individuals across the country are getting vaccinated, hope is increasing that we are getting closer to this goal. However, the threats posed by the numerous virus variants, coupled with the increase in COVID cases in many of the states that have recently lifted restrictions, remind us that now is not the time to let our guard down. We must remain vigilant and continue to engage in the practices proven to reduce the risk of virus transmission (mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing).”

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will celebrate its 125th anniversary during the competition in 2022.

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