Home Horses Coronavirus impact shifting rapidly in equine industry

Coronavirus impact shifting rapidly in equine industry

American Pharoah 12th Triple Crown Winner in Barn
Photo by Megan McCardwell/ Ace Weekly

[This is an ongoing, developing story and will be updated frequently.] 

With Kentucky being the horse capital of the world, the coronavirus is undoubtedly having an impact on the equine industry and annual events throughout Lexington that happen this time of the year. 

Keeneland officials have announced “the cancellation of the upcoming Spring Meet, which was scheduled for April 2-24, due to safety concerns surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.” Originally, Keeneland announced on their website, the “Spring Meet will open on April 2, 2020 without spectators. We will work with government officials and relevant health authorities to consider re-opening to spectators on April 15. With this same caution, Keeneland has canceled the 2020 April Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.”

Cowboy up for a Cure, scheduled for April 18, announced on their Facebook page, “Due to the rising concerns surrounding Covid-19 and after much consideration we are cancelling our 2020 Rodeo. Please know that this decision was not made lightly. We will be back next April! Everyone please stay smart and be safe.”

As of now, there have been no changes to the 84th Junior League of Lexington Charity Horse Show scheduled for July 6 through July 11, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

American Pharoah 12th Triple Crown Winner in Barn
Photo by Megan McCardwell/ Ace Weekly

A message from Aaron Ann and the 2020 League Board announced, “We want to be proactive and protective of everyone’s health. I’ve spoken to the Board and we have decided to cancel the April 6 Neighborhood Meetings and the April Provisional Meeting. All large group volunteer activities are cancelled until April 1. We will let you know as soon as possible if any other events will be postponed or cancelled.”

Keeneland also announced restrictions on access to race track grounds, “Beginning Monday, March 16, Keeneland will be closed to all non-essential guests and horsemen. Only essential employees, owners, trainers, veterinarians, blacksmiths and stable workers will be allowed entry. In addition to Keeneland’s General Office, The Keeneland Shop and Keeneland Library are closed until further notice. Tours, including visits from outside tour companies, are canceled through April 14.”

The Kentucky Derby will be postponed until Saturday, September 5. The Kentucky Oaks will be on Friday, September 4.

According to Kentucky Horse Park‘s website, “In an abundance of caution and in setting the example for social distancing in managing COVID-19, the decision has been made to postpone the following events: Kentucky Crafted, Road to the Horse, Cinch Ranch Sorting Event, and Cowboy up for a Cure. This decision was made in conjunction with event organizers, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Kentucky Horse Park, as part of the Commonwealth’s ongoing effort to ensure the health and wellness of the public as Kentucky fights aggressively to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Kentucky Horse Park also announced that its attractions, including the International Museum of the Horse and Park barns, are closed until further notice. Kentucky Horse Park grounds are open to the public. Although we have suspended programming and limited access to indoor facilities. The Visitor Center will be open 9 am to 5 pm, Wednesday-Sunday, for access to the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop and public restrooms. The Kentucky Horse Park Campground remains open. The Campground Store will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 8 am to 4 pm. Campers can go directly to their sites and will be checked in automatically they will not need to check-in at the store. Events scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park through March 31 have been canceled or postponed.

Equestrian Events Inc announced in a press release the cancellation of this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. The annual 5-star Eventing competition had been scheduled for April 23-26, 2020 at Kentucky Horse Park.

Red Mile reported on their Facebook page, “In accordance with Governor Beshear’s recommendation, Red Mile Gaming and Racing, along with The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, have agreed to suspend operations for a period of 14 days, beginning Sunday, March 15th at midnight. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Road to the Horse 2020, originally scheduled for March 19 through March 22, has been rescheduled for June 18 through June, 21, 2020. The event will remain in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.



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