For the second time in as many years, the storied Devon Horse Show and Country Fair has been canceled due to coronavirus restrictions, organizers announced Saturday.
The show, which dates back to 1896, was scheduled to run from May 27 to June 6. It would have been the 125th edition of the show, which is the longest-running and largest outdoor multibreed competition in the United States.
“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 regarding spectators and other important issues at their sanctioned events‚” the show’s organizers said in a statement. “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.”
They noted that although many other equestrian events are operating during this time, the Devon Horse Show 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.”
In late March of last year — as the full brunt of the pandemic shutdown was being felt — organizers canceled the show for the first time since World War II.
In the coming weeks, all horse show stakeholders will be contacted with information regarding the cancellation processes, organizers said.
“The health and well-being of the entire DHSCF community is always of utmost importance, and while we believed we could run a safe and successful outdoor event, the lack of movement in attendance guidelines from USEF made it a financial impossibility even with significant fundraising efforts for the competition to continue in 2021,” the organizers said.
The show takes place annually in late May into early June.