Organizers for The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair announced on April 10 that the 125th edition of its event originally scheduled for May 27-June 6 has been canceled. This decision was made only after significant evaluation of the far-reaching operational and financial implications due to ongoing restrictions imposed by the U.S. Equestrian Federation 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 5 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,” DHSCF said in a statement. “This decision was made to protect the financial viability of the show for years to come.
“In the coming weeks, the DHSCF and its organizers will be contacting all stakeholders with information regarding cancellation processes. 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 125th anniversary will be celebrated during the competition in 2022.