The Palm Beach Steeplechase, scheduled for April 4 in Wellington, Fla., has been cancelled due to management’s concerns about the safety of the grass track in light of weather conditions.
A drought has weakened the grass roots and left the area with 1.63 inches of precipitation this year compared to the average 9.26 inches. In addition, severe thunderstorms forecast for the week before the meet threatened to jeopardize the safety of horses and riders.
Equestrian Sport Productions, which owns and manages the spring meet, will refund all payments made for tickets. Last fall’s inaugural Palm Beach Steeplechase drew more than 8,000 spectators.
“Our first priority is the safety of the horses,” said Mark Bellisimo, ESP chief executive officer. “Demand for tickets for the spring steeplechase is greater at this stage than it was for the inaugural event four months ago. While disappointed, we look forward to the fall Palm Beach Steeplechase.”