For Immediate Release – October 17, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – After many negotiations with event management, the French government, and our European Executive Board, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) made the decision to postpone the 2020 NRHA European Derby until 2021.
Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in France, the French government made the difficult decision to cancel Equita, Lyon in an effort to keep the population safe. As it is now fall, and the story of this pandemic is not yet over, the European Executive Board and NRHA staff feel that moving the 2020 NRHA European Derby to 2021 is in the best interest of European members, riders, owners, breeders, nominators, and fans.
“This decision did not come lightly, as we know so many of you were ready to compete and have been waiting for this moment for many years,” said Samantha Oldfield, NRHA Director of Competition and Education and the European Liaison. “We know how invested you all are. We share your passion and are devastated that we cannot provide a European Derby in 2020.”
The European Executive Board, along with NRHA staff, are working tirelessly on a plan for next year. In 2021, the horses that were eligible for the 2020 European Derby will have the opportunity to run for the purse money their nominators invested in them for this pandemic year. The goal is to prevent those horses from losing the opportunity to compete in four NRHA derbies.
Updates on the progress of next year’s event will be available by the end of November.
“We want to thank our hosts GL Events and the entire team at Equita, Lyon for all of their efforts in trying to put on a 2020 NRHA European Derby,” Oldfield said. “Their hard work and dedication means a lot to NRHA and our members, and we are thankful for their time and energy.”