Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States, the first big horse industry event cancellation has been announced. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus with the initial outbreak occurring in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Symptoms of this highly contagious virus include fever, tiredness, and dry cough, and sometimes includes aches and pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea.
Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president, announced in the official statement that it was due to concern for the health and safety of both registrants and AQHA staff who would have to travel to the event. Registrants will receive a full refund for registration fees. The South Point Hotel and Casino is waiving room cancellation fees.
Full the full statement from AQHA, visit www.aqha.com/-/2020-aqha-convention.
Coronavirus Concerns Places Restrictions on Horse Race Meets
In addition to the AQHA Convention cancellation, horse race meets in certain parts of the world are still occurring, but with spectators not allowed to attend. The Emirates Racing Authority announced that spectators were banned from meets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for several days. However, horse racing connections, sponsors, and media would still be able to attend despite the coronavirus concerns.
The Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, which is the world’s richest horse race at $12 million in purse money, is set to be held on March 28. No announcement has been made on whether spectators will still be allowed or banned at this time.
In addition, on February 27, the Japan Racing Authority announced that all central government-sanctioned horse races would still happen but without spectators due to coronavirus concerns.
As of today, there are more than 100,000 cases worldwide in 100 countries. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has around 755 cases across 36 states and the District of Columbia. There have been 26 total deaths.
Stay tuned to www.HorseIllustrated.com for updates on how the virus impacts the horse industry and for further cancellations of equine events.
Visit www.cdc.gov for information about the virus within the United States.