CALGARY — World-renowned in the equestrian community, Spruce Meadows has cancelled its summer tournament season because of COVID-19.
Four tournaments over five weeks starting June 4 annually draw dozens of international and domestic riders and horses, and thousands of spectators, to the facility in south Calgary.
Canada's Olympic champion Eric Lamaze, the all-time money leader at Spruce Meadows, and international riders such as American Kent Farrington, Britain's Scott Brash and Swiss star Steve Guerdat compete there.
The novel coronavirus that has infected over 354,000 world-wide and killed over 15,000 as of Monday continues to bring the sports world to its knees.
"These are such trying times and truly without precedent," Spruce Meadows president and CEO Linda Southern-Heathcott said Monday in a statement.
"The health and well-being of our sponsors and their employees, our competitors, officials, volunteers, fans, the media, Spruce Meadows’ staff and the community at large is of paramount importance to us."
Spruce Meadows planned to offer $6 million in prize money in 2020. September's Masters has not been cancelled.
Spruce Meadows is also the home of the Canadian Premier League's Cavalry FC. The professional soccer league has postponed the start of the season scheduled for April 11.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2020.
The Canadian Press