Aiken Charity Horse Shows I and II canceled 1

Caroline Donnally and Always Me skim over a jump  in the $25,000 Aiken Charity Grand Prix during Aiken Charity Horse Show II at Bruce's Field last year.

The Aiken Horse Park Foundation has canceled the Aiken Charity Horse Shows I and II.

They were scheduled for April 29-May 3 and May 6-10, respectively, at Bruce’s Field.

The foundation announced that the shows were being called off in a press release issued Wednesday.

The cancellations, like many others, were related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is with deep regret that we announce the canceling of this year’s Aiken Charity Horse Shows,” the release stated. “We understand the enormous impact this decision has on not just the equestrian community, but also on our own local economy. Please know we did not make this decision lightly but truly believe that it is in the best interest of our exhibitors, sponsors, and staff.

“We had originally planned to make a decision in a few more weeks, but with today's announcement by the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) extending the suspension of all USEF-licensed competitions through May 3, we have been given no choice but to decide today,” the release continued. “We are in uncertain times and the duration of this unprecedented pandemic is unpredictable. The health and welfare of our loved ones, children, and elderly are at the forefront of our thoughts and ultimately helped us to make the decision to cancel our 2020 shows.”

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.