Lexington, Ky. – September 10, 2020 – Hagyard Equine Medical Institute announced it will still offer a “Leading Rider Award” as part of the 2020 Hagyard Challenges Series even with the further reduction of events as a result of COVID-19.
On August 4, 2020 Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC and US Equestrian announced the cancellation of Bluegrass Festival (Aug. 11-16), KHJA (Aug. 19-23), and USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast (Aug. 23-24) scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Bluegrass Festival and KHJA were to be part of the 2020 Hagyard Challenge Series Events. With the changes, the events comprising The Series now will be as follows:
- Kentucky Summer Horse Show – July 23rd
- Kentucky Summer Classic – July 30th
- Kentucky National Horse Show/The Betsy Grand Prix – September 20th
Because the Series is being further reduced to three events from its usual seven, Hagyard announced that the “Leading Rider Award” will be reduced, proportionately, to $15,000. Hagyard had announced a similar reduction in the prize when the Series was originally reduced from seven to five events.
“We’re just rolling with the changes,” said Elise Jackson, Tour Experience & Event Coordinator for Hagyard. “The competitors are being flexible and bringing their best to the events that are able to be held, and we believe they should be rewarded for Going the Distance. We’re just scaling the award to reflect the number of events that are ultimately included.”
In the Hagyard Challenge Series, competitors Claire McKean and Shane Sweetnam are battling closely in the standings, but several others are not far behind.
Previously, Hagyard announced that the theme for the 2020 event would be Going the Distance. “We have worked with the Kentucky Horse Park to go the extra mile this year and find ways to put on the event in spite of some challenges,” Jackson had explained. “These new changes won’t deter us.”
One other group has also been willing to “Go the Distance” this year, the Hagyard Challenge Series sponsors. In a year marked by changes an economic uncertainty, title sponsor MWI Animal Health, Audi of Lexington, Central Kentucky Ag Credit, and Hagyard Pharmacy continued to honor their commitment.
“As we’ve mentioned before, the Leading Rider Award money is tied to our sponsors,” said Jackson. “This year, it would have been easy – and very understandable – if they had dropped out. We can’t thank them enough.”
For more information regarding the Leading Rider Award, please contact:
Elise Jackson, Tour Experience & Event Coordinator
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute