The American Quarter Horse Association, South Point Arena and Equestrian Center and state veterinarian of Nevada have collectively decided to postpone the AQHA West Level 1 Championships scheduled for April 17-20 in Las Vegas.
“The No. 1 priority of AQHA is to protect the welfare of the horse,” said Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president. “With the recent reports that horses in attendance at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes event have tested positive for EHV-1, it was necessary for the AQHA Executive Committee, Association staff, facility management and the state veterinarian of Nevada to evaluate whether we should move forward with holding this event. The South Point Arena and Equestrian Center has taken the appropriate biosecurity measures to clean and disinfect the facility. However, all parties involved with this decision believe it is the best option to postpone the show to protect the welfare of our exhibitors’ horses.”
“For the protection of the equine industry in Nevada, we fully support the decision to postpone the AQHA event,” said Dr. J. J. Goicoechea, state veterinarian for the Nevada Department of Agriculture. “In the coming days, we will continue to work closely with event coordinators throughout the state to make decisions on upcoming events on an as-needed basis.”
AQHA and the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center are looking into the possibility of holding the 2019 AQHA West Level 1 Championships at a later date this year or determining if the event will be cancelled altogether. AQHA will share more information at www.aqha.com/level1championships and on the AQHA West Level 1 event Facebook page, once this decision has been made.
“As a privately-owned facility, our goal is to maintain top-notch biosecurity,” said Steve Stallworth, South Point Arena and Equestrian Center General Manager. “Our staff at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center work closely with the state veterinarian and our own in-house veterinarian to ensure all precautions and necessary disinfecting and sanitizing measures have been made to the entire facility. A safe environment for our equine guests is our No. 1 priority.”
“We greatly appreciate the professionalism that the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center has shown AQHA and our exhibitors with handling this situation,” said Huffhines.
Exhibitors will have several options with respect to the entry and stall fees paid for this event, including the option to receive a full refund, the ability to leave the funds on their account for future use including entry or stall fees at other AQHA championship shows, or to apply their payment towards entry and stall fees to attend the potentially rescheduled show. Exhibitors can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the exhibitor’s name, horse’s name, amount paid and which refund option they’d prefer. The AQHA Show Department will process these refund requests. As soon as AQHA and the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center determine if the show will still be held at a later date, exhibitors will be notified via email.
The South Point Hotel & Casino will waive room cancellation fees due to the cancelling of this event. Please contact the South Point Hotel & Casino at 866-791-7626 to cancel your room reservations.
As you are traveling this show season, follow these tips from AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis to protect your horse’s health.
For more information on EHV-1, visit the AAEP website.
Updates about the status of the 2019 AQHA West Level 1 Championships will be available at www.aqha.com/level1championships.