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Staff report

Featured photo: Fédération Equestre

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup—which was scheduled to be contested at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in May—has been canceled by Blenheim EquiSports, the park’s manager, due to an equine virus outbreak. The event would have been a regional qualifier for an event held in Spain later this year.

The outbreak of EHV-1, also known as horse herpes, has impacted events and operations in San Juan Capistrano, including the removal of horses from this year’s Swallows Day Parade and forcing the quarantining of horses at local stables.

“As we find ourselves in the middle of this uncertain and fluid situation, there is no realistic way for international teams invited to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA to commit to the logistical preparations necessary to compete in early May,” Blenheim said in a statement. “It is also only fair to ensure the athletes can plan their competition schedules, at the highest level of the sport, early and effectively.”

Members of the equestrian community were looking forward to the event, which was expected to have a positive financial impact on San Juan Capistrano.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently sent a letter to equestrian event coordinators and participants warning about a potential spread of the virus if proper measures weren’t taken, as noted by Blenheim. Other equestrian events scheduled at the park have been canceled by Blenheim, including the Spring I Classic show and open riding that was held every Monday.

“We will continue to be positive stewards of the sport and do whatever is necessary to help bring the spread of this outbreak to an end, all the while continuing our own facility upgrades, which will be in place upon the return of horse shows at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park,” Blenheim’s announcement said.

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