The Whidbey Island Horse Trials announced yesterday that they sadly will not be able to run a USEA recognized event in 2019.
"We have been keenly aware of the speculation surrounding the fate of the event and only held off from this decision as we worked to exhaust all our options with hope that we could offer this event in 2019," said a statement on the Whidbey Island Horse Trials website. "We know you look forward to and make plans early for joining us and we are sorry for any inconvenience that this change presents." The Whidbey Island Horse Trials is working on plans to offer an unrecognized event the same weekend that the horse trials would typically run.
"Whidbey Island Horse Trials does not own the land where the event is held and while we have a lease for about 50 acres of land, in order to run a recognized event, we must utilize adjacent farmland for stabling, dressage rings, and cross-country tracks and have done so since the mid-1990's under agreement with the farmers that cultivate the land," the statement continued. "Changes in recent years to farming activities have led to us being restricted to only having use of our 50 acres and the single lane South Access Drive."
Whidbey Island plans to return to the USEA recognized eventing calendar in 2020 at an alternate site. "Our long-term goal is to acquire a permanent event site and we will be looking to our eventing community's support in our effort to raise funds that will guarantee a permanent home for the Whidbey Island Horse Trials. Whidbey Island Horse Trials is the longest running event in Area VII - our first event ran in 1974. When we were forced to relocate in 1996, we also had a pause, and just like in 1997, we will be back in 2020."
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