Shrine Horse Show file

Riders participate in the 2019 Bluefield Shrine Horse Show in this file photo.

BLUEFIELD — There will be no Bluefield Shrine Horse Show this year. The popular summer gathering of equestrian enthusiasts is the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilson Butt, past president of the Bluefield Shrine Club, said the 52nd annual show will not be held this summer. 

It is the first time in the long history of the horse show that it has been canceled. The event was originally set for July 22, 23 and 24th at Lotito Park in Bluefield.

“The decision was made to cancel it due to pandemic concerns,” Butt said.

Despite the cancellation, officials haven’t given up hope on the possibility of a shorter, one-day show, later this fall if virus numbers in the region decline.

“We are hoping we can have one next year,” Butt said. “And if things improve we may consider having a one-day show in the fall.”

The Bluefield Shrine Club has been associated with the annual horse show since its inception 51 years ago. Proceeds from the annual event are used to support the Shriners Hospital in Lexington, Ky., and the Shriners burn hospital in Cincinnati. The funding also allows local Shriners  to transport young burn victims and handicapped children to Shriner hospitals for specialized care.

Almost all summer fairs, festivals and gatherings in the region have been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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