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Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Changes and updates on events and farms in the area

With Covid-19 roiling the world, there have been a number of changes in dates and types of competitions, among the the announcement of dates of Pony Club's annual convention going virtual and the driving competition at Live Oak Plantation cancelled for 2021 as well as the World Driving Championships, to have been held last October, having been cancelled.

ponyIn addition to these changes, the gorgeous Sagamore Farm in Maryland will no longer be used as a breeding farm but is being transitioned to growing crops.


THE UNITED STATES Pony Clubs (USPC) announced the 2021 Virtual Equine Symposium & Convention will be held online Jan.27 - 30, 2021.

Registration is now open for the event.

This unique virtual experience offers a wide array of online educational opportunities for equestrians of all ages, and disciplines, with a mix of live and on-demand presentations.

“We are very excited about the new opportunities that going virtual brings to our Equine Symposium & Convention this year,” said USPC Executive Director Teresa Woods. “The online format expands access to more attendees, as well as providing lasting value with extended availability of workshops after the event. We invite all horse lovers to join in on the fun and education, get to know Pony Club, and be part of this experience.”


PONY CLUB'S 2021 Virtual Equine Symposium & Convention lineup will spotlight leadership training and educational workshops on a variety of topics including horse health, nutrition, horsemanship, tack and equipment, various riding disciplines, and more.

The popular equine anatomy lab will transition to an online virtual format, and the USPC Research Project Fair will also be included in the event.

A trade fair will also be featured with special offers and unique online shopping opportunities.


SAGAMORE FARM, the historic farm near Glyndon, Md., that once served as the base of Alfred G. Vanderbilt II's Thoroughbred breeding, was bought In 2007 by Kevin Plank, the CEO of the sports fitness apparel giant Under Armour.

The farm is the burial site of stars Native Dancer, Bed o' Roses, and Discovery.

Though Plank is exiting Thoroughbred racing and breeding, he will retain the farm, where he plans to grow corn and rye.

"I love this farm and am so proud of what we've built with Sagamore Racing, including helping to reenergize racing in Maryland and experience success on the track," Plank said. "The farm will remain in my family, but after 14 years it is time to use this beautiful piece of property in a new way. It will remain an asset to the community, but the primary purpose of our next chapter will focus on growing corn and rye to support all we are doing with Sagamore Spirit and our award-winning rye whiskey."

Since Plank purchased Sagamore, highlights have included Breeders' Cup victories as an owner with Shared Account's upset in the 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and as a breeder when Sharing (Speightstown —Shared Account, by Pleasantly Perfect) won last year's Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Shared Account is one of only four Breeders' Cup winners to produce a Breeders' Cup winner.

After Plank purchased the farm, he conducted a major renovation.

He established Sagamore Racing and returned horse racing on the farm to prominence.

He has now decided that it is time for the farm to shift its focus again.

In recent years, Sagamore has been selling off horses.

The full transition of the farm will take place by the end of the year., but a small number of retired horses will remain on the farm as pasture horses to symbolize the rich history of Sagamore Farm.

Hunter Rankin, the president of Sagamore Racing, added, "While this day is somewhat bittersweet, I am very proud of all we accomplished and look forward to working with Kevin and my team on the transition to the next exciting phase in the life of this historic property."


LIVE OAK INERNATIONAL, in order to safeguard its continuity in the long term, announced that the Tournament for 2021 will not be held.

Officials said that they do not want to take any risks whatsoever when it comes to the health of those involved with this wonderful event.

It is impossible to predict how the pandemic will develop over the next few months or what measures will be needed to safely host an event.

We believe that making this decision early is the fairest for our sponsors, exhibitors, partners, volunteers, suppliers, and community.

Live Oak International is the largest spectator event in Ocala and hosting an event without spectators is not our vision.

While safety and logistics are of first priority, not being able to host an event to the standard of which makes our tournament so special was also a contributing factor.

Live Oak International is memorable for its large supportive crowds, vibrant atmosphere, team-spirited volunteers, and hands down an incredible experience!

Without these moments, the tournament would not be truly Live Oak International.

Our sponsors, Federation, and many wonderful partners have given us helpful feedback about this next chapter in our 30-year history.

We sincerely thank them, knowing that without their support, none of the many years of Live Oak International’s success would have been possible.

Live Oak International would like to extend its congratulations to the organizations who have been awarded the USEF National Driving Championships.

It is encouraging to see the largest number of organizations expressing interest to host the variety of championships for 2021.

The initiative from these shows will encourage the driving sport to grow and prosper in the United States.

The organizers from the Garden State CDE, Kentucky Classic at Hillcroft CAI, Grand Oaks CDE, and Katydid CDE have all attended Live Oak International as competitors, partners, and team members, so it is our hope that these organizers will carry with them Live Oak International’s mission that the highest levels of sport, horsemanship, and sportsmanship come first.

We look back gratefully on the exceptional event that was Live Oak International 2020.

The timing of our tournament was only days before COVID-19 closed nearly every sporting event in the world.

It was a memorable weekend and something we will all cherish as we await the time until we can come back together again.

We will stay in close touch and keep you informed as the plans are finalized for Live Oak International 2022 and beyond.

Live Oak's cancellation joined that of the World Driving Championships which were to be held last October but were cancelled.





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