Ocala, Fla. (October 28, 2020) – We have made the decision that in order to safeguard the continuity of Live Oak International in the long term, the Tournament for 2021 will not be held. This was a very emotional and difficult choice to make but we 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. Thank you, as always, for your support and dedication over the years.
Juliet W. Reid
& Chester C. Weber
Co-Presidents Live Oak International