The Canadian National Exhibition will no longer host the CNE Horse Show, according to a statement from CNE General Manager, David Bednar.
Since 2005, the CNE has staged Horse Show competitions in the Ricoh Coliseum and HorseCapades (originally called HorsePlay), an interactive educational program, in the Horse Palace at Exhibition Place. These two events have run concurrently over the 18 days prior to the opening of the main exhibition. Both events are free to the public.
From the inception of these two events, the CNE has invested in advertising to promote both programs. They have been advertised in local community newspapers, and in family publications and websites such as City Parent and Today’s Parent Toronto. A mailing with a flyer, letter of invitation and a registration form is also sent out to approximately 1,000 local day cares and community organizations in late May and early June each year.
The Horse Show competitions were also the subject of ads taken out on related websites and publications such as Horse-Canada.com, The Rider.com and Whoa (published by the Ontario Equestrian Federation). Until recently, a flyer promoting the CNE Horse Show competitions was created and is distributed at similar horse competitions taking place in Southern Ontario prior to our event. This flyer was discontinued because it didn’t appear to have an impact; people were not traveling from other Ontario communities to attend the Horse Show.
Despite significant resources invested to promote each of the two programs, the Horse Show draws very few people, other than the competitors, their families and friends. Meanwhile, the HorseCapades program is so overwhelmingly popular.
In view of this situation and the ever-riding cots of organizing and presenting the Horse Show, the Canadian National Exhibition Association has reluctantly made the difficult decision to cancel the Horse Show. They recognize that many of the competitors in the various divisions have a long history with the show, and appreciate their participation and loyalty to the CNE in years past.