It has become clear that we cannot provide for the health, safety, and well being of our participants, judges, hosts, and sponsors while at the same time conducting the event in a manner that respects and protects the integrity of our sport. After many months of meetings, calls, analysis, and countless conversations with our various constituencies, we have decided that the 2020 Master National will be cancelled. We are devastated to share this news with you. “Getting it done” is what we have done since the beginning.
A month ago, we were cautiously optimistic. Our hope and belief was that as summer moved along the pandemic numbers would get better. Since then, the average new cases per day has risen in 45 of the 50 states. 24 states have significant travel restrictions. Civil unrest is prevalent, creating many unknown risks for cross country travel. These circumstances developed and deteriorated rapidly since we last communicated.
We understand the gravity of the situation for all who work with us and look forward to the Master National each year. Our board and local host team has been wonderful, working daily trying to put together a workable plan, adapting to the evolving circumstances over the last few months in an effort to try to make this event viable. Unfortunately, the numbers have continued to worsen.
First and foremost is our obligation to consider the safety of our hosts, our judges, our participants, our sponsors, and our wonderful retrievers. We do this for the camaraderie, for the experience, and the celebration of our accomplishments. This will be missed. Our only comfort is that our constituents will not be put in harm’s way in any form, for that would be a burden we could not bear. We know this is the right decision based on what we know today.
We appreciate everyone that has shared their views on re-imagining the 2020 Master National. We are exploring options for the transition to 2021 and will provide those details no later than August 1. We will continue to work hard to be fair to those that sacrifice to make our event what it is and what it will be. The ideas and recommendations will be valuable as we establish our path forward.
Allen Dillard, 2020 MNRC President