After animal rights advocates protested the 29-year-old singer's decision to perform at Melbourne Cup Day in November, Swift is no longer set to take the stage ahead of the horse race. The Victoria Racing Club and the event's organizers, however, say it was a change to Swift's schedule to necessitated the cancellation.
"Regrettably, Taylor is no longer able to make it to this year’s Melbourne Cup," Michael Gudinski from Mushroom Events said in a statement. "Changes to her Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here. To all of Taylor’s fans, we hope to see Taylor in Australia in 2020."
Likewise, VRC's CEO Neil Wilson said, "The VRC has learned that Taylor Swift is now unable to make the trip to Australia and therefore cannot be with us on Melbourne Cup Day. Obviously, this is disappointing for everyone. We understand how important the pre-Cup entertainment is and we look forward to providing an update shortly."
The VRC added that it will refund tickets that were purchased after the announcement of Swift's performance was made.
Earlier this month, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses released a statement asking the singer not to perform at the annual race, which has seen "six horses killed after complications since 2013," according to Reuters.
"Taylor Swift has put money before compassion by agreeing to perform at the 2019 Melbourne Cup. An event where at least 6 horses have been KILLED over the past 6 years," the statement read. "With such huge success already, she could easily afford to not only say NO, but use the opportunity to help the horses by speaking up against horse cruelty in the racing industry."
The group, which also started a petition that gained more than 6,500 signatures, concluded their statement by citing Swift's love of cats, writing, "If Taylor Swift cares at all about other animals the way she appears to care about cats, she will cancel her show and make a strong statement that animal abuse is unacceptable."