British Dressage has cancelled the Scottish winter regionals (3 – 4 March) at Gleneagles, Perthsire. The venue had a confirmed case of strangles in January, but was given the all-clear last week.

Qualification for the Winter Championships will now depend on the qualifying scores for the winter regionals. Letters have been sent to all entries explaining the situation.

“People are bound to be disappointed,” said Jo Bagnall of British Dressage. “I really feel for people, especially those who were disappointed with their qualifying score and have been working really hard and improved since.”

British Dressage made the decision to cancel the competition. “Gleneagles have done all the right things and followed all the right veterinary advice, but people are worried about these sort of things [strangles]. A lot of yards wouldn’t want to take a risk, however small it might be,” Jo Bagnall said.

Attempts to find another venue for the competition proved futile so British Dressage will be referring to regional qualifying percentages to determine who is invited to the finals. “In Scotland, you only need to win one qualifier to qualify for the winter regionals. We will be taking that qualifying percentage into account to qualify people for the winter championships,” said Jo Bagnall.

The organisation is also considering how to distribute wild cards, but as yet no plans have been finalised.

“We’re still looking at options for wild cards, that’s difficult because scores from regionals champs tend to be a little lower than those in qualifying classes — so it might be mis-representative,” Jo Bagnall explained.