The foot and mouth crisis has now reached the Spanish Sunshine Tour where riders from many European nations, including a large contingent of British riders have been told that no horse may enter or leave the show site at Montemedeo, near the border between Spain and Gibraltar between 1- 9 March.

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture has indicated that horseboxes bound for Britain and Ireland will not be welcome in France on their return journey.

The BEF has made a plea for riders to “respect the anxieties of our international colleagues by withdrawing from competition where this involves the movement of horses out of Britain.”

The Federation has also said that overseas organising committees must be contacted on a “case-by-case basis” to establish whether their invitations for British riders remain valid.