A visit from the Pope has caused British Dressage (BD) to reschedule the Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Championship.

The championships have been moved forwards a week to avoid the 300,000 people that are expected to converge on Coventry airport to welcome the Catholic leader on Sunday 19 September.

The competition will now take place 9-12 September after British Dressage learned that a visit from the Pope would clash with the summer championships at Stoneleigh Park. BD were advised by the police to either cancel or reschedule.

“The nationals are the highlight of the BD summer competition season and it is of course unthinkable that the championship be cancelled outright,” said BD chief executive Amanda Bond.

“Although the move is not ideal we hope you’ll agree we had no choice but to opt for this new date. I’m confident that this year’s show will be better than ever despite our unexpected hiccup with Pope Benedict XVI!”

Stoneleigh Park will become a coach park hub to receive those travelling to the area for the Pope’s visit and many roads will be closed for the whole weekend.