Blizzards and strong winds forced competition to be abandoned mid-way through the second day at Lincolnshire Horse Trials.
Organisers of the British Eventing (BE) fixture had managed to go ahead with all classes on Friday (16 March) and Saturday morning.
However as the “mini beast from the east” arrived, conditions became too risky to continue.
“Regrettably competition at Lincolnshire Horse Trials on Saturday was partially abandoned at approximately 2pm due to the snow,” said a statement from BE.
Organisers and volunteers moved the showjumping to a new ring after Friday’s competition, and periodically moved the fences to fresh ground throughout the day.
But heavy snow and strong gusts scuppered the team’s efforts to carry on.
“A difficult decision to make, but the safety of our riders is paramount — we hope you all understand,” said a spokesman for the horse trials.
“Thank you to all competitors, judges, volunteers and officials for their support and hard work in keeping the event running for as long as it did.”
Riders were quick to thank the team on social media for keeping the competition going as far as they could.
The wintry weather also forced Aldon to abandon two of its three days of competition.
Heavy rain pulled the plug on Friday’s classes, but organisers managed to run a full day of eventing on Saturday. But snow resulted in the abandonment of all Sunday’s classes.
“A massive thank you to our amazing team of volunteers who braved Arctic conditions today [Saturday] to enable us to run — you are all truly awesome,” said a statement from the organisers.
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The start of the eventing season has taken repeated blows over the past three weekends — 10 of the 11 events scheduled since 3 March have been forced to cancel some or all their days. Poplar Park managed to run both days on 10 to 11 March, but 15 competitors were unable to run across country on the second day due to fading light.
All point-to-point fixtures due to be held on 17 or 18 March were abandoned or rescheduled.
The first team chase of the season — the Beaufort at Sherston — was postponed and will now run on 25 March.
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