The Australian International three-day event has been cancelled due to the continuing outbreak of equine flu (EI) in the country.

The Adelaide event — which is the only four-star event in the southern hemisphere — had been scheduled for 9–11 November this year. It will next take place 14–16 November 2008 at Adelaide Parklands.

The Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA) — the sport’s ruling body — said the decision had been “extremely difficult but necessary” because the horses of many of the event’s leading contenders had become infected with the virus.

The EFA’s CEO Franz Venhaus said: “The inability to predict an end to the outbreak has affected the planning of both the competition programme and Olympic training before the 2008 Olympic Games.”

The event’s director Gillian Rolton, said the decision to cancel this year’s events was disappointing but understandable.

“We’re all working towards putting the best team forward to represent Australia in the 2008 Olympic Games,” she said.