Organisers of the Longines Royal International Horse Show have scotched rumours that the show is to be cancelled this summer.

Lizzie Bunn, show secretary at Hickstead, insisted that despite a long spell of heavy rain the ground would be ready for the centenary of the show (24 – 29 July).

Lizzie said: “The International Arena, with its new drainage system, is fine. The outside areas are gradually drying out, and we have drafted in extra staff to help repair the car parks and other badly affected areas.”

Edward Bunn, who is responsible for ground maintenance, said the right weather conditions have meant the ground dried out after the downpour during the British Jumping Derby Meeting (28 June – 1 July).

Edward said: “The work we did last summer is paying dividends in the International Arena. We also laid a hard surface leading to the outside rings which we are looking to extend in time for the Royal International.”

The radical new drainage system cost £40,000.

The organisers have received a record number of entries for this year’s show – more than 1,600 horses and ponies in the showing classes alone. About 150 classes have been scheduled over the five days.

www.hickstead.co.uk