Chatsworth Horse Trials cancels so Olympic hopefuls must re-route again

  • Chatsworth Horse Trials (11-13 May) has become the latest casualty of the bad weather, leaving Olympic contenders needing to re-route their horses again.

    A message on the entries and results www.bdwp.co.uk this morning says: “With huge regret, Chatsworth has been abandoned. There has been 22ml of rain in 6 hours and the ground is totally waterlogged. Even with good weather from now on the footings would be unsafe. The stables are flooded.”

    After the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials cancelled, Chatsworth added an extra day of dressage to the World Cup class to take potential Olympic horses. Numerous London hopefuls of different nationalities were aiming for the Derbyshire event this weekend.

    British World Class performance director Will Connell commented: “The combination of the cancellation of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and Chatsworth International Horse Trials is a disappointment and not what we would have wanted.

    “However, we will now sit down with the selectors, riders and coaches and make a plan – we will not rush into announcing this plan as we must also take a view on what the weather has in store and what options we have.

    “In 2001 foot and mouth played havoc with the spring programme but we still prepared for and delivered at the European Championships. It is not the time to panic or predict doom and gloom.”

    Events which riders may re-route to include Saumur, France (17-20 May), Houghton, Norfolk (24-27 May), Tattersalls, Ireland (31 May-3 May) and Bramham, Yorkshire (7-10 May).

    Twelve events cancelled in two weeks

    In an extraordinary run of disruption due to the wet weather, since 28 April 12 British Eventing (BE) fixtures have cancelled and just two – the re-scheduled Central Scotland on Friday, 4 May and Brechin Castle on 5 May – have run.

    Aston-le-Walls has now cancelled tomorrow’s competition, having given up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday successively through the week. A decision is being made about Saturday’s sections by 2pm today, while the venue is also taking entries for a new event on Monday.

    Tweseldown and Pontispool are also running extra days of competition on Monday 21 and Monday 28 May.

    BE chief executive Mike Etherington-Smith comments: “One thing no one can control is the weather, but we are exploring all avenues to see what can be done to provide additional competition opportunities for our members and this includes rescheduling the Grassroots Championships [which were due to run at Badminton].

    “Several organisers have offered to put on extra days which is much appreciated and we are looking at what else can be done, but we have to be realistic given the prevailing conditions.

    “Losing major competitions certainly provides challenges for everyone, but we should spare a thought for all the organisers who have worked so hard to organise their events only to have the weather tear apart all their efforts.”

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