This year’s Adelaide International Horse Trials, the only four-star event in the southern hemisphere, has been saved after organiser Australian Major Events (AME) secured AUS$500,000 from the Australian treasury.

AME had looked at Gawler and Oakbank as alternative venues after ministers decreed that the four-star event had failed to attract the hoped-for volumes of tourists to South Australia.

Neither alternative was considered suitable by the FEI, so the Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA) has joined forces with AMEto keep the event at Adelaide in 2003, thanks to government funding.

Minister for Tourism, Jane Lomax-Smith says: “This deal gives Australia’s equestrian athletes their best chance to prepare for next year’s Athens Olympics. The EFA and FEIare committed to retaining this world-class event.”

Russ Withers, chairman of the EFA, says: “This decision will be welcomed by riders and officials around the world.”

Responsibility for the competition in future years will lie with the equestrian community, and is likely to involve running it as a CIC (one-day event).

For more information visit: www.adelaidehorsetrials.com.au

Read all the latest eventing news and reports, including William Fox-Pitt’s comment, in this week’s Horse & Hound (26 June).

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