Salperton Horse Trials will not run this year after loss of sponsors forced organisers to reconsider the event’s financial viability.
“All the sponsors are local and they can’t afford to do it this year,” said joint-organiser Chantelle Souness.
“We don’t make any money from the event — we’ve had years of losing money — and after doing all the figures if we run it this year we are going to lose an absolute fortune.
“We could run the event at a lower standard but we don’t want to do that — we take pride in our course and the way we do things.”
Miss Souness hopes the event will return to the calendar.
“We’ve got to wait and see what happens, but if we can get a good enough sponsor, we’ll be back as soon as possible. We enjoy doing it, we’ve got the facilities and we love the sport,” she said.
The loss of Salperton for 2009 leaves British Eventing (BE) without an event at intermediate level or above on the weekend of 27-28 June 2009.
“We’ve moved the novice regional final — which was very popular at Salperton — to Great Tew and Stratford Hills, but there are no plans to replace the event for 2009,” said Chris Farr, BE regional director for the Central South.
“As we hope Salperton will be back in 2010, it would be a short-term fix, and it’s better to maintain the balance in the calendar and to let Salperton slot straight back into their date in 2010.”
He added: “It’s difficult moving events around, especially at intermediate level and above.”
Salperton has been running since 2003 and is a popular event with classes from pre-novice (now BE100) up to advanced intermediate level. Several riders chose to run their Olympic mounts there last year, with many choosing the Gloucestershire venue for the horses’ first run after Badminton.
“It was one of the best events in the region at that level,” said Mr Farr.