Bad weather causes chaos at equestrian events

  • Bad weather wreaked havoc at equestrian events this weekend, with cancellations at British Eventing venues and a near-miss Bury Farm.

    Stafford (1) and Gatcombe (1) both abandoned Sunday’s sections (29 March). As scheduled, Stafford ran on Friday and Saturday, while Gatcombe ran on Saturday.

    British Eventing (BE) has put plans in place to offer disappointed riders opportunities to compete.

    Somerley Park has added a third day of competition on Friday 3 April to include classes at intermediate, novice and BE100 levels.

    Burnham Market is still taking entries in all classes on Thursday and Friday (2-3 April) and Weston Park is adding an intermediate class on 11 April.

    Goring Heath Horse Trials (3-4 April) has also been cancelled in advance after “unforeseen problems with the ground” on areas used for dressage, showjumping and lorry parking “could not be resolved”.

    For more information visit: www.britisheventing.com

    Meanwhile, in showing galeforce winds and torrential rain caused havoc at Bury Farm on Sunday (29 March) during the second day of the Ponies(UK) Winter Classic and the organisers considered cancelling the classes in the working hunter ring.

    Ponies Association (UK) Winter Classic 2015 on 28 03 2015

    A temporary halt was called after the roof lifted off an adjacent range of temporary stables and metal railings surrounding the conformation judging ring were blown over. Tradestand staff fought to stop their tents from taking off and several chose to leave the show early.

    Course-builder Lisa Kelly and her team managed to complete the Royal International working hunter qualifier, then cleared all the fences from the ring and waited to see if the weather would improve.

    Lisa made use of every sandbag on the showground to build a shortened course and the last P(UK) final was completed in time for the winner to take part in the supreme championship.

    “Safety must come first and I did come awfully close to calling a halt,” said show organiser and president Davina Whiteman.

    “We’ve offered refunds of entry fees to anyone who wanted to pull out of their classes and to those who weren’t happy about not jumping a full course and everyone seems happy now.”

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