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Badminton Horse Trials cancelled due to coronavirus: ‘Health and safety is our number one priority’

This year’s Badminton Horse Trials (6-10 May) has been cancelled due to to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the event said: “Following the Government’s Covid-19 public health restrictions and its statement that emergency services are withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings from Tuesday 17th March, we are sorry to announce it is no longer possible to stage Badminton Horse Trials between the 6th and 10th May in any capacity. This cancellation also includes the Science Supplements Cup.

“This is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone and the health and safety of all those that attend and are involved with Badminton remains our number one priority. Please be assured that Badminton Horse Trials operates a refund policy and we will be in contact shortly with more information on how these will be processed accordingly.

“We apologise for the delay in making this announcement but are grateful to our insurance brokers and underwriters for their support and co-operation at this busy time. Badminton Horse Trials would like to take this opportunity to thank and wish all of the athletes (human and equine), sponsors, exhibitors, supporters and volunteers well through this challenging time. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the 2021 event.”

Today’s announcement from Badminton follows hot on the heels of the cancellation yesterday of Royal Windsor Horse Show (13-17 May) and earlier today of the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (9-14 June).

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The closing date for entries for Badminton was yesterday, with many riders putting in their entries while knowing that they were unlikely to be riding at the Gloucestershire five-star.

Last year’s winner Piggy March (née French) had entered Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira to defend her title as well as five-star debutant Brookfield Inocent, owned by John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn, saying on Facebook: “A weird feeling entering Badminton this morning with Vanir Kamira and Brookfield Inocent.

“With so much going on in the world due to coronavirus, it seems unlikely or even impossible they will be able to run the event. However, until it’s officially cancelled all I can do is prepare myself and my horses to the best of my ability within the restrictions we are all working with. I somehow doubt I will be defending my title in 2020 but we live in hope.”

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