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No BE80(T) championships at Burghley as event retains four-day format

British Eventing (BE) is “exploring options” for the 2021 BE80(T) championship, which will not run at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials as planned.

Burghley announced yesterday (22 October) that the event will run over its traditional four days next year, from 2 to 5 September, rather than five, as had been planned before the coronavirus pandemic.

BE chief executive Jude Matthews said BE had been “thrilled” last year to announce that the championship would move to Burghley for three years from 2020.

“Sadly, due to the Covid-19 outbreak and cancellation of Burghley 2020, the BE80(T) championship could not take place at Burghley this year and BE was very grateful to Norton Disney for stepping in to host both the 2020 and rescheduled 2019 championships,” she said.

“In what has been a very challenging time, we are very understanding of Burghley’s decision to retain their current schedule of four days of competition for 2021. We’d like to thank Elizabeth Inman and the team at the event for their efforts and work on the BE80(T) championship up to now and for their continued support of the five-star competition. We all look forward to a great 60th anniversary event next year.

“BE will now be exploring options for the 2021 BE80(T) Championship”.

A Burghley Horse Trials spokesman said the first horse inspection will be on 1 September.

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Event director Elizabeth Inman added: “Like all businesses during these exceptional times, we have reviewed our plans and believe that maintaining the four-day format, which has worked so well for so long, is in the best interests of everyone associated with the event.

“This decision has been taken in the knowledge that all will appreciate that an event of this magnitude takes many months to plan and cannot change direction at the last moment.

“2021 will be our 60th anniversary and we are much looking forward to this celebratory event and to welcoming everyone back.”

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