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Hard ground claims second event in a week — but hope is on the horizon

A lack of entries as a result of hard ground across the country has resulted in the loss of a second fixture within a week.

Bicton Arena (3), due to be held from 17 to 19 August, announced it did not have enough competitors by the ballot date to make the British Eventing (BE) fixture viable.

“It was a really difficult decision to cancel Bicton (3) this year and one we did not take lightly, but sadly we cannot financially run the event with only 250 entries at the ballot date,” said organiser Helen West.

“We understand that the dry weather has made it tough for competitors to get in their schooling and fitness preparation, plan their competitions and therefore make early entries.

“With so many financial outlays at this point in the build up to the event, we simply cannot afford to run in August with the entries as they are.”

The venue was set to host classes from BE100 to CIC2*.

“We have been irrigating our grass showjumping arena and would have watered our cross-country course in the coming weeks, but without enough entries we couldn’t afford to do so,” added Ms West.

“We need entries to be made early so that we can plan and pay for exactly this type of cost to the event.

“We are sorry to any competitors hoping to compete with us in August but that they are understanding in our decision and look forward to welcoming competitors to Bicton Arena in future.”

Horseheath in Cambridgeshire also pulled the plug on its second affiliated horse trials of the season (11 to 12 August), due to “unprecedented weather”.

Both events are fully refunding those entered.

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In more positive news, Bicton has stepped in to fill the gap left by the cancellation of Aldon International in October.

The Somerset event was cancelled this month as a result of the land being sold.

BE’s fixtures action group and its fixtures team have confirmed that Bicton (X) will host like-for-like classes that were scheduled for Aldon.

These include BE100, BE100u18, novice, intermediate and one- and two-star classes, as well as a BE100 three-day-event, which is a direct qualifier for the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton.

Details on the 2019 calendar for replacement fixtures for Aldon will be discussed by BE’s fixtures team in due course.

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