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Blenheim cancelled owing to Covid-19: financial viability means ‘it would not be prudent’ to move forward with planning

This year’s SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials (17-20 September) has been cancelled owing to Covid-19.

An email sent to British Eventing members explained: “The financial viability of British Eventing (BE) remains a board priority, and as Blenheim Palace Horse Trials is a BE-owned event it would not be prudent to continue to move forward with event planning, and the costs that this would incur, with the level of uncertainty which exists about whether the event will be able to run.

“The government has indicated that a level of social distancing is likely to remain necessary until at least the end of this year, and the potential impact this would have on the viability of the event in terms of spectator numbers has meant that the difficult decision has been taken to cancel this year’s event.

“We would like to thank our sponsors SsangYong, Blenheim Palace and the organising team for their support and understanding. Whilst we are all disappointed to not be able to welcome competitors, owners, spectators, exhibitors, volunteers and officials to the event this year, we look forward to seeing you all back at the 2021 Blenheim Palace Horse Trials.”

A statement from the event added: “Clearly Coronovirus has impacted on everyone’s lives and whilst we are massively disappointed not to be able to put on the showcase event that we have been planning and preparing, the longer-term health and safety of the public, competitors, exhibitors, volunteers and officials and staff, sustainability of the sport and those who support us, is paramount.

“We would like to thank all of our competitors, sponsors, exhibitors, official, volunteers and all who support us in any way for their understanding and ongoing commitment to the event and sport.”

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Blenheim is the latest major event to fall by the wayside due to the coronavirus pandemic, with CHIO Aachen, Dublin Horse Show and the five-star horse trials at Luhmühlen and Adelaide all recently cancelled too.

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