The 2020 Blue Chip championships have been rescheduled for the very end of this year, it has been announced with “cautious excitement”.
The aim is for the annual winter showjumping championships, which should have run from 1-5 April but were lost to the coronavirus lockdown, to take place from 28 December to 2 January, at Hartpury Arena in Gloucestershire.
“Following discussions with British Showjumping and Hartpury Arena, and with the support of our very valued sponsors, our aim is to reschedule the Blue Chip Winter Championships 2020,” a spokesman for the event said.
Owing to current Covid-19 restrictions, the show will not run in the same format as normal. It will be behind closed doors, with a reduced timetable in one arena only, and no gala night — but organisers hope to offer a “suitable conclusion” to those who had qualified.
“Although very different, you can be assured that the team at Show Direct would be doing everything possible to ensure that the Blue Chip magic remained and that it still had the championship feel that we all love!” the spokesman said.
The organisers warned that the championships will only go ahead if this is possible safely and within guidelines in place at the time.
“While we are doing everything in our power to make this happen, we also need to be realistic that the current ever-changing situation may conspire against us again,” the spokesman said.
‘I saw a long one to the double and had to kick’
“As always, safety for our competitors and officials will be of paramount importance.
“If we are not able to host the championships over the new year, then regrettably the 2020 finals will have to be abandoned. As it would create a very unequal final, it will not be possible for qualification for 2020 to roll over to the championships in 2021.
“However, we will remain positive that the covid-19 situation will allow us to proceed safely, and we will keep you updated with further information as it is available.”
The pony finals would run at the start of the show, so they would be finished by the end of the calendar year.
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.