‘Bitterly disappointed’: Covid forces second cancellation of major championships in two years

  • The Blue Chip Winter Showjumping Championships is the latest major fixture to be lost owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 2021 championships were set to take place at Hartpury from 4 to 10 April, but the impact of past and current restrictions means it is not possible.

    “Following the recent Government announcement and confirmation that staying away from home will not be permitted until after 12 April at the earliest, it is with huge regret that we have to make the sad decision to cancel,” read a statement from the organisers.

    “Losing four and a half out of six months of the winter competition season due to the two lockdowns has prevented over 260 qualifiers from being held and it is now no longer possible to re-allocate such a large number of qualifiers.

    “We are bitterly disappointed for those who gained qualification and are now unable to compete at the finals, but this situation is unprecedented, beyond our control and the result of a worldwide pandemic.”

    The statement adds that various options have been looked at, but it will not be possible to roll over any previous qualifications to future championships.

    This is the second year the finals have been forced to cancel as a result of Covid.

    Last year’s finals were moved from April 2020 to December, but that too was lost owing to pandemic restrictions.

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    Planning for the new qualification season, which starts in October, is under way with dates to be announced in the summer.

    “A successful national vaccination program will allow us all to safely return to the type of sport, championship series and championship finals enjoyed in previous years,” the statement continues, thanking sponsors and officials for all their work and support.

    Clare Blaskey, founder of Blue Chip Feed, added: “We sympathise with the bitter disappointment that cancellation brings and my team will greatly miss seeing you all. We are so looking forward to welcoming you to a super Blue Chip Championships next year.”

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