Rising costs and low ticket sales force cancellation of Bolesworth dressage international

  • The Bloomfield Horseboxes CDI3* international dressage show at Bolesworth has been cancelled. The event was due to run from 24-26 June, as the first dressage show at be hosted at Bolesworth since 2019, and for the first time as a standalone show, rather than being run alongside showjumping. However, “the rising costs of staging world class events” have forced organisers to pull the plug. The Elite Dressage auction due to take place on 25 June has also been cancelled.

    “Our plan for this year was to replicate our successful showjumping shows for dressage, but sadly, with the rising costs of staging world-class events, current circumstances have resulted in reduced numbers that affect the commercial viability of the show and, consequently, we have little choice but to cancel,” said a statement from the Bolesworth team.

    “While we did have plenty of interest and support from dressage riders who were keen to compete at Bolesworth, at both national and international level, our model for equestrian events is heavily reliant on public ticket sales and hospitality, not just entries, and the challenges of the current economic climate have inevitably affected both of these areas.”

    Bolesworth managing director Nina Barbour said: “We apologise to those of you who have the Bolesworth Dressage event in your calendar and were looking forward to attending, especially those riders entered, who we know make plans well in advance, and really do understand the disappointment that this decision will cause.”

    The news comes as a particular blow for those riders who were planning to compete at Bolesworth to gain their minimum eligibility requirement scores, to qualify them to compete at this August’s dressage World Championships. One such rider is Carl Hester, who had planned to compete at Wellington CDI in mid-June, followed by Bolesworth two weeks later, with his catch ride for the summer, the Kroll family’s grand prix horse KK Woodstock.

    Without Bolesworth, Carl has limited options when it comes to events at which to obtain the qualification criteria with Woodstock, with no remaining international shows in Britain before the qualification cut-off date of 4 July. The final international dressage show of the season on British soil is Hartpury CDI4*, which falls after the cut-off date, running on 8-10 July.

    To qualify to participate at the World Championships, combinations must achieve at least two scores of 66% or above at grand prix, given by two five-judges of a different nationality, at two different CDI shows before the nominated entries are due on 4 July. The selected team of four will then be announced by 25 July.

    But Bolesworth has said the team is “working closely with British Dressage [BD] and British Equestrian to see if there is a way of incorporating a condensed version of the CDI3* big tour classes at the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show in order to retain this valuable opportunity for international riders.  We are in consultation with the FEI and will be contacting those riders affected directly in due course.”

    BD CEO Jason Brautigam added: ““In partnership with Bolesworth, we will work with the BEF and FEI to determine whether we can reschedule the big tour classes, as we know these CDI opportunities are vitally important for our international riders competing for selection, and thank Nina and her team for their support.”

    The Bolesworth team will contact all those who have entered the event or booked tickets, hospitality, or trade stands to arrange full refunds.

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