‘Thinking outside the box’: eventing acts fast to replace fixtures lost to the weather

  • Organisers and British Eventing (BE) have made rapid contingency plans for replacement fixtures, as the wet spring continues to cause headaches for equestrians.

    In a move to ensure event riders are given every opportunity to get out and compete, venues, BE and organisers have moved swiftly to offer alternatives following cancellations.

    The fixture due to be held at Brechin Castle in Scotland on 4 May has been moved to Kirriemuir, where ground conditions have improved. The fixture will be known as Brechin Castle at Kirriemuir.

    All those entered have until 5pm on Sunday (14 April) to request a full refund if they do not wish to transfer their entry – after that, all entries will be considered transferred.

    BE said in a statement that the event will also run novice and open novice sections, plus under-18 classes from BE80 to novice.

    “Depending on entry levels the organisers would consider running two days of competition,” added the statement.

    Breckenborough, near Thirsk, which was forced to abandon the fixture it was due to hold last week (6 to 8 April) has been allocated new dates on 11 to 12 May.

    Solihull (1), which had been scheduled to run from 20 to 21 April, has been abandoned, as ground conditions on parts of the course mean site preparations are “impossible”. But hope is not lost, as the event has been allowed to move to 1 to 2 May – the dates recently made available owing to the cancellation of Moreton Morrell (1).

    Stuart Buntine of BEDE Events, which organises Solihull (1), told H&H BE has been “incredible” in making “really quick decisions and thinking outside the box to help us move events to new dates to help keep them running, and to support the membership with events to run at”.

    “It wasn’t an easy task to find suitable new dates, making sure we didn’t impact on any existing fixtures,” said Mr Buntine.

    “We’re aware that moving to a midweek date won’t work for some, however it was the most logical date given the earlier cancellation of Moreton Morrell, also giving those affected competitors an alternative event in the same area.”

    He added BEDE is “so grateful” for BE’s support and looks forward to the challenge of running two events in a week, as BEDE is also running Osberton (1) from 2 to 5 May.

    BE chief executive Rosie Williams added: “While we understand this replacement is a mid-week date, we are trying to create opportunities for those that have that have been disappointed by Moreton Morrell cancelling, and also those who were going to run at Solihull next weekend who might be able to transfer.”

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