The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has pushed back its ticket release date for a second time in the hope the event may still be able to go ahead.
The box office normally opens in April, but organisers of the September five-star have shifted this back to 16-17 June after previously postponing it to 14-15 May.
“It is clear that there can be no major changes to current safety policy in the immediate future, our priority must continue to be the health and safety of all our visitors, together with the competitors, contractors, officials, sponsors and trade exhibitors who are so much a part of the event,” said Burghley director Elizabeth Inman.
“The messages of support that we have received are much appreciated – thank you all for your patience and we will keep you updated before the opening of the box office next month. With all good wishes for continued health and safety to you and your families.”
After the initial postponement of tickets going on sale, Ms Inman said: “We all listen to the news on a daily basis and it is obvious the path ahead for us in our daily lives is uncertain over the coming months.”
“I want to assure everyone I am listening to you through our social media channels and understand the many concerns that you have.
“While there is a glimmer of hope that the event can take place later this year, we must first and foremost ensure that the event can be run safely for everyone involved; our visitors, competitors and horses, our sponsors, retailers, contractors and our many officials.”
The CCI5*, won last year by Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street, is scheduled to run from 2 to 6 September.
“We are in close liaison with the sport at both national and international level — it will be vital to ensure that our competitors are ‘competition ready’ and we continue to monitor the situation,” added Ms Inman.
“There are clearly so many unknowns, but where there is a will there is a way – please bear with us and if we find we are unable to safely stage the event it certainly will not be for want of trying.”
She added the format of the event’s subsidiary competitions, including the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Finals, will have to change.
Members’ tickets are now set to go on sale at 9am 16 June, with all other tickets at 9am 17 June. In the event of cancellation, full refunds will be given to all advance ticket sales, as per the terms and conditions.
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“The NEC in Birmingham, the home of the Ticket Factory, which administers our ticket sales, is now the venue for one of the Nightingale hospitals,” said Ms Inman.
“However special arrangements are in place to allow their team to work from home and we are grateful to the Ticket Factory for all the measures that they are undertaking to ensure the box office will open on this day. So in the meantime, please put these dates in your diary.
“Thank you for the patience and support you’ve shown us to date. We wish you continued good health and safety during these incredibly challenging times and let us hope we will be looking at a brighter future in September.”
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