Stately home venue steps in to host rescheduled grassroots eventing championships

  • Cholmondeley Castle will host the 2021 British Eventing (BE) grassroots championships following the cancellation of Badminton.

    The BE80, BE90 and BE100 national championships will be held in the grounds of the 19th century Cheshire castle, former home to the Pony Club Championships, from 31 July to 1 August.

    “We are thrilled to have been awarded these championships, which are the pinnacle of the eventing calendar for many grassroots members,” said event director Alec Lochore, of Musketeer Management.

    “We look forward to welcoming competitors later in the year and putting on an unforgettable event for them.”

    The BE90 and BE100 finals are usually held at Badminton as the Science Supplements Cup, but the cancellation of the Gloucestershire fixture for a second consecutive year forced a rethink.

    The BE80 championships were originally set to take place at Burghley. This plan was scrapped in October and BE has been “exploring options” since.

    Cholmondeley Castle was awarded all three finals following a tender process, which involved the BE fixture panel considering feedback from competitors and the rider working group.

    Lord Cholmondeley added he is delighted to welcome “this prestigious and much heralded” championships to the castle.

    “Having hosted the Pony Club Championships here for eight years, I am delighted to continue to showcase the estate as a true championship venue and look forward to welcoming riders, owners and horses later in the summer,” he said.

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    BE sport manager Debbie Pritchard said the standard of applications and venues was “very high”, which made the decision “incredibly hard”, and it was agreed by majority vote to award the championships to Cholmondeley Castle, based on “feedback and key criteria”.

    BE chief executive Jude Matthews added: “We would like to thank our members for their patience while we concluded the tender process.

    “We are delighted to be able to host all three championships together at Cholmondeley Castle and to provide those qualified with a special event with championship feel, prestige and at a prime location.”

    Entries for all three championships open on 21 June.

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