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Contingency plans in progress for HOYS qualifiers

The organisers of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) have said plans are still under way for this year’s event as they look to ensure qualifying places are filled.

Organiser Grandstand Media said in a statement on Wednesday (18 March) its senior management team had met to discuss contingency plans for HOYS (7-11 October) and the British Showjumping national championships (4-9 August) and both events remain on at present.

“We are extremely mindful of the impact Covid-19 is having on the whole events industry including sporting events like BSNC and HOYS. In this time of uncertainty, we believe it is important for the industry to remain strong and united, while prioritising the health and safety of all those involved,” said the statement.

“There have been many cases over the last few weeks of affected exhibitions and events being able to act swiftly by rescheduling to later this year, and we remain positive that this is an indication of the event industry’s resilience and ability to adapt quickly to any circumstances.”

Contingency plans are being created to ensure HOYS qualifying spaces are filled in the face of multiple qualifiers being forced to postpone or cancel.

“These amendments to the qualifying season will be implemented with the view to sustain the quality of the competition as much as possible. We will be working to accommodate showing qualifiers later in the season while being mindful of the best interests and safety of our HOYS competitors,” said the statement.

“We will continue communicating closely with British Showjumping alongside showing qualifier organisers, and will be assisting and supporting them as much as possible in this unprecedented time.”

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The statement added should HOYS be forced to cancel, those who have bought tickets will have the option to rebook or have their ticket price refunded.

“We fully understand the potentially devastating effect the spread of coronavirus is having on everyone’s daily lives and the responsibility we have as an organiser to ensure the safety of those attending our shows. We will be continuously reviewing our policies and ensuring we keep all stakeholders up to date with any new developments,” said the statement.

“At Grandstand Media, health, safety and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us. This means we are closely monitoring advice provided by the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the government, and continually updating our processes and policies accordingly.”

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