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Coronavirus: Royal Windsor cancelled and riders urged to ‘act accordingly’ to the danger

Royal Windsor Horse Show has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic – as riders are urged to take the stance that “life must take priority over business”.

Organisers of the show, which was due to run from 13 to 17 May, incorporating showjumping, dressage, endurance, showing and driving, as well as an Edwardian pageant, announced this morning (19 March) it would not go ahead.

Show director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “Following government guidelines stating that mass gatherings will not be supported by emergency services and recent announcements regarding social distancing, it is with enormous regret that we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Royal Windsor Horse Show, Royal Windsor Endurance and the Edwardian Pageant.

“The health of competitors, tradestand holders, sponsors, officials, volunteers and visiting public is our top priority. We would like to thank everyone associated with the event for their continued support, and we are already planning a bumper show in 2021 to compensate for this year’s disappointment.”

Anyone who has entered or bought tickets will be refunded. Next year’s show is due to run from 12 to 16 May 2021.

The news came as the director of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Eleonora Ottaviani reflected on the situation.

“The rapidity of the spread and ease of contagion, but above all the dangerous nature of a virus with no known cure, must induce serious reflection,” she said.

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“In northern Italy, where healthcare is very well organised, hospitals are still overcrowded, doctors and health workers are pushed to the limits. There are not enough medical devices to save all the people who come to the emergency room with the consequences that can be imagined and these medical devices are no longer available on the market.

“Life must take priority over business. All of us are also responsible for the health of the others; it is time to be aware of this danger and act accordingly, strictly respecting the provisions of the authorities. Stay at home.”

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