‘This is devastating news’: international dressage cancelled at Hickstead

  • Hickstead has cancelled its international dressage competition in July.

    The West Sussex venue was set to hold the British leg of the FEI Nations’ Cup alongside CDIO3* and CDI2* classes on 28-31 July.

    However dressage at Hickstead director and founder Dane Rawlins today (20 May) revealed they have made the “disappointing decision” to cancel due to lack of funding.

    “This is devastating news to the team at Hickstead as this is our showcase event,” said Mr Rawlins.

    “I’ve explored every avenue possible to try and find financial support to allow us to run, but time is now against us and we have reluctantly had to make the decision to cancel for 2016.”

    Mr Rawlins was keen to stress that this is just one year off and the intention is that the international will return in 2017.

    “Thanks to all our supporters for being there and we’re sorry not to put on our CDI this year, but Hickstead always has a way of bouncing back, better than ever,” he added.

    Hickstead is working with British Dressage (BD) to ensure it still runs a show on that weekend and all of the venue’s other fixtures will be going ahead as normal.

    BD’s chief executive Jason Brautigam said the organisation was made aware of the “commercial support” situation at the end of April and has been working with Hickstead to try and find ways of addressing the funding shortfall.

    “This is obviously disappointing for all concerned, including the riders, owners and supporters of Dressage at Hickstead,” said Mr Brautigam.

    “We will be continuing our discussions to hopefully ensure that the international can return to the venue in 2017 and beyond.

    “BD remains committed to developing the sport, along with our organisers, to continue hosting high profile dressage events in the UK.”

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    The news comes as a second disappointment to dressage fans after the cancellation of the first day of Royal Windsor Horse Show meant the invitational national grand prix did not go ahead.

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