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Dublin Horse Show latest to cancel – as five-star event reviews its options

Dublin Horse Show (15-19 July) is the latest event to cancel owing to the coronavirus pandemic – as the organisers of Luhmühlen Horse Trials (18-21 June) review their options.

In a statement the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) said it was with “great regret” the show, which hosts an FEI Jumping Nations Cup leg, would not go ahead. The society said it had constantly monitored the situation and followed guidance from the Irish government and health service.

“The health and safety of those who come together for the show has been a priority for the RDS in making this decision,” said the statement.

“This includes visitors from Ireland and from around the world, competitors, volunteers, trade exhibitors, RDS members, staff, partners, contractors and suppliers. The RDS’s responsibility to contribute to the national effort in controlling the virus in Ireland was an important factor in this decision.”

The statement said preparations for the show, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors, begin months in in advance, with horses in training for the national competitions – and qualifiers scheduled to begin this month are unable to proceed in the current circumstances.

“The decision to cancel followed detailed deliberation of all these factors. The importance of the show to the sport horse industry was also part of the considerations,” continued the statement.

“The decision reached was that cancellation of this year’s show was in the best interests of public health and safety and that providing certainty at this early stage would be beneficial to everyone involved, from the visiting public to the sport horse industry, to key partners of the show.”

RDS chief executive Michael Duffy said the society did not come to the decision lightly, and only after detailed considerations of all the factors involved.

“We believe it is the most responsible decision we can make in the best interests of public health and safety,” he said.

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“We understand this will disappoint many members of the public and that it will have implications for many horse breeders and producers around the country. However, we trust everyone will understand and support a decision made in the national interest. It is incumbent on all of us to do everything we can to support the measures introduced by the government.

“We are in discussion with the FEI in relation to the dates for the 2021 show and we will announce these dates when they are confirmed to us.”

Organisers of Luhmühlen Horse Trials, which runs four- and five-star competition and was due to take place in mid-June, said last week (17 April) they were reviewing options for the event. The statement followed chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement of plans to partially reopen shops and schools in the coming weeks, although major events such as concerts and beer festivals will remain banned until the end of August. In a statement, the event’s organisers said they will continue to follow authorities’ guidance and will provide updates as soon as possible.

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