Winter continues to bite: competition calendar takes a battering again

  • Waterlogged ground has dealt a further blow to the spring competition calendar.

    The eventing season is facing disruption for the third weekend in a row, while point-to-pointing has also been affected.

    British Eventing’s (BE) Swalcliffe Park fixture in Oxfordshire (16-18 March) and Stafford Horse Trials in Staffordshire (17-18 March) have both been abandoned due to the weather and ground conditions.

    Aldon in Somerset has cancelled its first day of competition, which was set to take place today (Friday, 16 March) and organisers are expected to make a decision soon on whether to run classes on Saturday and Sunday.

    Great Witchingham is running an extra BE100 on 25 March — no late entry surcharges will apply to competitors wanting to run in this class.

    The Met Office’s headline UK forecast for the next few days is for the weather to turn “much colder” into the weekend, with snow and ice making a return in parts of the country.

    The affiliated eventing season was scheduled to start on 3 March, but plans were thwarted by heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures.

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    Oasby and Tweseldown managed to go ahead in part the following week, but were forced to cancel their weekend classes due to ground conditions, while Poplar was able to run in full, although some competitors were unable to run across country due to failing light.

    It is hoped some point-to-point fixtures will go ahead this weekend, but a number have already been cancelled or postponed.

    The Belvoir, which was scheduled to run at Garthorpe in Leicestershire on 17 March, has been rearranged for 8 April.

    The Crawley & Horsham at Parham, West Sussex, on 17 March has been abandoned, as has Quantock Staghounds, which was due to run at Cothelstone in Somerset the same day.

    The Atherstone at Clifton-on-Dunsmore (25 March) has been cancelled due to waterlogging and will not be rearranged.

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