Another major summer horse trials cancelled: ‘The financial risk is too great’

  • The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing 2021 at Gatcombe Park (6-8 August) has been cancelled because “as with many other major public events this summer, the financial risk of committing to an occasion of such magnitude and infrastructure during a pandemic is too great,” said a statement from the event.

    Event director Peter Phillips, whose parents, the Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips, started eventing in Gatcombe Park in 1983, said: “We had desperately hoped that we would be able to pull off the 2021 festival because we know how much everyone was looking forward to it.

    “This has been an extremely difficult decision, but the situation with the pandemic is still too volatile. In these restricted circumstances, the event simply isn’t viable, and nor could we guarantee that it would be good value for the competitors, spectators, trade stands and loyal sponsors who normally make the festival such a great occasion. We also very much looked forward to hosting the Pony Club championship for the first time at Gatcombe Park.”

    Any 2020 ticket holders should email info@festivalofbritisheventing.com to secure a refund.

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    The Festival of British Eventing 2021 had been due to host the British open, intermediate and novice championships, as well as the restricted novice championship branded the Corinthian Cup and the Retraining of Racehorses/National Trainers’ Federation retrained racehorse event championship. The Pony Club open eventing championships were also due to be held at the Festival for the first time.

    “The news will be a deep disappointment to riders, owners, spectators and volunteers alike, for whom the festival is a much-loved annual showcase for the sport, from Olympic riders to ‘Corinthian’ amateurs,” said the event statement.

    This is the second year in a row the Festival has been cancelled owing to Covid-19.

    • Do you have a special memory from the Festival of British Eventing you’d like to share with fellow readers?  You can do so by writing to hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name and nearest town, for the chance to feature on the letters page in a future issue of H&H magazine

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