Iconic event to run as a three-day for final time

  • Weston Park International Horse Trials will run as a three-day event for the final time this week (8-11 October) as it is no longer “finically viable”.

    The Shropshire event has been operating for 33 years and as a three-day for 19.

    Organiser Janet Plant said she is “very upset” to be losing the event.

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    “It is because of the clash of dates with Osberton,” she told H&H.

    Osberton (1-4 October) is held near Worksop in Nottinghamshire.

    “[Osberton] took the entries and we don’t get enough to be viable to run.

    “It is not financially viable to continue with the number of entries that we have.”

    The event will continue to run as a one-day in the spring and autumn.

    Past winners of the international classes at the Shifnal event include 2015 Badminton winner Chilli Morning, when ridden by Nick Gauntlett, who won the CCI2* in 2008.

    Laura Collett, Piggy French and Emily Llewellyn are also among the previous winners of Weston titles.

    This autumn’s event hosts one- and two-star sections, as well as the British Eventing (BE) Festival of Youth.

    This includes the U18 regional championship CCIJ*, a pony one-star and the BE100u18 Championships.

    “The going is absolutely fabulous,” Mrs Plant added.

    In April, H&H reported that the national under-18 championships would be moving away from Weston Park after October’s event (news, 16 April).

    The decision was made by BE’s board of directors following a recommendation from its sport committee.

    This recommendation was that BE had a responsibility to run the championships at a time that would not compromise members’ education.

    Mrs Plant said that losing the under-18 novice regional championships and the BE100u18 championships has “absolutely devastated” them.

    “We are extremely distressed,” she said.

    She added that it is very sad to think that this turf is not going to see the “stars of the future” ride across it.

    Next year’s under-18 novice and BE100 championships will be held at Frickley Park, near Doncaster in North Yorkshire, at the end of July.

    A BE spokesman said: “After many successful years as a three-day-event, it is a great pity that Weston Park will no longer be running the long-standing CCI* and CCI2* classes.

    “This has been a very difficult decision for the Plant family to make and we fully support them in their decision and the future plans for Weston.”

    Ref: H&H 8 October, 2015

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