Showing competitors met with flash floods at BSPS Championships

  • Torrential downpours and flash flooding greeted competitors arriving at the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) Championships at Arena UK on Monday (24 August).

    A storm brought heavy rain to the venue on the afternoon ahead of the five-day show.

    Some of the stables lying on lower land were flooded and organisers worked quickly to pump out the five-inches of water.

    “We had serious flooding on site just as everyone was coming in,” Arena UK’s Teresa Stratford told H&H.

    “The ground was so dry so the water just sat on the surface.

    “We removed the water ourselves as we have our own pumps.”

    Ms Stratford explained that the stables dried out quickly after the pumps has removed the surface the water.

    “We managed to clear out all of the flooded stables and they are looking good now,” she added.

    “Everyone managed to get in — we put a swamp mat down to help the lorries.

    “BSPS arranged for bales of straw which they gave out for free.

    “There is very little mud to be seen now.”

    Cancellations earlier this year

    Earlier this year, bad weather wreaked havoc at equestrian events, with cancellations at British Eventing venues and a near-miss Bury Farm.

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    Stafford (1) and Gatcombe (1) both abandoned competition on 29 March and Goring Heath Horse Trials (3-4 April) was cancelled in advance after “unforeseen problems with the ground”.

    Meanwhile, galeforce winds and torrential rain prevailed at Bury Farm on 29 March during the second day of the Ponies(UK) Winter Classic.

    A temporary halt was called after the roof lifted off stables on the showground and metal railings surrounding the conformation judging ring were blown over.

    Tradestand staff fought to stop their tents from taking off and several chose to leave the show early.

    Course-builder Lisa Kelly and her team managed to complete the Royal International working hunter qualifier, then cleared all the fences from the ring and waited to see if the weather would improve.

    A shortened course was built and the last P(UK) final was completed in time for the winner to take part in the supreme championship.

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