Disappointment as Festival of British Eventing abandoned on 40th anniversary

  • The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Horse Trials has been abandoned after further rain on Saturday exacerbated bad conditions underfoot.

    The cross-country phase for all five of Gatcombe’s championship classes – the Magic Millions British Open, the Evelyn Partners British Intermediate Championship, the Dodson & Horrell Novice Championship, the RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Championship and the TopSpec Challenge for the Corinthian Cup – was planned to take place tomorrow (Sunday, 6 August) after some rescheduling from Saturday.

    A statement by the organisers of the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing said: “It is with deep sadness and regret that, despite great efforts from the organising team, the decision has been made to abandon the Festival of British Eventing. This is especially disappointing that it happened during the event’s 40th anniversary.

    “The adverse weather experienced at Gatcombe today has made the site unsafe for the event to continue for all our competitors (human and equine) as well as the many thousands of spectators that were due on site tomorrow. Safety for all is our main priority.

    “Further information on the refund process will be provided in due course.

    “We would like to thank everyone involved in the event for their unwavering support and hard work over the past few days.”

    These British national championships in Gatcombe Park, home of the Princess Royal, have only been cancelled because of bad weather once before – in 2012.

    There will be disappointment for riders, for whom these valuable classes are an important part of the eventing calendar. Oliver Townend was in the lead in all three of the major championships – aboard Finley Du Loir in the Evelyn Partners British Intermediate Championship, with En Taro Des Vernier in the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship, and in the Magic Millions British Open he and Swallow Springs shared pole position with last year’s winners, Tim Price and Vitali.

    You may also be interested in…

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...