Weather forces major timetable changes and class cancellations at Festival of British Eventing

  • The Gatcombe Horse Trials weather has forced organisers to abandon all cross-country today, including the Evelyn Partners British intermediate championship and the Dodson & Horrell novice championship.

    Those two championship classes were due to conclude today (Saturday, 5 August), but instead the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing organisers hope to run them tomorrow, in addition to the Magic Millions British open championship, the Retraining of Racehorses/National Trainers Federation retrained racehorse event championship and the TopSpec challenge for the Corinthian Cup.

    The British eventing national classes at open intermediate and open novice level have been abandoned completely.

    Showjumping for the championship classes will continue to take place in Gatcombe’s main arena as planned, and will be shown on Horse & Country TV.

    A revised timetable for Sunday is being prepared, and main arena attractions are expected to go ahead on Sunday.

    A statement from the Festival of British Eventing on the Gatcombe Horse Trials weather said: “The safety of all of our human and equine competitors and spectators is of paramount importance to us and at the centre of this decision.”

    The organisers have also said that general admission tickets for today that are not used are transferable to Sunday, but hospitality and park view picnic parking for Saturday cannot be transferred.

    The Festival of British Eventing was last cancelled due to bad weather in 2012.

    Oliver Townend is in first and second places in the British intermediate championship after showjumping. He leads on Sir John Peace’s Finley Du Loir on a score of 24.9, just ahead of Sir John Peace and Charlotte Cole’s Crazy Du Loir on 25.8.

    Oliver has four wins to his name in the British intermediate championship to date – 2007 (Daisy Crazy), 2008 (ODT Land Vision), 2015 (Note Worthy) and 2017 (Khoi Traveller).

    Jason Wood holds a healthy advantage in the British novice championship after the first day of dressage. His score of 22.7 aboard Alexandra and Charles Lloyd’s Nitor gives him 3.9 marks in hand over Oliver Townend and En Taro Des Vernier.

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