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‘Great regret’ as HOYS 2020 falls victim to coronavirus

This year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has been cancelled, organisers have announced with “great regret”.

Grandstand Media released a statement today (2 July) to say the event, which had been due to run from 7-11 October at the NEC Birmingham, would not take place, “owing to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus pandemic”.

“At the forefront of our minds has been, and will remain, the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Horse of the Year Show happen —- the visitors, competitors, staff, officials, volunteers, partners, trade exhibitors and contractors — as well as our wider responsibility to support the efforts to tackle this challenge to our everyday lives,” the statement read.

Anyone who has bought a ticket will be offered the option to keep the same day and seat for HOYS 2021, set to run from 6 to 10 October next year, or refunds will be offered. Grandstand will be working with agent the Ticket Factory, as well as contacting its trade exhibitors and sponsors.

“We are sure that cancelling this year’s Horse of the Year Show will be as great a disappointment for you, our loyal followers, as it is for us,” the statement said.

“It has been your passion for HOYS that has made our event what it is today, and it is undeniable that without the support of the equestrian community, HOYS would not continue to happen.

“We’d like to thank all our valued partners, customers and stakeholders for their continued support during these challenging times. Our thoughts remain with all those that have been, and continue to be, affected by this pandemic.

“Horse of the Year Show will return in 2021. We look forward to welcoming you back for what promises to be a fantastic showcase of equestrian competition and entertainment.”

Grandstand has also cancelled Stoneleigh Horse Show, which was due to run at Stoneleigh Park in August.

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“We will be communicating directly with the showing judges, showing officials and tradestand holders who support the event about the specific impacts — please bear with us as we work through this,” a separate statement said.

“We’d like to thank all our valued partners and stakeholders for their continued support during these challenging times.”

British Showjumping is still committed to running its national championships at Stoneleigh Park in August, including the reallocated spring championships, about which more information will be released “in due course”.

We continue to publish Horse & Hound magazine weekly during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as keeping horseandhound.co.uk up to date with all the breaking news, features and more. Click here for info about magazine subscriptions (six issues for £6) and access to our premium H&H Plus content online.

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