Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show to go ahead without key classes

  • Five-star international showjumping classes, including the Nations Cup and King George V Gold Cup, will not take place at the Royal International Horse Show (20-25 July) at Hickstead this year as a reduced show format is announced for 2021.

    In a statement today (21 April) the organisers of the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, said the “difficult decision” had been made to run RIHS under a new format for this season, owing to the ongoing Covid situation and restrictions on international travel.

    The show would usually host five-star international showjumping classes in front of crowds of up to 50,000 across six days.

    “For this year only, the RIHS will run as a two-star international event, with showjumping classes aimed at British-based riders. The national classes, such as the British Showjumping winter finals, will remain part of the fixture, and the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup moves to the premier position of Sunday afternoon to form the feature class of the show,” read the statement.

    The showing classes will run as a normal, with a range of different sections, concluding in Sunday’s supreme championships.

    Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn said the organisers had “so hoped” to return to normality this season, but the ongoing uncertainty combined with restrictions on travel made it impossible to run the RIHS in its usual format.

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    “Having already made the decision to run the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting as a national show, it’s so disappointing to also have to cancel our showcase classes from our July fixture – however the cost implications of staging a five-star international event under restricted conditions made it unviable,” she said.

    “In addition, we normally welcome athletes from the leading showjumping nations around the world to compete at this event, but this was not going to be possible without seriously affecting all the other rings and classes.”

    The statement added it is hoped that some crowds will be allowed by the time of the show, but details of public attendance and ticketing will be announced nearer the time. There will be a selection of tradestands in attendance, and some hospitality options will be available.

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