A major fire in a multi-storey car park close to the Echo Arena has forced the Liverpool International Horse Show to be cancelled and the venue evacuated.
This afternoon’s CSI4* 1.45m speed class was coming to a close when the decision to halt the show was made.
Horse & Hound’s show reporter Margaret Shaw said: “Louise Saywell had just come into the arena for her round when she was asked to return to the gate. Then all the horses from the collecting ring were brought into the arena.
“Some horses were stabled on the lower level of the multi-storey car park, where the fire was on the upper floors, and these were evacuated into the main arena or into the stables on the dock side.”
Merseyside Fire and Rescue said in a statement: “Firefighters are attending a fire at a multi-storey car park at Kings Dock, in Liverpool.
“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called at 4.42pm and crews were on the scene at 4.50pm.
“Twelve fire engines are in attendance and crews, wearing breathing apparatus, are tackling the fire using a 52 mil hose.
“The fire is believed to involve a number of vehicles.”
A statement from the show’s organisers, issued around 7.15pm, said: “It is with considerable regret that organisers of the Liverpool International Horse Show announce that tonight’s performance at the Echo Arena has been cancelled.
“Due to a serious fire in a multi-storey car park near to the Echo Arena, and on advice from the emergency services, the show’s final session will not proceed today.
“All people and horses are safe and secure, and show organisers have thanked spectators, riders and support teams for their understanding and co-operation during this ongoing situation.”
The organisers had initially hoped they might be able to reschedule the final performance of the show to be held on Monday instead, but it was decided that this would not be possible.
Full report from the Liverpool International Horse Show in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 11 January