The organisers of the London Spring International Horse Show say they are “absolutely gutted” that the plug has been pulled on the event.
The showjumping and dressage show, which was to take place on 12-17 April at the ExCel, London, has been postponed, and dressage rider Daniel Watson, who came up with the idea of the event, says he is unsure whether it will be held in future.
“The ExCel board came back to me last night [26 January] saying they wanted to postpone it for a year; unfortunately it’s due to financial reasons,” he told H&H.
“You know what it costs to put on a show of this calibre, and we don’t have the commercial capacity to do that this year.”
The show was due to feature top-class dressage and showjumping, as well as amateur British Showjumping (BS) classes.
BS chief executive Iain Graham said: “We are extremely disappointed to have received Daniel’s notification this morning that the event will not be going ahead.
“Despite only having received the news this morning, we have already started discussions as to the best way forward. We will update members as soon as feasibly possible in respect of the proposed championships which had been incorporated into the show schedule.”
Daniel said it is “too early to say”, what will happen to the show in future but that all those who have bought tickets will be refunded.
Asked whether there was a chance of moving the show to another venue, he said: “The problem is the time limit, we would need somewhere pretty decent to move it to and we can’t do that in the time.”
Daniel said the show was one “the industry clearly needed”.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have £1m to put down to be able say it’s financially viable enough to do it,” he said.
“We’ve been working seriously hard on this for the last two years and I think we’ve done an unbelievable job in the time we’ve had but the board feels there’s not enough money in the pot.
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“They can see there’s a demand for it; they loved the concept of the show but they won’t take the risk, it’s as simple as that.
“We’re all absolutely gutted and livid, but that’s life, isn’t it?”