Liverpool International Horse Show will not go ahead this year, as organisers continue the search for its new home – which could include a new city.
In a statement today (10 November) organisers said the 2022/3 show will not run as “despite every effort, securing a suitable date with the venue was not possible”.
The new year show has been held at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool since its launch in 2016. It last took place in 2019 as the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Managing director Nina Barbour told H&H that the 2022/3 event had not been confirmed and this was “not a cancellation, because it was never planned”.
“We haven’t found the perfect formula of date, venue and location. Now that we’ve had a chance to take stock since Covid, it’s all up in the air as to what the perfect combination is. It’s not that we had ever published a concrete plan for this year. The dates haven’t been in the FEI calendar now for a while because we took the provisional dates out when we were looking through the options,” she said.
“We were looking at potentially moving the date to February because the trouble is with the new year dates; Liverpool gets full and the hotels run out, so there were a few fundamental issues there. We were then struggling to find a date in February with the venue, and during that time the whole commercial conversation changed significantly,” she said.
“The commercial arrangement that Liverpool Arena was able to do pre-Covid changed massively post-Covid. It’s not in a negative way, it’s just their circumstances and model changed. This was one of the triggers to re-evaluating the whole thing, including the availability of the dates and whether we are putting the product in the right location in the country. We’re taking stock and looking at all those different factors because when we land it again, we want to land it big.”
Ms Barbour confirmed to H&H that the Liverpool International Horse Show could move to a new city.
“All the time we’re actively working through what the best plan is for it,” she said.
“We’re very conscious that we had Covid and we’ve had a few stop-starts with it, so when we run it again it needs to be absolutely right and in the place where it finds its home, location and date, for good.”
Ms Barbour added that expansion plans are also under way for Bolesworth International in June.
“We’re fully committed to what we do within the sport. We’ve got big plans to expand the footprint of the international and have big ambitions,” she said.
“We’ve gone through the consolidation stage of Covid and we’re now ready to make that event much bigger for 2023, with a new lifestyle shopping area planned, and other plans we will announce in the next month or so.”
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