A leading horse trials has been forced to clarify its position on dogs at the event after speculation that a blanket ban was going to introduced.
Rumors started on social media on Tuesday (3 March) that dogs were no longer going to be allowed at Osberton International (pictured) (1-5 October) after an announcement on East Midland’s Dressage Group appeared to imply the estate was banning them.
However, BEDE events, which organises the horse trials, has now confirmed to H&H that dogs will still be allowed.
“We aren’t sure where all of this has come from — there will be no issue with competitors bringing their dogs to our international event as long as they abide by our (BEDE Events) policy which involves them being on leads at all times,” a spokesman added.
Ralph Foljambe, manager of Osberton Estate, said: “At the very small one day shows and rallies where there are not many people we have asked people not to bring dogs unless absolutely necessary, if they can’t leave them at home, we ask that they please keep them on leads at all times.
“At any camps or larger shows that last more than one day, including Osberton Horse Trials, the estate fully appreciates that it is difficult to leave dogs at home, so they are more than welcome provided they are kept under control.”
Several incidents involving loose dogs at the end of last season sparked concern about how to better control the situation.
However, the rumours of a dog ban at Osberton were met by worry from the eventing community.
One volunteer told H&H she would no longer be able to help at the event if the ban was introduced.
“Osberton has a 7.15am fence judge briefing on the morning of the Saturday cross-country, and we are not finished on course until at least 6pm,” the volunteer said.
“When you factor in the time taken to drive to and from the event, it is not fair or likely that I will leave my dogs at home all day, and I most certainly won’t pay for someone to look after them when I am already giving up my time for free.”
British Eventing reiterated that whether dogs are allowed at events is down to individual organisers to decide.