Storm Eunice: UK shows cancel after rare red weather warning

  • A number of competitions have been cancelled owing to Storm Eunice, as the Met Office issues a red weather warning for parts of the UK.

    The rare red warning has been issued from 7am to noon tomorrow (18 February) for southwest coastal areas of the UK, where the strongest gusts could be in excess of 90mph. Yellow and amber warnings are in place elsewhere, with Storm Dudley affecting the northern half of the UK today, and Storm Eunice expected to bring strong winds to southern and central areas from tomorrow. The Met Office said gusts of up to 80mph are possible inland.

    The British Dressage (BD) para winter championships at Myerscough International Equine Arena (18-20 February) have been postponed. The competition is rescheduled for 4-6 March.

    “We have to put the welfare of horse and rider first and the forecast is not looking kind,” said organiser Kelly Thompson. “We felt it was better to give riders as much warning as we possibly could than leave it right up to the day. Working with my team, we’ve managed to get a date in the calendar quickly – hopefully competitors can reschedule and see the extra time as a bonus to prepare for the championship classes.”

    The BD winter area festival at Beacons Equestrian in Carmarthenshire (19-21 February) is also off. A spokesman for BD said the plan is to reschedule to 11-13 March, with all entries transferring and full details to be released in due course.

    At the time of publishing, the prelim classes due to take place at the BD winter regionals at Easton College Equestrian Centre tomorrow have been moved to Saturday (19 February). The Merrist Wood Arena BD winter regionals are going ahead on Saturday, and conditions will be monitored. BD competitions at Chard Equestrian, Allens Hill Competition Centre, and Prestige Equestrian on 18 February had been cancelled. The show at Prestige is rescheduled for Sunday (20 February).

    The senior British Showjumping (BS) competition at Forest Edge Arena and the junior show at Duckhurst on Friday are off, and the senior BS show at Mendip Plains Equestrian Centre on Saturday is also cancelled. Following a consultation between Northcote Stud organisers, BS and the venue’s stabling supplier, the 148cm pony premier at Northcote remains on. A BS spokesman said any known show changes will be posted on the BS shows notice page. Competitors are also advised to check show venue websites and social media feeds.

    In racing, Fakenham’s racecard tomorrow has been cancelled. Inspections for Kelso, Lingfield and Southwell will take place on Friday morning.

    For advice on caring for your horse during Storm Eunice, read our guide on looking after horses in extremely windy weather.

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