Torrential rain forces Bolesworth to turn spectators away for the whole show

*Updated Wednesday 4.45pm*

Organisers of the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show have thanked the public for their understanding after torrential rain meant the whole event will be held behind closed doors with no spectators allowed for safety reasons.

The show initially announced this morning that it would be closed to the public today, despite the best “proactive measures” of organisers, throughout the build-up to the event and overnight. It later said this will also apply tomorrow, although competition would go on as normal on both days.

“We have significant water standing on site and also on the roads surrounding, and so have taken the decision that movement on site is not possible for safety [reasons],” organisers said in a statement.

“Full refunds will be provided via the ticket agent you purchased from within 10 working days after the event.”

The competition is still going ahead, with some adjustments to the schedule, can be watched on the livestream.

Commenters on social media were in the main positive, praising the show for taking the “sensible” decision, which it was hoped would help preserve the ground to allow spectators from Friday to Sunday.

But this afternoon, a further announcement was released stating that there would be no access for members of the public throughout the entire show: “It is with great regret that we announce that the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show will not be opening for public access during the event.

“With the significant volumes of consistent rainfall we have experienced in the past 48hrs and with further significant rain forecast, we have had to take the difficult decision on the grounds of safety to close the event for public access.

“Whilst we are preserving the site to best effect for the sport to continue all week on the all-weather surfaces, the ground is not safe enough to allow public vehicles on and off the event site. There are also significant issues on the surrounding roads with standing water limiting access.”

Those who had booked general admission will be issued refunds, or the chance to use their tickets to get into the show on any of the remaining days. VIP ticket-holders will be contacted.

More rain is forecast for the area this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow, although the rest of the weekend looks drier.

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Some changes had already been made to national showjumping classes to run at the show and organisers said competitors would be kept abreast of any further changes to the competition schedule.

Today’s competition features a CDI3* dressage grand prix, while tomorrow, a CDI3* grand prix special and freestyle will be followed by CSI4* showjumping and the eventers’ grand prix in the evening.

For a full report on all the competition at Bolesworth, don’t miss next week’s H&H magazine, out 20 June.

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