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World Cup final among equestrian events cancelled owing to coronavirus

The FEI World Cup showjumping and dressage finals have been cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The FEI announced today (13 March) that the show, due to be hold in Las Vegas from 15-19 April, would not go ahead for the first time in the event’s history.

“It is very regrettable that next month’s FEI World Cup finals have had to be cancelled, but the decision was out of our hands”, said FEI president Ingmar De Vos.

“Since the World Cup series began in 1978 for jumping and in 1985 for dressage, the finals have never had to be cancelled, but global concerns about the spread of the virus and the travel restrictions imposed by the US government mean the finals are one of many major sporting events impacted by this outbreak.

“Like everyone in our community, we are disappointed, not only for the athletes who have qualified, but also for Las Vegas Events and US Equestrian, and of course our top partner Longines, but the health, wellbeing and safety of our athletes, officials and fans has to be our top priority. We hope we can alleviate that disappointment by returning to Las Vegas for a wonderful FEI World Cup finals in future.”

All ticket-holders and exhibitors will be issued full refunds.

The news follows this morning’s cancellation of the 2020 Event Rider Masters series and last night’s announcement that the Dutch Masters would not run this weekend.

Eventing Ireland announced today that no national events would run in Ireland throughout this month, with immediate effect.

An FEI endurance ride due to run in Fontainebleau, France, on 27 and 28 March has also been cancelled, while the FEI 2020 sport forum, due to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, next month, is to run online only.

The Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva Nova, Spain, announced this afternoon that all competition is cancelled as of midnight tonight, as part of emergency measures introduced by the Spanish government, so weeks two and three of the tour will not go ahead.

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Odds are shortening on the Grand National’s going ahead next month, as well as on the Olympics in Tokyo in August. The International Olympic Committee has said the Games will go ahead, although the torch was lit in Athens yesterday with no spectators present, for the first time since 1984.

The World Health Organisation has officially declared the COVIS-19 situation as a pandemic, with more than 4,200 deaths confirmed so far.

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