The shows must go on in 2021, say major event organisers *H&H Plus*

  • Christmas will not be the same without Olympia and Liverpool International Horse Show imminent, but organisers have spent months planning to ensure major events can go ahead next year despite the pandemic. H&H finds out more

    THE shows must go on, is the message from organisers of international events next year, despite the continuing pandemic.

    H&H has reported that Badminton Horse Trials is to go ahead behind closed doors next May, or to allow a limited number of spectators if allowed, and other major events are also making plans to cover all eventualities.

    Bolesworth has two dates approved for its international show: 19–23 May and 7–11 July.

    Show president Nina Barbour told H&H that while the team also hopes to run a series of CSI2* indoor events, they are “very much looking ahead” to the CSI4*, to be held a month earlier than normal.

    “It’s the week after Windsor, which I think will work for more of the top British riders, as it’s in a less congested part of the calendar,” she said. “July was a stop-gap in case we couldn’t run in May because of Covid, but we’re pretty confident we’ll be able to run with what we’re planning.”

    Bolesworth proved this year it could run successful and safe events behind closed doors if necessary, with the British Showjumping (BS) and the young horse national championships, so fans will not miss out on their “Bolesworth fix”. The dressage will not run at the international next year as there is a clash with the new Premier League at Hickstead, but the team is working with British Dressage to find a way it can run in future years.

    “And we’re very much all systems go for Liverpool International 2021,” Ms Barbour said. “It’s been great to have the extra time so we can come back stronger than ever.

    “We’re looking to announce a calendar of events for the year, in January; there are things to look forward to and hopefully after Christmas, it’ll start looking like there’s a road towards recovery.”

    A spokesman for Royal Windsor Horse Show told H&H plans are well under way to deliver the show, from 12–16 May.

    “For five months the team has been working on a variety of Covid-secure scenarios, based on current guidelines and what those might look like in May,” she said.

    Event director Simon Brooks-Ward added that the planning has been very detailed.

    “We are working on organising a show that can be dialled up or down, depending on guidelines, and we are confident and organised for whatever is thrown at us,” he told H&H. “What drives us is not to be defeated by this dreadful disease, but to be upbeat and forward-leaning. It is our desire and ambition to bring back the equestrian community next year in a celebration of all that is good about the horse world.”

    BS CEO Iain Graham told H&H: “It is very positive we’ve got organisers looking forward to life next year and planning for major events, given the uncertainty we’ve had and still have.

    “Everyone’s hopeful that come spring, we’ll be able to move back to a bit more like we were in 2019.”

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