After three years at Chester racecourse, the British Masters has a new home for 2011.
The international event will now take place at South View Equestrian Centre, Wettenhall on 1-3 July after Chester admitted it “didn’t stack up economically”.
The event was launched in 2008 to great hype, which included a racy photoshoot with Laura Renwick and Georgie Crumley to get the public’s attention. But it didn’t attract the crowds as hoped.
A spokesman for Chester said: “We gave it a couple of years, but it just wasn’t getting the support.”
Charles Britton of South View, which is a smaller venue, said: “It’s a big commitment, but with the Olympics approaching, the UK needs to be running more internationals and hopefully this will prove to other centres this is not ‘mission impossible’”.
A spokesman for British Showjumping told H&H “a couple” of other centres had also made bids for the event.
“South View Arena submitted a strong proposal,” she said.
Mr Britton added plans to promote the event were in progress and that it would not be “just another show at South View”.
As well as boasting almost £100,000 in prize-money, the competition has been selected as an Olympic qualifiying competition, which, alongside Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show’s Meydan FEI Nations Cup and King George V Gold Cup, will make up Britain’s three qualifiers.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (17 february, 2011)