Burgham event gets partial go ahead

OFFICIALS from British Eventing have given the go ahead for two days of competition at Burgham Horse Trials this weekend.

Riders will be competing in the BE90, BE100 and Novice classes on Saturday and Sunday.

But all British Showjumping classes for the three days from Friday to Sunday, including the £12,000 Burgham Classic Grand Prix, have unfortunately been cancelled on safety grounds due to the effects of the recent heavy rain.

As a result, organisers have halved the cost of entry to this weekend’s event in a bid to encourage an excellent turnout.

It is hoped that the additional Intermediate and Open Intermediate classes which had attracted entries from international Olympians and were due to take place tomorrow will be run on Monday.

The Burghley Dubarry Young Event Horse Qualifiers have been moved to the nearby Todburn Equestrian Centre. The Companion Dog Show will go ahead on Saturday and Sunday as planned.

Event Director David Nicholson said: “We have done everything possible to ensure the whole event could go ahead, but sadly due to the persistent rainfall over recent weeks the decision has had to be taken to cancel all British Showjumping from Friday until Sunday.

“We will however enjoy at least two days of British Eventing on Saturday and Sunday due to the excellent work of the course builders and other members of the Burgham team and hopefully will be able to run the Intermediate and Open Intermediate classes on Monday.

“We regret any inconvenience the late decision to cancel Friday’s schedule causes all competitors, owners, traders, judges, volunteers and spectators, who must be as disappointed as we are, but we aim to put on two great days of eventing on Saturday and Sunday – something many other cancelled events across the country could only have hoped for.”

In another gesture, organisers are offering a full refund to traders who choose not to come this weekend, given the losses many have already suffered due to the full cancellation of many other equestrian events this year, including Badminton, Chatsworth, Gatcombe, Aske and Eglinton.

In addition, all competitors who were previously due to compete today (Friday) are being offered free stabling for their horses on Sunday night, enabling them to compete on Monday.

Huge demand has seen places oversubscribed for all eventing classes, with more than 700 riders entered travelling from places as far afield as Perthshire in Scotland, Conwy in Wales and Berkshire in the South of England.

The three-kilometre undulating course, designed and built by Peter Wilson, will see some new feature fences alongside water jumps and water crossings to challenge competitors of all levels.

Advance weekend passes purchased by spectators via the event website will be valid for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Those who paid £15 for these will receive an automatic £5 refund in the post.

For further updates, visit www.burghamhorsetrials.co.uk or the event’s Facebook page.