This week has seen major policies from various governments throughout the world tackle the coronavirus outbreak which is now severely impinging on the equine shows and race meetings. Some organisers have cancelled and some have decided to continue but behind closed doors.
Coronavirus – wreaking havoc with equine and all sporting events throughout.
This is such a fast moving situation that it is hard to keep up. Now we can report that the FEI have cancelled ALL events, including the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, until the end of April. Both the winter equine festivals in both Florida and the Sunshine Tour in Spain have announced that no further competitions will take place this year and all further classes have been cancelled. Racing in the UK is likely to continue, but like France and Ireland, behind closed doors. The Grand National in April is almost certainly going to be cancelled. The racing world cup in the UAE will go ahead, but with no crowds. Kentucky and Badminton Horse Trials are considering their position, but it looks unlikely that either will go ahead. More information with regards to the Olympic Games is expected this week. There has been a suggestion that they could be postponed for two years.
How last week unfolded – sort of!!!
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Masters Show at S’Hertogenbosch was to be have held behind closed doors following the new rules laid out by the Dutch government regarding numbers allowed to be gathered in one place. However, just before competition was due to start, the organisers cancelled the whole show. This was a major show with top riders in Europe due to compete. The show was the final leg of the European World Cup qualifiers and the first leg of the Rolex Grand Slam for show jumping. It has not been re-scheduled.
In Dortmund in Germany, and Keysoe in the UK, the CDI dressage events did go ahead over the weekend. Reports to appear later in week on www.horseview.uk
In Palm Beach, the USA winter equine festival, it has been announced that the event will continue but without members of the public.
The Z Tour in Lanaken in Belgium has been cancelled. It was due to take place next weekend.
In other coronavirus news – racing in Ireland will continue, but behind closed doors. In France, racing is also continuing, but again behind closed doors. In the USA, The breeze-up sale in Keenland, due to be held in early April has been cancelled.
In Palm Beach, before the cancellation, The last CSI 5 star was completed with Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt taking the top spot with two clears and a winning time of 38.20 seconds. Emily was riding the Selle Francais 13 year old mare Tipsy du Terral. Second was Ireland’s Connor Swail riding Coco Chanel, again with a double clear. In third was Lucas Porter from the USA riding C.Hunter. There were 8 clears who went through to the jump off.
In the Winter Tour in the USA before it was cancelled, there top CSI 3 star did go ahead with Darrgh Kenny from Ireland winning the jump off. There were twelve joining him in the jump off of which five went on to get double clears. Second place went to Sydney Shulman with third going to Spencer Smith. There were forty five who started the class.
Two CDI’s did go ahead for dressage. The CDI at Keysoe in Great Britain was complete, but the show in Dortmund was curtailed in the morning of the last day as the organisers cancelled the event from 10.30 on the last day. The dressage was unduly affected however as the Freestyle was completed on the evening before curtailment. A report on these two shows will appear on www.horseview.uk later in the week.
Blyth Tait announces his retirement
At the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show, Blyth Tait announced he would be retiring from eventing. 58 year old Blyth made the announcement while competing in show jumping classes stating that while he would live to be able to go to the Tokyo Olympics, the chances are very low and after a wonderful career in eventing it was time to hang up his boots. Blyth Tait’s achievements included gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, WEG gold in 1990, and Burghley winner twice. He said he would continue to show jump for fun, “but if it was raining, he would probably stay at home!”