Well “What a pretty kettle of fish” as Queen Mary said in the 1930s. This could be as apt now as it was then. The Coronavirus or Covid 19 as we are now encouraged to call it, has completely decimated the whole of the sporting calendar around the world with no site yet of when this complete shut-down will come to an end.
The first thing that is now very obvious, is that 2020 will be a complete wash out as shows around the world cancel or in hope they say, intend to postpone. As we all know, Badminton Horse Trials and Kentucky Horse Trials have been cancelled along with Weisbaden in Germany and The Royal Windsor Horse Show as well as countless other events. In fact now, over a third of all shows for the whole of 2020 have been cancelled worldwide.
In this article, we have tried to put all the latest postponements and cancellations in one place, using the information we have and which can be verified as there is a lot of ‘fake news’ around at present.
Announcements this week – 30th March to 3rd April 2020
The Olympic Games have been postponed until 23rd July to August 8th 2021.
All Dressage and Showjumping events in the UK have been cancelled until at least 31st May 2020 as announced this week.
Aachen, arguably the top world equestrian event, has been postponed this week. It was due to be held from June 1st to allow time between this show and the Olympics. However no date has been set for its re-arrangement at the time of writing.
At The All England Jumping at Hickstead, it has been announced that the Derby Meeting, due to be held at the end of June is hopefully only postponed and will be incorporated into the National September Show at Hickstead provided that the various governing bodies in the UK and the FEI agree. The Royal International Horse Show, due to be held at the end of July at the same venue is currently still to take place, but a further announcement of confirmation or cancellation is expected shortly.
In the UK, Ireland and France and several other countries, horse racing is in complete lockdown with no meeting due to take place until at least the end of April but it is more than likely that an announcement shortly will postpone the return of racing until the end of May in line with the decision of British Dressage and Showjumping. This means that the famous Guineas meeting in Newmarket, the Kentucky Derby and probably the Epsom and French equivalents will be either postponed or cancelled. There is a move to extend the flat season till the end of December to try to find time to run these iconic races. No decision has yet been announced with regard to Royal Ascot, due in mid-June, but with the cancellation of the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, announced this week, the Royal Meeting does look in real jeopardy.
The Longines Masters of both Canada and Switzerland, due to take place in mid June have been cancelled.
The European FEI Nations Cup series is also set to be decimated in 2020. The first confirmed cancellation made this week was in Rome where the event was due to start on May 31st. Others are expected to follow.
On another matter, it was reported on Wednesday this week that Jon Downey had died. He was 71 years old. He was world respected designer of show jumping courses over the whole world including The Olympics, World and European Championships among others. He was also a very well respected judge. He was awarded the MBE by The Queen for services to equestrianism in 2014. Our condolences go to Mary his wife and family.
We are sorry to have to write such a set of miserable news items. However, we will get through this and we hope and ask all our readers to “stay safe and follow health advice” so we can get back to a more normal time sooner rather than later.
Next week, we will be continuing our video archives with dressage!