COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is currently affecting the whole world. Peoples lives and businesses have been disrupted as has the horse show calendar due to many counties banning events with that bring in large numbers of crowds of spectators.
The 2020 Event Rider Masters has been cancelled as the organisers felt that is was impossible to run the events at an acceptable low risk for both competitors, staff and contractors, due to the developing pandemic. This would have been the fifth year of the ERM series which started back in 2016. The series have taken place across three different countries, where top riders compete for significant prize money.
The statement said: “The ERM 2020 series is spread over three countries, all of whom are currently affected by Covid-19 Coronavirus and involves a production team of 60 people travelling from six different countries. The ERM riders throughout each season represent at least 20 different nations. The logistics of moving the multi-national production team from venue to venue is impossible to implement in a manner that has an acceptable risk level.
“As a result of this assessment, it is clear that there are too many risks associated with conducting the ERM series this year and regrettably ERM has made the decision to cancel the 2020 series.”
Other events that have been cancelled include racing. Although the Cheltenham Festival did run, with Al Boum Photo winning the Gold cup back-to-back, The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have declared that fixtures will go ahead without spectators. A decision on whether the Grand National that is due to take place on Saturday 4th April 2020 in Aintree will go ahead has yet to be decided.
A spokes person for BHA has stated that it is “likely to mean that racing moves behind closed doors later in the week, initially until the end of March” with the aim to ensure that the racing programme is sustainable “in the light of possible staff absences, including in critical roles, which protects industry staff and supports the wider effort to free up critical public services”.
The FEI World Cup showjumping and dressage finals have also been cancelled. These events were due to be held in Las Vegas but for the first time in the events history it has been cancelled due to many counties being on lockdown due to Coronavirus.
With the Olympic Games due to be held later in the year, The Horse Exchange THEx will continue to follow the advice and support from the government and share any updates we receive.