The Board of Grandstand Media Ltd have released a statement announcing that The Horse of the Year show 2020 has been cancelled due to concerns linked to the world pandemic of corona virus.
The HOYS team have stated that the health and safety of everyone involved in making the show happen has to come first – from the visitors, competitors, staff, officials, volunteers, partners, trade exhibitors and contractors.
Sandy Anderson, Horse of the Year Show chairman, commented: “We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision and it is certainly not one that has been taken lightly; we have done so with the utmost concern for public health and the wellbeing of all those involved in making HOYS happen. It has been on our minds that this will be the first time since the event’s establishment in 1949 that the running of HOYS has been interrupted, and this is not without considerable financial obligation for the event. However, we have carried out extensive consideration of the scenarios and we believe that this decision is a measure of the current uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. We believe that this is inevitably the right decision for all concerned and for the future of Horse of the Year Show. Our thoughts are with those that have been, and continue to be, affected by this pandemic.”
Emma Williams, Horse of the Year Show event director, commented: “We strongly believe that this decision has been taken with everyone’s best interests at heart, it is not only to protect public health but to provide certainty to all stakeholders given the current impact of the virus on the qualifier season and wider equestrian events in the UK. We have appreciated the support of our staff, societies, and partners in coming to this decision.
“I would also like to thank all of our dedicated Horse of the Year Show fans for their understanding during these incredibly challenging times. It is your passion for HOYS that has made our event what it is today and it is undeniable that without the support of the equestrian community HOYS would not continue to happen.”
Tickets that have already been purchased for the 2020 show can either be retained for the same day and seat for the 2021 show or alternatively a refund can be issued.
The Horse of the Year 72nd Show is set to take place from Wednesday 6th October 2021 – Sunday 10th October 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham.