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‘Great sadness’ as horse trials cancelled

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The Festival of British Eventing, held at the Princess Royal’s Gatcombe Park estate, will not be staged this year due to rising costs.

In a statement on their website Event Director, Peter Phillips said: “It is with a heavy heart that The Festival, which has played a significant part in the British Eventing calendar since 1983, cannot run this year. The event has also been a huge part of my family’s lives and those of many others for 40 years.

“It has built up a large community that has enjoyed and celebrated The Festival each year. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved over the past four decades; our sponsors for their unwavering support, the large selection of trade stands and arena entertainment and our spectators who have loved coming to Gatcombe to watch the world-class equestrian sport from the famous Park Bowl.”

Event Chairman, Captain Mark Phillips added: “The horse trials at Gatcombe and more recently the Festival of British Eventing have been a major part of my life for over 40 years when The Princess Royal and I first had the dream. The dream became reality, and with it, many special memories of the many riders, horses, volunteers, sponsors and spectators all of whom massively contributed to the history of the horse trials at Gatcombe Park.

“It’s truly a great sadness that the original model and indeed the sport has changed so much. Since Covid, costs, particularly insurance, have risen so much that the numbers no longer add up. It is an end of an era, the next 40 years of the sport will be different, let’s hope it can be equally special.”

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