British Eventing Calendar Continues to Deplete as Skipton Horse Trials Bids Adieu

Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Yorkshire’s Skipton Horse Trials is the latest event to fall by the wayside as British Eventing trudges through a tough January. The end of the event – which is owed to financial concerns – comes shortly after Weston Park and Somerford Park announced their departure from the fixtures list for similar reasons.

“It is with a very heavy heart that the organisers have had to make the tough decision to close the Horse Trials,” begins a statement on the event’s Facebook page. “Skipton is one of the finest greenfield sites in the U.K. and has been running for 35 plus years.”

But, it continues, “the arrival of the Yorkshire Dales food and drink festival at Funkirk Farm three weeks before our event has caused huge problems with our setup and last year the adverse weather together with resulting damage caused to the ground by the festival completely destroyed any chance we had of running. We have had several conversations trying to find another date but none that fit without clashes.

“The current situation at British Eventing has also not helped . With more and more costs being levied onto organisers and the downturn in entries experienced by events over recent years it just isn’t financially viable to run a greenfield site.
“With setup costs of between £38,000 and £42,000 we simply cannot take the risk incase of abandonment. Regrettably it is you, the riders and members, who are losing out.
“Many of you will wonder about [unaffiliated events]. Whilst we have looked very hard at this possibility the setup costs are very similar and again there is the uncertainty regarding entry support. Running on the back of a BE weekend is the only way to make this viable for a greenfield site . We therefore cannot see that as a viable option .
“We can’t thank our loyal volunteers and organising team enough for all their hard work in supporting us all these years, also the Howard family for all their support and their loan of such a wonderful venue.”
Skipton was scheduled to run the weekend of August 3 and 4, with classes on the roster from BE80 to Novice.
The 2024 British Eventing calendar can be viewed here. Have you been impacted by the loss of these three competitions? Let us know in the comments.

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