The Event Rider Masters series is the latest equestrian sporting event to fall victim to the mounting threat of COVID-19, or coronavirus. The 2020 iteration of the series, which was recently shortened to four legs to accommodate this summer’s Olympic Games, would have been its fifth year running.
The decision to cancel this year’s series was made after a full risk assessment in line with the recommendations of several national and global health organisations. As the ERM is effectively a travelling roadshow of equestrian sport, it was decided that for the safety of all involved, the series would need to be shelved for the year.
“The ERM 2020 series is spread over three countries, all of whom are currently affected by COVID-19, and involves a team of 60 people travelling from six different countries,” says the ERM in an official statement. “The ERM riders throughout each season represent at least 20 different nations. The logistics of moving the multinational 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.”
The four host events – Burnham Market and Chatsworth in the UK, Arville in Belgium, and Haras de Jardy in France – are currently still scheduled to run as planned, though France’s government limitation on gatherings over 1000 people could see the latter run behind closed doors. The ERM has confirmed its intention to run as normal in 2021.
For an up-to-date list of global equestrian events affected by COVID-19, click here.