There’s further bad news on the airwaves for British eventers, as Somerford International Horse Trials has opted to cancel its early summer fixture, citing British Eventing’s abandonment insurance process as its primary concern in this tricky year.
Abandonment insurance, which was previously provided through British Eventing and included in entries as standard, was scrapped for cost-saving reasons after meetings in the off-season between 2021 and 2022, and now, organisers can choose to take out their own policy and offer refunds in the event of a cancellation, or run without abandonment insurance and offer minimum terms on refunds — a position that some event organisers have found fiscally untenable.
Somerford International Horse Trials was set to take place from June 30 – July 2, with entries due to open on Monday, May 22. The Cheshire fixture was to host national classes from BE100 to Intermediate, and international classes at CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S.
The statement, posted by Somerford’s organising team on social media, reads as follows.
“It is with great consideration and regret that we are cancelling Somerford International Horse Trials 2023. We have come to this decision for the following reasons, firstly and most concerning is the Insurance situation, Somerford is not prepared to run without abandonment insurance including the adverse weather policy.
“We appreciate, that for many of you, these will have been key opportunities to gain MERs or educational runs for your horses and therefore British Eventing is currently looking at alternative opportunities to add additional International and National classes into the calendar. Any International additions would be subject to FEI approval. We will of course keep you updated as and when any plans have been confirmed however, in the meantime, we want to reassure you that we are doing our best to work with Organisers in replacing these valuable lost MER opportunities where possible.
“In addition to this ahead of the 2024 season, and in light of the unprecedented abandonments due to the prolonged adverse weather, British Eventing is also undertaking a full stakeholder review of the existing arrangements in relation to abandonment insurance. An update will be provided to Members once further discussions have concluded.”