FEI Kings Forest Spring Ride Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Endurance GB Tom McGuinness on course-1

Endurance GB announces cancellation of FEI King’s Forest Spring Ride as Coronavirus measures tighten in UK

Endurance News :: Everything Horse

Endurance GB has announced the cancellation of the FEI King’s Forest Spring Ride following strong recommendations issued on Friday 13th March by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and a meeting of Endurance GB’s board.  This year’s event was due to take place over the weekend of 10-12 April.

The popular King’s Forest Competition held over forestry tracks and open farmland near Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk, is the first big event of the Endurance GB calendar and is viewed by riders as a springboard for the season. Renowned for its superb going when the rest of the country may be suffering under wetter conditions, the ride draws entries from across the UK and last year celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Both national and international classes had been scheduled up to FEI 2* 120km and in addition, organiser Dianne Luke had been aiming to accommodate a request by British and French riders for an FEI 3* 160km class following the cancellation of the Grand Parquet Endurance CEI 3* Fontainebleau Ride scheduled for a fortnight’s time.

Dianne Luke said:

I am just devastated as we had worked so hard to stage an event of a high standard despite financial constraints this season. We had a good number of entries across all classes coming in and were excited at the prospect of helping our riders by staging an additional FEI 3* class.

Given the circumstances however, and in the light of the FEI recommendations, we had no choice but to cancel the whole event. I just feel so sorry for the riders who were looking forward to competing, but I am glad that the decision has been taken now, for the sake of all concerned.”

Dianne and husband Paul run the event with the help of around 70 volunteers over the two days as vet writers, stewards, covering road crossings and checkpoints. In addition, some 20 FEI officials were set to have attended the event, some of whom were set to travel from countries currently subject to travel restrictions and border closures. Next month’s contest had been set to provide the basis for research by Dr David Marlin into the horse’s changing body shape during the competition.

The FEI King’s Forest Summer ride, set to be staged 26-28 June, will feature an FEI 160km 3* class as well as the National and Young Rider Championships. It will be the final qualifier before the World Championships in Pisa in September and has been chosen as the selection ride for Team GB.

The high-profile event, which offers a change of course each time, has previously been described as being of Championship level by FEI Chief Vet Goran Åkerström.

Endurance GB Chair, Phil Nunnerley, said:

As we review and monitor the impact on the sport we will provide regular updates in relation to the latest advice and keep you as members in touch and involved in the decision-making process. Our shared priority as a sport and community will remain to protect and safeguard the welfare and interests of everyone involved.”

Riders, crew and volunteers are all being asked not to attend a competition or training event if they are feeling unwell, with cold-type symptoms and a temperature.

For more information on Endurance GB visit My Club House GB

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