Gatcombe Park’s Festival of British Eventing Cancelled

Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul. Photo credit: Event Rider Masters

In a disappointing turn of events for equestrian enthusiasts, the iconic Gatcombe Park’s Festival of British Eventing has been canceled for the upcoming season. Despite the fervent efforts of the organizing team, the prevailing economic climate has rendered the event financially unviable.

Event Director, Peter Phillips, expressed his regret, stating, “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.” Phillips, whose family has been deeply involved in the event for four decades, acknowledged the immense community support and thanked sponsors, trade stands, arena entertainers, and spectators for their unwavering dedication.

Captain Mark Phillips, Event Chairman, lamented the end of an era, remarking, “It’s truly a great sadness that the original model and indeed the sport has changed so much.” He cited the significant rise in costs, particularly insurance, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a major factor contributing to the event’s cancellation.

Rosie Williams, Chief Executive of British Eventing, echoed the sentiment, calling it “incredibly sad news for everyone involved in the sport.” She emphasized the need for a strategic approach to support organizers, landowners, and stakeholders in making events at esteemed venues like Gatcombe Park economically viable in the future.

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Williams assured ongoing discussions with Peter Phillips and the Gatcombe team, highlighting the urgency of finding a new venue for the national championships. She affirmed British Eventing’s commitment to minimizing financial risks and burdens for organizers, ensuring the continued vibrancy of equestrian events in the calendar.


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