Hickstead forced to downgrade Royal Interntional Horse Show

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead has made the 'difficult' decision to run the Royal International Horse Show under a new format this season because of the ongoing Covid situation and restrictions on international travel.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:30 pm
The Royal International Horse Show cannot go ahead in its usual format / Picture: Nigel Goddard

The July fixture would normally host five-star international classes including the Longines King George V Gold Cup and the feature event, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain, along with crowds of up to 50,000 across the six days.

For this year only, the Royal International Horse Show (20-25 July) will run as a two-star international event, with showjumping classes aimed at British-based riders.

National classes at this show, such as the British Showjumping Winter Finals, will remain part of the fixture, and the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup moves to the premier position of Sunday afternoon to form the feature class of the show.

The showing classes will run as normal, concluding in the supreme championships.

“We had hoped to return to normality for this season, but the ongoing uncertainty combined with restrictions on travel made it impossible to run the Royal International in its usual format,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn.

“Having already made the decision to run the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting as a national show, it’s so disappointing to also have to cancel our showcase classes from our July fixture.

“However the cost implications of staging a five-star international event under restricted conditions made it unviable.

“In addition, we normally welcome athletes from the leading showjumping nations around the world to compete at this event, but this was not going to be possible without seriously affecting all the other rings and classes.”