The internationally renowned event, which was due to be held between September 2-5, has been cancelled for a second consecutive year as there remains “too many variables and uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic” according to organisers.
Organisers had been working hard over the last six months to host the event in 2021, after it was cancelled for the first time in its history last year, but have now conceded that the risk of hosting an international event, that may have to be cancelled at late notice, without available pandemic insurance would be too great.
In a statement, the organisers said: “ It is with immense sadness that we announce the cancellation of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2021 which was due to be held later this year from 2nd - 5th September.
“Despite the continued easing of lockdown measures, the nationwide vaccination programme and the hope within the Government Roadmap for unlocking the country, there have been, and remain too many variables and uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver this much-loved international event.
“We have, throughout the last six months, striven to find an event scenario which would allow our competitors, followers, exhibitors and contractors to enjoy this annual sporting highlight. However, the event runs on a greenfield site; the lead time and strategic infrastructure planning all require
significant investment and expenditure year on year. Staging the competition element is ongoing 365 days a year, from one year’s event to the next and the contractual cancellation procedures mean that even though restrictions are easing across the country, we have to make difficult decisions many months ahead of the event.
“The severe financial implications of a potential cancellation of an event of this scale and magnitude at a late stage, without available pandemic insurance, is too great a risk for all involved.
“We are desperately sad for the sport of eventing, our riders, owners and their sponsors who have been so affected by the large-scale cancellation of events over the last 12 months. Whilst this year we will not see CCI 5*L competition at Land Rover Burghley, we remain steadfast in our commitment that the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials will endure.
“We are particularly grateful to Land Rover, our title sponsor, who together with our other sponsors, have been so understanding and supportive throughout this period.
“Miranda Rock, President of Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, added: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have come to the extremely difficult decision to cancel The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this year.
“The Horse Trials is an incredibly important part of what we do here at Burghley and is the highlight of the year for all those who live and work here. I am deeply sorry for everyone whose hopes have been dashed - from the equestrian world internationally to the pony clubs nationally, for the people of Stamford and our neighbouring communities, as well as our wonderful suppliers, supporters, retailers, staff and visitors who will not be able to enjoy this glorious event in September.
“Next year marks our 60th Anniversary and, despite the challenges ahead, we will be focussing all our efforts on delivering a spectacular event in 2022.”