Coronavirus forces cancellation of the Dublin Horse Show

The five-day show attracts over 100,000 visitors and takes weeks of preparation

This year's Dublin Horse Show has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The RDS announced the cancellation of the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup event on Monday afternoon - it was scheduled for July 15-19th.

In a statement released by the RDS the organisers noted the international involvement in the event, which was a key factor in their decision:

“Since the emergence of the coronavirus outbreak in January, the society has constantly monitored the situation and followed guidance from the Irish government and the health service executive.

“The health and safety of all of those who come together for the Horse Show has been a priority for the RDS in making this decision. This includes visitors from Ireland and from around the world, competitors, volunteers, trade exhibitors, RDS Members, staff, partners, contractors and suppliers. The RDS responsibility to contribute to the national effort in controlling the virus in Ireland was an important factor in this decision.

“The scale of the show necessitates preparations beginning months in advance, with horses in training around Ireland for the many national competitions held as part of the show. Qualifiers scheduled to begin this month are unable to proceed this year in the current circumstances. In addition, the RDS begins its on-site preparations many months in advance of the five-day show which attracts over 100,000 visitors.

“The decision by the RDS to cancel the 2020 Horse Show followed detailed deliberation of all these factors. The importance of the show to the sport horse industry was also part of the considerations. The decision reached was that cancellation of this year’s show was in the best interests of public health and safety and that providing certainty at this early stage would be beneficial to everyone involved, from the visiting public, to the sport horse industry, to key partners of the show.”

All tickets purchased by phone or online will be automatically refunded by Ticketmaster. Ticketholders are asked to allow between seven and 10 working days for the funds to appear in their account.

Chief executive of the RDS, Michael Duffy added: "The RDS did not come to this decision lightly and only after detailed considerations of all the factors involved. We understand that this will disappoint many members of the public and that it will have implications for many horse breeders and producers around the country. However, we trust that everyone will understand and support a decision made in the national interest. It is incumbent on all of us to do everything we can to support the measures introduced by the government".

Discussions with the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in relation to the dates for the 2021 Horse Show are already underway.

The event was previously cancelled in 1914-1918, and also in 1940 due to the Second World War. It continued with national show jumping competitions only during the period 1941-1945. Swamp fever cancelled the competition for the Aga Khan trophy in 1966, but the remainder of show proceeded as normal.

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