The second annual Osborne Horse Trials, scheduled for July 23 and 24, in the grounds of Queen Victoria’s iconic country house, have been cancelled without notice.
On Sunday, a social media post, apparently scheduled for the following day, blamed a lack of entries for the cancellation of the sporting event.
In 2018, the inaugural event was sponsored by London Capital and Finance. However, London Capital and Finance collapsed in March, with the loss of millions of pounds in investment. A number of people have been arrested.
On Monday, organisers, Bede Events, issued the following statement: “Bede Events is sad to announce that Osborne Horse Trials, scheduled to take place at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight on July 23 and 24, has been cancelled. We have worked hard to deliver the event again this year, with many changes and developments planned. However, we now find ourselves in a position where there are not enough entries for the competition. We do not feel that we can continue with the event if we do not have enough competitors to provide good sport for the two days.”
British Eventing Chief Executive, Jude Mathews, said: “It is extremely disappointing for the entire team involved to have to make the decision to cancel. The event at Osborne House last year provided a unique opportunity for eventing enthusiasts on the Isle of Wight. Huge amounts of work go into planning and organising an event, and organisers do not make the decision to cancel lightly”
Stuart Buntine, Director of the event, said: “We are absolutely devastated to have to take this decision. We have been working hard to ensure that this year’s event built on the success of last year’s. The Isle of Wight community had really embraced the event and we are very sad that we are not able to bring the sport back to Osborne this year. Unfortunately, it is not possible to continue if we do not have a field of competitors.”
Diana Bown, Island resident and Chairman of Osborne Horse Trials, said: ”The loss of such a wonderful sporting event for the Island is hugely disappointing, we will work hard to encourage riders back to Osborne Horse Trials in 2020.”
The organisers say people who had booked tickets to the event will be refunded within the next couple of weeks. Those seeking a refund should contact the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org