Organizers today cancelled the Badminton horse trials after weeks of rain left the grounds flooded and the footing unsafe. The prestigious 4-star event was scheduled to start this Friday and will not be rescheduled.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for competitors — many of whom have flown their horses to the UK for the event. How incredibly disappointing for them. Riders who have already sent their horses overseas are now trying to figure out what to do with them — stay for another event, although it means weeks more away from home? Or return to the US?
Certainly, safety must be the top priority but it’s a shame that it had to happen, especially during an Olympic year competitors are honing their skills. There are other events in Europe, for sure, but the same weather that caused flooding at Badminton is likely to cause problems elsewhere and there aren’t enough spots for everyone who wants to ride.
This is not the first time that Badminton has been cancelled for weather. The last time it was called off was in 1987.