Wins for Jordan Coyle, Stephen Moore and Denis Lynch as equestrian competitions prepare to grind to a halt due to Coronavirus
- 14 March 2020, 10:48
As with all other sporting events, the Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in unprecedented disruption to the equestrian calendar.in Ireland and abroad, with almost all major competitions due to take place over the coming weeks having now either being cancelled or postponed, including the Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas which were due to take place in April.
Showjumping Ireland, Eventing Ireland and Dressage Ireland are just some of the national affiliates who have announced that all competitions have ceased until March 29th at the earliest.
The majority of international shows due to take place this weekend have been cancelled or postponed, and those who have decided to finish out their planned schedules this weekend are doing so without spectators.
The Palm Beach Masters in Florida will conclude on Sunday, but not before Irish riders recorded some impressive results at the American venue on Friday. Derry’s Jordan Coyle and Eristov raced to victory in the five-star $89,500 Palm Beach Masters qualifier, while Cork’s Billy Twomey finished third with Lady Lou just ahead of Wexford’s Bertram Allen and Gun Powder in fourth.
There was also an Irish win for Stephen Moore and Team de Coquerie in the $36,600 CSI2* Bruins Tour Challenge, the final event of the inaugural Sunset Challenge at the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series. Moore and the 13-year-old gelding crossed the timers of Alan Wade’s 1m45 shortened track in 37.24 seconds, beating Eve Jobs (USA) and Valentino Tuiliere on 38.37 seconds and Beat Mändli (SUI) and Dibatsja on 38.96 seconds.
Meanwhile the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida has announced the cancellation of the final two weeks of action following the close of competition tomorrow Sunday. All remaining competitions this weekend are taking place behind closed doors and with strict regulations in place.
Dortmund show in Germany is continuing until Sunday but again without spectators. Tipperary’s Denis Lynch and GC Chopin’s Bushi took victory in Friday’s three-star 1m50 jump-off while Co Clare’s Eoin McMahon was also in the prizes, taking third place with Chacon 2.
Irish Dressage rider Heike Holstein and the Irish-bred mare Sambuca took sixth place in Friday’s four-star Grand Prix in Dortmund. Holstein scored 70.571% with victory going to Germany’s Ingrid Klimke with Franziskus on a score of 75.217%.
Meanwhile equestrian sport’s international governing body, the FEI, issued a message to the equestrian community on Friday recommending the cancellation of FEI Events for the next four weeks due to Coronavirus, stating:
“The spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19 has taken a rapid turn for the worse and sport worldwide is affected. We as a community have to make our contribution to limit the spread of this virus, as the sooner it can be contained the sooner we will be able to get back to normal life and normal sport. And this is something that every other sport is doing.
“The FEI appreciates the amount of work and incredible investment every Organiser puts into their Event. While the FEI does not itself organise any FEI Events, in light of the escalating numbers of persons affected by the virus and the restrictions imposed by national governments, the FEI strongly recommends that Organisers should cancel all events for the next four weeks until a reassessment of the situation can be made.
“The FEI and Board will work together with the International Equestrian Organisers Alliance to evaluate what can be done to try and accommodate dates for Events that have been impacted during this period.
“We are aware that this is no simple matter, as clearly no single Organiser can be favoured to the detriment of others, and we do not know how many Events will be impacted nor how long the current situation will last.
“We have decided that Calendar fees for events that have had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 will be waived. We are also assessing the impact of cancellations of Events on other areas such as ranking points and on athletes and horses seeking MERs for the Olympic or Paralympic Games and qualifications for FEI Championships.
“We can guarantee you that we are monitoring the situation hour-by-hour and that we are constantly looking at what specific situations need to be addressed. Our thoughts are with all of you and we strongly believe that our community will do the right thing and work to support each other through this crisis.”
Further updates on cancellations and postponements can be found on the Horse Sport Ireland website www.horesportireland.ie