Equestrian championships to be staged in Gloucestershire in 2022
The 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors are set to be staged in Gloucestershire.
It is good news for Hartpury, the venue saddled with the accolade, which was due to host the 2020 championships until they were cancelled in May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Its further underlines the credentials of the largest equine educational institution in the world, with the FEI Board reaching the decision during a three-day video conference meeting.
The date for the Championships is yet to be confirmed.
Ingmar De Vos, FEI President, said: “The cancellation of the FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championship for Young Riders and Juniors at Hartpury was, of course, a major disappointment.
“Given the impact of Covid-19, and the health and safety of our athletes as top priority, the Championships could not go ahead in Hartpury this year and will now take place in Hungary, thanks to the Hungarian National Federation and the organisers at Pilisjászfalu for offering to host the additional dressage categories at short notice.”
Jason Brautigam, British Dressage chief executive, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to hear that Hartpury had been successful in their bid to host the event in 2022 instead.
“This at least provides some consolation after all of the hard work, effort and investment that went into planning this year’s championships and provides our talented under 21 riders with another valuable target to aim for in two years’ time.
“We are immensely grateful for the support we have received from all of the team at Hartpury during the Covid-19 crisis and look forward to national and international competition returning to the venue in the near future.”
Jude Matthews, British Eventing chief executive, said: “British Eventing is delighted that Hartpury have been awarded the 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors, particularly following the disappointment from having to cancel this year.
“The team at Hartpury have worked extremely hard on their plans for this year’s competition, and we look forward to working with them to deliver an outstanding competition opportunity for the youth riders in 2022.”
Hartpury previously hosted the 1997 European Pony Championships and annually organises the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, NAF Five Star Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular and NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials.
Phillip Cheetham, equine director at Hartpury, said: “We’re very grateful to the FEI for allowing us to host the event in two years' time, and we’re extremely excited about providing the perfect environment in which the best young riders in Europe can perform to the best of their abilities.
“We must also thank the BEF, British Dressage and British Eventing for their continued support.
“Our team is extremely experienced when it comes to staging world-class equestrian events and planning has started in earnest. Rest assured that we’ll be pulling out all the stops to put on a truly outstanding championships in 2020.”
Pictured: Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo en route to winning the 2019 NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials (picture credit: Sally Newcomb).