Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Australia: Equine flu forces cancellation of events

HORSETALK -New Zealand

August 27, 2007

The Sydney International Three-Day Event has been cancelled because of the equine influenza outbreak in Australia.

The event - an important Olympic qualifying event - was to be run at Sydney's Horsley Park from 13 to 16 September. But organisers today announced that the event was not to go ahead. Event Director, Rose Read said today that given the state of the equine flu outbreak "it would be impractical for all involved to delay the decision any longer."

"The event is an important stepping stone for individual riders and horses qualifying for the 2008 Olympics and the committee will be working closely with the Equestrian Federation of Australia, riders, sponsors and supporters to explore future opportunities to run this important qualifying event as soon as the equine flu outbreak is under control.

"On a more positive note I am pleased to advise that the construction works on the cross-country course scheduled for the event will proceed as planned. It is important that the future of our sport is not compromised and that the event is ready to run at short notice when the opportunity arises," she said.

The event was set to host more than 160 horses competing in the three-day event, along with the Asian-Pacific Challenge Trophy, in which 18 riders from India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand were competing as well as an Invitational Grand Prix Dressage Exhibition Event.

"We are very lucky to have such committed sponsors and greatly appreciate their unwavering support," Read said.

Entry fees and other payments received will be refunded.

• The annual Shahzada endurance ride in St Albans, New South Wales, was called off at the weekend, and horses are stuck at the venue.

NSW's Department of Primary Industries revoked movement permits which meant the horses would have left the venue today.
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