Lyon World Cup–5th of 10 in Western Europe–Canceled Amid Tightened Coronavirus Restrictions in France

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Isabell Werth and Emilio that won the 2019 Lyon World Cup qualifier. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Oct. 15, 2020

The Equita Lyon dressage and jumping World Cup event scheduled for later this month was canceled Thursday, the fifth of 10 Western European qualifiers to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic. The Dutch government imposed a new lockdown of at least two weeks that has led to postponement of the Pavo Cup.

The cancellation announced by GL events Equestrian Sport, organizer of the qualifier, comes as the highly competitive Western European league launches in Denmark.

A statement by the organizers said:

“The recent announcements made by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, on 14 October 2020, and in particular, the implementation of a curfew in all of the communes of Greater Lyon from 9pm, no longer allow the organizer to offer all the international, national and regional key players of equestrian sport an event which is on a par with their expectations.

“The GL events Equestrian Sport team is conscious of the significance of this decision and shares the disappointment of all the competitors, owners and the whole sector which has already been deeply impacted by this terrible crisis and its consequences.”

Sylvie Robert, president of GL events Equestrian Sport, in an effort to keep the show on had already stripped away some elements of the highly popular event, including the Western Horse Show that is a major draw for thousands of visitors, many wearing cowboy hats and big buckle belts on jeans buying hot dogs and hamburgers from vendors alongside French cheese makers and fashionable clothing stands.

Madrid; Stuttgart, Germany; London Olympia and Amsterdam dressage World Cup events were canceled earlier in the pandemic outbreak, raising questions about the the annual championship with its Final scheduled for Gothenburg, Sweden next April. This year’s Final scheduled for Las Vegas in April was canceled, and the Stockholm International Horse Show on Wednesday was canceled altogether after it had already been re-set from November to next February.

The deadline for applications to replace the canceled qualifiers was this week but the International Equestrian Federation has not yet announced any new shows.

The Western European League accounts for at least nine of the 18 starting combinations invited to the Final, with two from Central Europe and two from North America. One slot is set aside for the Pacific but no qualifying events remain on the schedule. The other four places include the defending champion and other combinations.