Badminton Horse Trials has released a statement indicating that the Gloucestershire event is now planning to run in May of 2021 as usual, but with few or no spectators present.
The statement suggests that, if allowed by COVID restrictions at that time, a limited number of spectators may be able to attend, presumably by some sort of public ballot.
A Live Stream of some sort, whether web-based or via a TV Channel, will be available, the press release says. The organisers have published a survey which they are asking the public to complete, with questions about the live coverage and how people watch it.
The survey can be found here: Badminton Horse Trials Survey
The statements reads:
"After much deliberation the decision has been taken to run Badminton Horse Trials 2021 event “Behind Closed Doors” but with the potential to include a limited number of spectators should, come the spring, guidelines/restrictions allow us to do so. All will be under constant review in the coming months and we will keep our loyal supporters and the eventing community posted with latest news and developments throughout the coming months via the Directors blog and our social media handles and website.
Our overriding priority will continue to be the health and safety of all those involved in staging the event.
Event Director Jane Tuckwell said “We realise that this is not the scenario everyone would wish for but feel by announcing our intentions now it will give all involved in whatever capacity the opportunity to plan accordingly. To deliver the “Behind Closed Doors” event will not be without its challenges, but we look forward to bringing you a great competition in partnership with Science Supplements and Mars Equestrian”.
William Fox-Pitt MBE, a dual Badminton winner, commented “It is fantastic news that Badminton is planning to run next season in these challenging circumstances. To lose this prestigious event again would be a terrible disappointment and the eventing world will get behind Jane and her team to make this happen. For sure it will be a very different Badminton.”
With the event running “Behind Closed Doors” we would like to ensure that everyone is still able to enjoy all the live competition action via TV/Live Stream and further news will be released on this in due course."