Connell remains calm

10 May 2012 / 15:54

British equestrian performance director Will Connell insists it is "not the time to panic" despite another blue riband pre-Olympic eventing competition being rained off.

The cancellation of the Chatsworth International Horse Trials in Derbyshire, which were due to take place this weekend, comes after wet weather also wrecked last week's prestigious Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

It was the first time since 2001 that Badminton - world eventing's premier four-star event - had been scrapped.

Several potential Olympic combinations were on Chatsworth's entry list, with some having re-routed following the Badminton postponement.

Likely Olympic team members William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Piggy French and Nicola Wilson were all among the entries for Chatsworth's CIC three-star World Cup competition, which was scheduled to start on Friday with dressage.

Other candidates like Zara Phillips, Lucy Wiegersma, Tina Cook, Oliver Townend and Sarah Cohen were also due to take part.

The five-strong team for London 2012 is due to be announced on May 24, and moves will now be made to seek alternative events before then.

Connell said: "The combination of the cancellation of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and Chatsworth International Horse Trials is a disappointment and not what we would have wanted.

"However, we will now sit down with the selectors, riders and coaches and make a plan. We will not rush into announcing this plan as we must also take a view on what the weather has in store and what options we have.

"In 2001, foot and mouth played havoc with the spring programme but we still prepared for, and delivered, at the European Championships. It is not the time to panic or predict doom and gloom."