Dorset based equestrian eventing company fears closure due to Coronavirus

Moreton-Russell, an equestrian eventing company, faces the serious possibility of closing down as the coronavirus continues to sweep the nation, says owner Bob Russell.

With the latest announcement from the sports governing body British Eventing confirming on 17th March that all future events were cancelled, the current situation places small family ran businesses in jeopardy.

Bob Russell (Image: Rosie Russell)

Russell, who had already begun to cancel upcoming events after the first government announcement regarding the coronavirus, considers steps in order to maintain income for his family of five:

“Obviously, the ideal scenario is for everything to turn around, and we get back on track, do what we enjoy doing, and we provide some income for us.

“But failing that, I have got to look for some long-term employment, possibly outside of the sport, and close down our business.”

The effect of cancelling events spreads far wider than the organisers losing essential income, as the knock on effect has implications for everyone involved in the equestrian world:

“It is not just the fact that you have to cancel events, but it is the process of refunding money, and cancelling other businesses’ that were going to attend and support our event.

“It has been devastating for everybody involved with the sport, and us as a family.”

Aspiring horse riders from local schools are the next victims of the stand still, as hopefuls from local schools have also had their qualifiers for the National Schools Equestrian Championships cancelled.

Molly Russell (Image: Rosie Russell)

The hope is that these qualifiers can be rescheduled for later in the summer, though this may prove too late for those leaving school, a situation that horse rider Molly Russell finds herself in:

“It’s my last year at school now, so it is my last time to try and qualify for the championships, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that anymore.

“I finish in July, so that’s my cut off point for any qualifications, and we don’t know how long this coronavirus is going to last.

“I think it has really effected the whole equestrian world really, especially the National Schools Equestrian Association.”