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Adelaide Facing Cancellation
Adelaide, SA, Australia

The 2009 Australian International 3 Day Event looks set not to proceed this November, thanks to a squeeze on corporate sponsorship and a $100,000 budget shortfall.

The event has been scheduled to be held in Adelaide's parklands on November 13 to 15, but according to Event Director - dual Olympian - Gillian Rolton, it now appears the event will not be able to go ahead. "It's a bitter disappointment, but faced with the financial realities of 2009 we're being forced to make an extraordinarily tough decision. Unless an extremely generous benefactor - or naming rights sponsor - is prepared to come forward with significant financial support, we will have no option other than cancelling this year's event.

"We're having to make the call now because so many of our top class and international riders depend on the Australian International 3 Day Event as part of their qualifying and selection path for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and potentially the Olympics in London in 2012 and it's only fair we give them enough notice to make alternative qualifying arrangements", she said.

"The 2009 Australian International 3 Day Event was also set to host the hotly contested Trans Tasman Championship, so its cancellation is a double blow"

The highly regarded Australian International 3 Day Event is the only Olympic 4* Equestrian competition in the Southern Hemisphere and one of only six in the world, taking its place alongside Badminton and Burghley in the United Kingdom, Kentucky in the US, Pau in France and Luhmuhlen in Germany.

The not-for-profit Board of the Adelaide Horse Trials Management Inc which runs the AI3DE said it was extremely grateful for the ongoing support of all of its sponsors, in particular its major partner, the South Australian Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission as well as the Department of Sport and Recreation, Equestrian Australia, the Adelaide City Council, Adelaide Equity Partners and Channel 7.

Board Chairman, Bob Gillen said the 2008 event had been a breakthrough success and plans had been in place to grow the event even further.

"Unfortunately, we're in the same position as many other sporting events and clubs which rely heavily on corporate sponsorship. It's tough out there", he said.

SATC Chief Executive Andrew McEvoy said he was disappointed by the news.

"We have been big supporters of the 3 Day Event since it came to Adelaide's parklands in 1997. It really has added to our events calendar at the right time of the year and it's disappointing that it won't go ahead this year due to lack of corporate support."

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