Wet weather caused havoc at last week’s Cheshire County Show (19-20 June), with some exhibitors queuing for several hours to reach the showground.

Heavy rain overnight on the Tuesday (19 June) led to the ground becoming badly churned up when horseboxes arrived the next day. As a result, organisers had to tow lorries on to the parking areas, causing jams that stretched back to the M6 motorway a mile away.

It took H&H local showing reporter Margaret Shaw two hours to make a six-mile journey to the showground.

She said: “People were getting very fraught and the general view was that it was a ridiculous situation. Why hadn’t the organisers come up with a contingency?”

But show director Nigel Evans said officials did all they could given the circumstances. He added that the situation was compounded by an accident on a road just outside the showground.

He told H&H: “The ground just couldn’t take the water, so we really had no option but to tow the vehicles.

“The police closed the access roads into the showground and this meant that a lot of people were stranded, thus causing long tailbacks. That complicated things and in hindsight, I think the police may have regretted taking that course of action.”

Mr Evans admitted that the situation had caused him “a lot of grief”, but insisted that he would not have done anything differently.

Classes at the popular show were put back by an hour, but all the scheduled events did eventually take place.

Louise Anderson, whose daughter Rebecca was competing, told H&H she had to abandon her lorry.

She said: “The queues were horrendous — by 7.30am the place was packed, so Rebecca hacked into the showground.”

Rain claimed a host of fixtures last weekend, including major show jumping qualifiers in Devon and Cornwall and the eventing at Milton Keynes.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (28 June, ’07)