A long-standing West Country show has been cancelled this year, but hopes to return in a new format for 2012.

Organisers of the Wincanton and District Show (3 July) had not found sufficient judges for this year’s fixture and secretary Jo Corrigham admitted competitor numbers have also been in decline.

“We used to have around 10 HOYS [Horse of the Year Show] qualifying categories and now we only have three,” she said. “Every time qualifiers were taken away, we lost entries, and the show stopped being cost-effective. Last year, it made a huge loss.”

Ms Corrigham is confident the show will go ahead next year, possibly in a different format.

“It has either to run as a fully affiliated show with plenty of qualifiers or it has to hold more unaffiliated classes — not somewhere between the two,” she added.

The show had been due to hold seven HOYS qualifiers across three categories.

The hack and cob qualifiers have been moved to the British Show Pony Society Summer Championships at Arena UK at Grantham, Lincs in August, while the intermediates have been moved to the British Show Horse Association Championships at Addington in September.

“We’d checked the list of those who qualified last year and many weren’t from the local area, so holding them at national fixtures will give riders a chance to secure later qualification,” said Helena Pettit of HOYS organiser, Grandstand Media.

Producer Sam Quiney hoped to compete and offered to hold the fixture at her base in Somerset.

“It’s disappointing to lose HOYS qualifiers in this area,” she said.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (16 June, 2011)