The Lycett’s Festival of Hunting in July has been cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which incorporates the Peterborough Hound Show, attracts thousands of visitors and was due to be held on 22 July at the East of England Showground.
“Although this is an important day in the calendar for hunts and thousands of hunt supporters, as well as the Countryside Alliance (CA), the hunting community is united with the rest of the population in respecting the government’s wishes, to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, so realises that has to take priority,” said the CA’s head of hunting, Polly Portwin.
“These are clearly disappointing times for the organisers and the trade stand holders as well as those who were due to show their hounds, but we look forward to enjoying all of these events again in the future once the pandemic is under control.
“Those involved in hunting are, however, showing typical resilience in these difficult times by embracing the community spirit and turning their attention to helping out in their own local communities by supporting local businesses, helping farmers and offering assistance to those who are vulnerable or self-isolating.”
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Alison Queenborough, secretary of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society, said the group is advising its members, sponsors, trade stand exhibitors, advertisers and contractors, thanking everyone who supports the annual event.
“Since 1878, the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show has been cherished as the annual showcase for the world of hunting and has only ever stopped during wartime,” she said.
“This time it’s a global pandemic which is placing huge demands on our public health service.
“While ‘Peterborough’ exemplifies the history and tradition of hounds, celebrates rural life and is a great social gathering, we do not wish to place unnecessary burden on our public services which must be focused on the nation’s health and well-being.”
Other major hound shows that have also cancelled this year include the South of England Show (11 to 13 June) and the Great Yorkshire Show (14 to16 July).