The news is not all bad for Leicester County Show, which last week announced its cancellation for 2010 and 2011.
The two-day show — traditionally held at Melton Airfield over the first May bank holiday — has an extensive equine section encompassing driving, farriery, showjumping and showing, including a number of important qualifiers.
Organiser Leicestershire Agricultural Society said the cancellation had been a difficult decision but made for “a number of reasons”.
Society chairman James Webb told H&H there had been a drop in sponsorship revenue of almost 50% over the past couple of years.
But a change of venue to a permanent, 85-acre site in Market Harborough is the main reason behind the cancellation.
“The new site won’t be ready until 2012, and we can’t run anything else at Melton Airfield after early May. So if we made losses on this year’s show we would not have been able to soak them up later in the year,” he said. “We’re just being responsible.”
The show has always been well supported by exhibitors and competitors — in particular, says Mr Webb, the equine section, which attracted around 1,200 competitors last year.
And the society hopes the new site will offer opportunities to expand.
“The new site will have a main ring, fencing and security office and so on,” he said. “After the 2012 show we want to put in an all-weather surface for the equestrian section and look at running more equine competitions year round.”
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (25 February, ’10)