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Top county shows cancelled in 2010

Horse and country lovers in Lancashire and the Midlands are to lose two of their biggest county shows next year.

The future of the Royal Lancashire Show looks bleak after organisers cancelled the 2010 show due to a dispute with the local council.

And this month the West Midlands Show folded as the charity which ran it, the Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society, went into voluntary liquidation.

The Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society (RLAS) blames “lack of co-operation” from Ribble Valley Borough Council for the demise.

Following a dispute over parking access for the venue between local landowners, an alternative traffic route was drafted — but the RLAS claims the council rejected plans before they were finalised.

“It looks unlikely the Royal Lancashire Show will ever run again,” said RLAS spokesman David Marriott.

“We’ve made a complaint about the local authority. Its actions resulted in the loss of our financial support and we have gone into mothballs.”

Bad weather caused the show to be cancelled in 2007 and 2008, costing the RLAS about £550,000.

Mr Marriott said the society is “bereft of funds” and that the office will shut on 31 December.

Ribble Valley Borough Council declined to comment.

H&H columnist Stuart Hollings said: “I remember going to the show when it was in Blackpool as a young child and it was my first glimpse of the showing world.

“It’s a great shame to lose one of the oldest shows on the circuit — it has been dogged with bad luck.”

Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society was unavailable for comment.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (19 November, ’09)

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