Organisers pull the plug on August's agricultural shows
ORGANISERS of two agricultural shows due to take place in August have cancelled this year’s events due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Brough and Reeth agricultural show committees announced last week they would not host this year’s events, but will concentrate on planning for next year.
The move comes after organisers of the dale’s two main shows at Bowes and Eggleston, said they would “wait and see” if they could proceed this September.
Brough Show is usually staged on the third Thursday in August and draws competitors from a wide geographical area.
Show secretary David Prince said: “In the state of today’s world I don’t think we had any other option but to cancel.
“Although the government will lift restrictions, we didn’t know if this would be for mass gatherings and we weren’t prepared to take the risk.”
It is not the first time the show, which is a firm favourite with sheep farmers from Cumbria, County Durham and North Yorkshire, has been cancelled.
During the foot and mouth outbreak 20 years ago the show was called off to limit the spread of the disease.
Mr Prince said: “Any agricultural show can’t put in place social distancing because it is such a social affair and it is normal for people to gather and for the farming community to come together to show their sheep and catch up. It is sad. Things move so quickly from day to day at the moment.
“I would have had to put the schedule out this month and it would have been our first big expense.”
He added many of the show’s sponsors and advertisers, which help pay for the printing of the programme, are from the hospitality industry that faces further uncertainty due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Prince said: “Really it’s just a case that I’ve got plenty of time to plan for 2021, more so than normal.
“We'll hope to get together in the autumn to put plans in for next year.”
Reeth Show is normally held on the August bank holiday Monday and attracts a large crowd.
Tony Sunter, chairman of Reeth Show committee, said he was disappointed to cancel the event but added it was “the sensible decision”.
He said: "We feel we are unable to safely run the show at this time.
“We are extremely sorry to have to announce this news and appreciate that this will disappoint you as much as it does us.”
However as something to look forward to, they have revealed the date of 2021 show, Monday, August 30.
He added: “We look forward to 2021 show and very much look forward to seeing everyone there enjoying yourselves.”