The Yorkshire Agricultural Society, (YAS) organiser of Great Yorkshire
Show, is extremely disappointed to learn that the Royal Show is
to move its dates back, which will inevitably mean that many
exhibitors will not be able to attend both events.
Cattle Parade in the Great Yorkshire Show's
main ring at
the Great Yorkshire Showground.
The decision by The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE)
to change from a Sunday - Wednesday event, to a Thursday - Sunday
show, leaves a margin of only one day between the two farming events.
Currently, many exhibitors, both trade and livestock, and contractors
attend both shows. The YAS has described it as divisive to the
industry, saying it will have a major negative impact on farmers.
Dates for the 2008 Great Yorkshire Show, which is held at Harrogate,
will remain as Tuesday 8 - Thursday 10 July and it will be the
150th show. The Great Yorkshire is a leading farming showcase attracting
entries and support from across the UK and beyond.
Last week, RASE told organisers of the Great Yorkshire of their
intention to change their dates. The decision was confirmed in
a telephone call from a senior RASE executive to the Great Yorkshire's
Show Director, Bill Cowling late yesterday afternoon (Monday 6
Mr Cowling said: "We were very disappointed to be told by
the organisers of the Royal Show that in order to boost their public
visitor numbers they wish to have an extra weekend day and are
thus moving their dates forward. The Royal describes itself as
'the most prestigious agricultural event of the year' but it seems
to us that they are willing to sacrifice agricultural content for
the potential financial gain of greater public attendance with
the extra weekend day."
"Leaving only one day between the end of the Royal and the first day of
the Great Yorkshire makes it impractical for many exhibitors to attend both,
whether showing livestock, as trade stand exhibitors or indeed as contractors.
At present exhibitors have a choice, including attending both events if they
wish. This takes away that choice, and halves their opportunity to promote themselves
and do business," he added.
"RASE has suggested that they may look at allowing livestock to leave their
show early so that they could also be shown at Harrogate. This is simply not
an option for exhibitors. It isn't logistically practical or advisable to show
stock with less than a day's rest between two events, particularly as several
hours of travelling are involved between the two venues. Farmers would not wish
to do this, and nor should they, thus the Royal has put them in a position of
having to choose. "
The national show calendar is carefully worked out to ensure clashes are kept
to a minimum so exhibitors have the widest choice possible, and it has always
worked very well.
Mr Cowling continued: "We celebrate our 150th show next year and have built
our reputation around the strong farming content (72% of the show is devoted
to agriculture), the quality and quantity of our livestock and trade stands,
our prize money and the high standard of our showground. We had record entries
last year, and despite horrendous wet weather, our £15m investment in the
site over the last decade enabled us to stage another very successful show last
month. We had an excellent attendance figure of 122,042, only slightly down on
the previous year's all time record of 135,111.
We are very confident that the Great Yorkshire Show will maintain its appeal
to the industry and to the public, and see the Royal's decision as divisive and
damaging to the industry."
Hamper Surprise from The Great Yorkshire Show
New President for Yorkshire Agricultural Society
Live 2007 - A Feast of Fun