Coronavirus: The 188th Rutland County Show cancelled
The Rutland County Show has been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The event is one of the oldest shows in the country and was due to have taken place on Sunday, May 31. This year would have marked the 188th year of the event, which is held at Rutland Showground in Oakham.
In a statement, the show's chairman David Wood and the CEO Kevin Tighe said: "After careful consideration it has been decided to cancel the 2020 Rutland County Show.
"The Rutland Agricultural Society will be contacting all those involved to minimise the impact of this decision."
Show manager Sophie Howsam told the Mercury the show had only ever been cancelled twice, first in the 1960s and then in 2001, due to foot and mouth disease.
She said more than 140 trade stands and 30 catering units had been booked with all now offered refunds or the option to appear at next year's event.
Entertainment, including the star attraction Atkinson Action Horses, had also been cancelled as well as the likes of the Wye Valley Axemen, BMX bikers, show jumping, musical acts and livestock competitions.
Hundreds of animals were due to compete with around 12,500 people expected to attend the show.
"It goes without saying that we're all extremely disappointed," said Sophie. "It wasn't a very easy decision to make at all but with the current health advice it was the right thing to do."
Like many other organisations nationwide, the team will now be working from home.
"It's all out of our hands now but we'll be back in 2021," she added.
More details, including frequently asked questions and answers, are available on the show's website www.rutlandshowground.com