Flooded entrance to the show ground
THE CLA Game Fair has been cancelled for the first time in its 49 year history following adverse, and worse than predicted weather, which has hit Harewood Estate over the last 48 hours.
And with more rain on the way the organisers of The CLA Game Fair have been forced to make the decision not to proceed with the premier countryside event which was due to open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The decision has been made as early as possible in order to warn visitors and to minimise the financial implication to all the events sponsors, exhibitors, contractors and the many demonstrators who will be travelling from all areas in Britain as well as abroad to participate in the world's biggest countryside event.
The organisers were confident the show would go ahead having invested tens of thousands of pounds to protect the site and enable build up to keep on schedule despite weeks of rain. However, the deluge of rain late on Friday which has been followed by 48 hours of continuous lighter rain has defeated the gallant efforts of the 100 strong site team.
The staging of the fair in Yorkshire would have had particular significance this year for the CLA was founded at a meeting at the Royal Station Hotel, York, exactly 100 years ago.
The show's 100,000 plus visitors make a huge contribution to the rural economy throughout the UK.
A study by Bournemouth University of last year's show estimated that visitors - either private enthusiasts or commercial buyers from all over Europe - placed orders worth almost £50 million for items like riding tack, sporting guns, fishing tackle and other specialist equipment.
Vincent Hedley Lewis, Chairman of The Game Fair Board, states "Ourselves aside, our hearts go out to all the people whose livelihood is going to be affected by our not going ahead.
"We have truly done all we could to keep the show going for everyone's sake but to proceed this week with the wet conditions we are experiencing would be a health and safety risk as well as risking an even greater financial loss to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who support us each year. We were not defeated by foot and mouth in 2001 but the rain has defeated us this summer."
- Further details are available at www.gamefair.co.uk