It’s official; 2009 is the last Royal Show

Well, I’ve just had a shock which was somewhat unexpected on a Friday afternoon – This year’s Royal Show is to be the last ever, according to RASE.

A statement issued by RASE in the last hour or so to all tenants of the showground states that the trustees of the Society have decided that 2009 will be the last show and the organisation will concentrate on a new programme of events from 2010 onwards that will develop and enhance the reputation of RASE.

All in all I guess its something we’ve long thought could happen, but also deep down believed never would.

With many happy memories of Royal Shows as both an exhibitor and a journalist it is undoubtedly a sad day to see the show finally closed down. What replaces it is yet to be seen, but you can be assured I’ll bring you whatever news there is as soon as we have it…..

P.S – This is not a belated April Fool’s joke!

In the last few years the Royal Show has been a loss making activity for RASE and it now isn’t the best way to address the Society’s main role of putting science into practice, explained RASE communications director Denis Chamberlain.


“None of us at RASE wanted to see this happen, but we simply couldn’t go on investing in an event when there wasn’t an audience for it.”


And while many may point to the success of the Royal Welsh and Royal Highland Shows as pointers for the RASE to follow, Mr Chamberlain said those shows had their own unique atmosphere which the Royal could never replicate.


Looking to the future he said that by the time of the gate’s open for the last Royal Show on 7 July this year RASE would have a full plan in place for a series of events in 2010. But he was unable to say whether this plan would include a livestock show, the one element of the Royal Show which has retained support in recent years.


“We are conscious of the fact that a Royal Show championship is still highly sought after and that RASE is custodian of a great deal of history and marketing potential for the livestock breeding sector. But it costs a lot of money to stage a livestock show and we will have to think carefully about what we do in future.”


Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, who’s show many believe may benefit from the Royal’s demise told Farmers Weekly it was a sad day for the agricultural industry. “There is no joy on our part that a major show such as the Royal has decided to close its doors. This will leave a big hole in the show season which can’t be filled.”


But Mr Pulling did admit there may be some exhbitors who tradtionally went to the Royal show would want to go to the Yorkshire. “However, as far as cattle go we only have 758 stalls and we expect them to be full this year even with the Royal going ahead, so there’s a limit on what we can take.”