Royal Show entries hit as showground remains in bluetongue surveillance zone

Livestock entries to this year’s Royal Show are set to be “seriously affected” after organisers announced the showground will remain in a bluetongue surveillance zone.

Only livestock that has been fully vaccinated and conforms to DEFRA movement restrictions will be allowed to enter the Stoneleigh showground in Warwickshire.

Simon Frere-Cook, Royal Show director, said livestock entries would be “considerably lower than expected” as a result and predicted that only a quarter of the usual number of livestock entries would be eligible to take part.

“We have taken the decision based on the best information available from DEFRA regarding the roll-out of the vaccination and changing of zone boundaries,” he said.

Cow judging

“We have got to work out which entries we have already had are in the protection and surveillance zone decide who can enter.

“As an estimate we will be 25% of normal figures. If we would have been in a protection zone we would be able 60% of normal.”

Mr Frere-Cook said show organisers would look at how many entries of each breed remain to decide which classes are viable and whether classes could be amalgamated to “put on the best show possible”.

“It’s not of our own making but there’s nothing we can do. The show goes on.”