Moreton Show, the highlight of the Cotswolds farming and social calendar, is planning to be back this year.
Tom Hayman-Joyce, Moreton Show chairman, says that work is going ahead for the 2021 event following last year’s cancellation because of the COVID crisis.
The commitment comes with the unanimous backing of the council of the Moreton-in-Marsh and District Agricultural and Horse Show Society, the charity established to promote the improvement in the breeding and rearing of livestock, hunters and heavy horses and improving the standards of farming and farm craft in the local area.
There was no doubting the enthusiasm among council members at this week’s virtual meeting, with Trevor Clarke, chairman of the Horse Committee saying: ‘There is a hunger and a thirst out there for what we do.’
Steve Parkes, chairman of the Livestock Committee reported that a straw poll of the show’s cattle exhibitors designed to gauge interest came back with the message: ‘If you’re going ahead, we’ll be there.’
Speaking as the country is benefitting from the successful vaccination programme, Hayman-Joyce said: ‘We are very much committed to putting on a show on the first Saturday in September while, of course, taking heed of government guidelines and the state of the nation as we continue to combat the pandemic.
‘We will always have a sharp eye on making sure we do the right thing. As the country begins to open up, there is cause for optimism but we are only too aware of the long and difficult road ahead. Like every other business in the world right now, we’ll have to adapt.’
This year is the first as chairman for Hayman-Joyce, a Cotswolds estate agent. ‘Moving forward continues to be the tricky bit for everyone organising an event of any kind,’ he added. ‘We’re looking at ways of ensuring the show is safe for everyone. That will mean some alterations on the showground but we are keen on staging the Moreton Show that we all know and love.’
Moreton Show is acknowledged as one of the biggest one-day agricultural shows in the UK and regularly attracts more than 20,000 visitors to the showground on Lord Dulverton’s Batsford Estate. Last year’s cancellation was only the fourth in the show’s 70 year history and the only one not caused by weather or foot-and-mouth disease. Hayman-Joyce’s father, James has twice been Moreton Show chairman and served as president in 2018 while his own involvement with the show goes back to when he was a child.
‘I first went to Moreton Show as a baby in a pram and I’ve been helping set the show up every year since I was as young as eight years-old,’ he said. ‘I even came back for the show when I was working in London.
‘I started organising events in the Grand Arena in 2010 and that’s when I was invited to sit on the Moreton Show Council. I always loved being involved and being part of the team and I still feel that way.
‘It’s a great team of people which makes Moreton Show happen. I love the camaraderie and I love the fact that this is a charity, promoting agriculture, country crafts and the rural way of life. I was brought up in the Cotswolds, I’m a country boy and I love it that this show is about giving something back.’
Hayman-Joyce’s choice of vice-chairman is businessman, Stuart Mace who was chairman for the 2011 show.
This year’s Moreton Show is on Saturday, September 4th. Further information on show membership and sponsorship opportunities can be found here on the website.