An annual highlight of the equine calendar, held at Brooksby Melton College’s Equestrian Centre, has come to an end after 13 years.
The Melton Mowbray Heavy Horse Show, started in 2002 by Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake couple Chris and Val Webster, was regarded as as one of the biggest shows of its type in the country. It also helped raise thousands of pounds for good causes over the years.
Sadly last year’s event was the first held since Mr Webster (67) died.
Mrs Webster continued the running of it but now she’s sadly had to pull the plug on the event, traditionally held in June, due to a lack of people able to help.
Explaining the decision on the event’s Facebook page, she said: “I do not feel I can continue the show in the same spirit without many of the friends and supporters we have lost this year. Especially Brenda who ran the wonderful hospitality for everyone and Derek our fantastic ring steward who had been with the show from the start.
“I do not want to dumb it down but there is no one to continue the huge task of organising and facilitating the hospitality.
“This kind of show requires a committee and as no additional help has been forthcoming we are physically unable to continue. Any monies left in the show fund will be given to charity.
“I apologise to judges and anyone else for this sudden cancellation and any inconvenience it has caused.
She added: “I would like to thank everyone who has attended over the years. There have been many wonderful memories.
“I also want to thank all the sponsors, many of whom have been with the show from the start, and many of the volunteers who have helped over the years. Also many thanks to Brooksby who took the show on after the original venue, the Melton Country Fair, finished.”
News of the show’s cancellation has been met with huge sadness, with supporters giving their reaction on the event’s Facebook page.
Karen Harland said: “So sorry to hear this sad news. It was a great show. However it’s a huge task to organise such an event so totally understand your obvious heartache over cancelling the show. You have done an amazing job over the years so feel proud of what has been achieved and all the people and horses that you have helped smile. Take care.”
Colin Dawson said: “Sad to hear about the cancellation of one of the best shows but understand and support your decision. I always enjoyed showing there and appreciate the fantastic effort in the organising of the show. My sincere thanks.”
Susan Oakes said: “Such a sad announcement and can hear no-one is more disappointed than you. I loved coming to this show to see the amazing horses, especially the youngsters. I hope some of the people who have direct involvement with heavy horses step up to the plate as these breeds need all the support they can get!”