For the first time in its 49-year history, the CLA Game Fair has made the decision to cancel their show which was due to open on Friday this week

In a statement issued last night (Sunday, July 22), the organisers said: ‘Adverse, and worse than predicted weather which has hit Harewood Estate over the last 48 hours, has now defeated all the efforts the organisers have made in order to open the show this coming Friday. Up until then the gallant efforts of the 100 strong site team and the added financial commitment made by the CLA to keep the site in good condition and build up on target meant that the show organisers remained confident that they would be able to receive the contractors and exhibitors from Monday in the run up to the show.’

Despite issuing a statement in the middle of last week saying the Game Fair was firmly on track, organisers said that it was last Friday’s ‘deluge of rain’ followed by a weekend of lighter but continuous drizzle which has left the site saturated. Vehicle movement is at a stand still and the forecast for the coming 5 days is for more rain.

The statement continues: ‘This has resulted in a meeting held (Sunday, July 22) with the heads of the CLA and The Game Fair Board, who have given full consideration to all health and safety advise, which concluded that to hold the decision off beyond (Sunday 22nd July) in the remote hope that weather and site conditions may improve would risk an even greater loss to the many businesses and individuals whose livelihood will be affected by the show’s cancellation.’

The overall economic impact of the cancellation of the CLA Game Fair is estimated to be in the region of £50million. This was the expected spend both inside show and the local region surrounding Harewood following an Economic Impact Survey undertaken by Bournemouth University last year.

The Chairman of The CLA Game Fair Board, Vincent Hedley Lewis, stated ‘Ourselves aside, our hearts go out to all the people who’s livelihood is going to be affected by our not being able to go ahead. We have truly done all we could to keep the show going for everyone’s sake. To proceed this week with the wet conditions we are experiencing would be a health and safety risk as well as 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.’

For more information, visit www.cla.org.uk

Should anyone have bought tickets in advance and wish to apply for a refund, you are asked to send tickets and a self addressed stamped envelope to The CLA Game Fair, P O Box 6452, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG25 2XQ.