Words from Show secretary Will Hyde:

IT TAKES a lot to stop the Dorset County Show; in fact, the only events that have stopped the Show in our 180-year history are the two World Wars and Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 will now join that list. It is with a very heavy heart that we have had to cancel the 2020 Dorset County Show – a decision that has been a long time coming and taken much deliberation. However, when we took into consideration the safety of our visitors, supporters, volunteers, traders, and members then the answer was relatively simple. We could not put anybody at risk and push forward with a Show this year.

Many people will be sad to hear this news, and none so more than me. I am very fortunate that as the Show Secretary, it is my day job to organise and run the Show. The job is a lifestyle, which means I eat, sleep, and breathe the Show. These past few months have been an emotional rollercoaster where I have sought to find some way in which we could hold our beloved Show, but sadly it was not meant to be.

Read more: Dorset County Show 2020 is cancelled "with a heavy heart"

It is not until you cancel the Show that you realise how much will be missed this year. The coronavirus has forced people into isolation and prevented us from that important social contact that we as humans desire. For the farming and wider community, the Show has always been an opportunity to meet old friends and embrace each other. For farmers who live quiet, and at times insular lives, the effects of the Show are invaluable. When times are hard, the community crosses paths at the Show and can offer comfort to each other, knowing that all are in the same boat; in a good year, the Show acts as a celebration of success and prosperous times.

Sadly, this year, our farmers will forego this sharing of news and company, and come the first weekend in September, it will be sorely missed. For us as an organisation, we have come to terms with the fact that our flagship event will not take place and we will use the time now to gather our thoughts and consider our place in the 21st-century. We are fortunate that we have reserves and we can survive this storm, so we will work hard over the coming months to look at our identity. 2021 will mark the return of Dorset County Show but in addition, I look forward to many more exciting activities and a new chapter for our Society.