Britain's Prince Philip has been left disappointed after one of his favorite events was canceled due to bad weather - nine months before it was set to take place.
The annual Lowther Horse Driving Trials and Country Fair - of which the Duke of Edinburgh is patron - takes place in Cumbria, England, in August, but next year's event has been called off due to concerns the ground has been too badly effected by recent weather to recover in time.
The show's director Robert Benson said: "We have had excessive rain and the ground looks like something resembling the Somme. To hold a show in 2009 would have potentially been lethal if the weather had gone against us again. That could have killed us off."
"We can't re-sow grass into the ground and there is no way it will be ready by next August. I told the duke's private secretary who said, on behalf of Prince Philip, how sorry he was."
The 87-year-old royal has previously competed in carriage-driving races at the show.
Last year, he attended on foot and while picking his way through some particularly deep mud commented it was "like walking on a fat lady's tummy."
Robert added: "The decision to cancel has not been taken lightly. We have tried to find an alternative site without success and we have got to take a year out to allow the showground time to recover. Our intention is to be back in August 2010 and running an annual show thereafter."