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With 400 dealers it is the same size as last year and from what we have seen at previews there will be plenty to interest both the trade and private market.

However, many exhibitors have expressed serious worries as to whether the Foot and Mouth crisis will keep away the all-important American buyers.

Despite constant reminders that the disease is limited to a relatively small part of the countryside, American press reports have painted a bleaker picture and some American trade buyers are known to have already cancelled scheduled summer trips.