Show cancellations disappoint competitors

HOPEFUL THE SHOW WILL GO ON: Kristy Bruhn rides James’ Bentley at a recent rural show in preparation for the up and coming season. PHOTO: Cherokee Photography

Charlotte Varcoe

THE cancellation of the Royal Adelaide Show is being felt within the Limestone Coast as cattle producers and horse competitors experience the continued ripple effect of not being able to attend for the second year in a row.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced the cancellation of the show on August 19 during a press conference stating the decision was made due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mount Gambier Show Society cattle coordinator Roslyn Curtis said the cancellation had a ripple effect on regional cattle producers with many now not having the opportunity to showcase their quality stock.

“Not being able to showcase their stock at the state show means producers are losing valuable industry contacts and potential sales of livestock but they are also now unable to view potential new sires,” Ms Curtis said.

“They are losing promotional material and exposure to educate people who don’t have access to the agricultural industry.”

Ms Curtis said members of the community underestimate the preparation involved with showing animals at a state level and said participation in shows allowed for producers to discuss agricultural issues and resolutions.

“There have been a number of breeders and exhibitors who have decided to call it a day on showing their cattle with the COVID-19 pandemic being the deciding point,” she said.

“For these people the decision would have been tough as there is a certain bond between breeders and others have also been reluctant to start the preparation work for the Royal Adelaide Show due to the associated cost of feed and labour requirements.”

The society’s horse competition coordinator Kristy Bruhn said there laid challenges ahead for those competitors who wished to attend to a national standard following the cancellation.

Ms Bruhn said competitors were still hopeful a number of local shows would remain allowing them to continue competing.

“Many people who attend the Royal Adelaide Show train for months in advance and everyone is really disappointed but we are also hoping that we would be able to attend some community shows as we have been able to in the past,” she said.

“There is also the chance that the horses would then be behind in their grades due to the cancellation of so many events which means the horse’s sale value then goes down as well.”

Despite the cancellation of the state show, a number of regional shows are still planned to go ahead including the Mount Gambier Spring Show in October.