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Society president Brian Thomson, of Allanton, said in November last year, the show committee decided to exclude spectators and only hold horse events, the Paddock to Plate competition and wool judging.
The decision to reduce the event was "devastating".
To ensure the three-days of horse events could proceed regardless of traffic light system colour, the number of people allowed to take part was limited to 200.
Competitors were split between two bubbles of 100 people each and events were planned so the bubbles did not interact.
Farmers gave the lambs to the Otago Taieri A&P Society for fundraising.
Lambs were judged on the hoof by a Silver Fern Farms drafter, then on the hook, X-rayed for meat yield, at the Finegand plant near Balclutha.
In the past nine years, only two lambs picked on the hoof went all the way to win the competition.
The judges were impressed by the lambs this year, he said.
"The lambs are a kilo heavier this year."
The cooked lamb was then judged on taste, tenderness, aroma and appearance.
The prize was $1000, "bragging rights" and the Reid Tray trophy.
"It’s winner takes all."
Bill Smeaton, of Mosgiel, won the competition.