Shearing contest one of a few show fill-ins

It is time to take the shearers to the sheep.

With the New Zealand Agricultural Show cancelled, shearing competition organisers are planning to take the annual New Zealand Corriedale Championship contest to Marble Point Station, near Hanmer Springs, Shearing Sports New Zealand region 2 chairman Dave Brooker said.

The championship is just one of several events being planned in the wake of the show’s cancellation, which was due to uncertainty around Covid-19 restrictions.

"It’s quite exciting," Mr Brooker said.

"Marble Point Station is where the sheep come from for the show, so we are going to take the shearers to the sheep for a change, which is going to be quite cool.

"We’ve done a bit of canvassing among the shearers and there’s plenty of interest."

The date for the shearing competition is yet to be confirmed.

An on-farm dairy cattle competition and an equestrian competition at Canterbury Agricultural Park were also planned for Show Week.

Central Rural Life also understands events are being planned to coincide with the annual Canterbury A&P Association prime cattle competition and elite ram and ewe fair.

Past-president Peter Gilbert said the on-farm dairy cattle competition would be judged on Wednesday and Thursday, November 11 and 12, with the prizegiving likely to be held at Canterbury Agricultural Park on Thursday evening.

"Waikato [A&P Association] has done it the last two years due to Mycoplasma bovis and it has proven to be very successful, so it gives people the opportunity to show their cattle.

"We haven’t put a schedule out yet, but I’ve spoken to exhibitors from the last two years and I had phone calls from other breeders who haven’t exhibited before who say they’re keen ..."

A two-day equestrian competition will be held at Canterbury Agricultural Park on Thursday and Friday, November 12 and 13, with dressage, showing, hunter jumping and showjumping.

Canterbury A&P Association president Chris Herbert said the various show sections were creating proposals to the board to run a number of small events.

"The criteria is that they have to be self-funding, be having their meetings and put their budgets together. All the events are subject to board approval."

While some smaller associations such as the Ellesmere and Ashburton A&P associations have announced their shows will go ahead, Mr Herbert said he believed his board had made the right decision to cancel.

"I back those smaller shows going ahead and they can do that because they don’t have the costs that we have. As soon as we open the car park there’s $100,000 in traffic management costs, whereas the smaller shows don’t have that problem.

"The risk of community transmission of Covid-19 is still there, when you look at the global situation.

"If there were 10 confirmed cases in Christchurch the week before the show, I wouldn’t be going."

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