Fires and ongoing drought set to take toll on royal shows

Young people seek royal show qualifications in junior judging and paraders

Events
LOOKING FORWARD: Wal Blezard of ASC pictured at Holbrook. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

LOOKING FORWARD: Wal Blezard of ASC pictured at Holbrook. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

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Competitors acknowledge the role country and royal shows play in boosting morale.

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A ROYAL show qualification is something to be proud of.

It is also considered one of the best ways to showcase talents, from within the agricultural sector, to our city cousins.

This weekend people aged under 25 will compete for much-needed Sydney Royal Easter Show qualifications in the beef cattle parading competition and junior judging at Henty Show.

However, those close to the showing sector concede fires and ongoing drought have taken a toll. Agricultural Societies Council (ASC) company secretary, Wal Blezard explained horse qualifications for Sydney Royal Easter Show had already been achieved.

RESULTS: Gracie Goodyer, 15, of Wagga and her hunter pony Beckworth Commanding Flame has qualified for Sydney Royal Easter Show 2020. Picture: Supplied

RESULTS: Gracie Goodyer, 15, of Wagga and her hunter pony Beckworth Commanding Flame has qualified for Sydney Royal Easter Show 2020. Picture: Supplied

That said preparation would be more difficult due drought conditions. And he expressed concern for those competitors who live in fire-affected regions too.

For competitors seeking to gain qualification in beef cattle parading, or junior judging for cattle, wheat and fleece the clock is ticking.

Mr Blezard said Henty would certainly draw lots of attention from people trying to qualify in these events.

"We have heard of interest from northern NSW," he said.

And while the numbers at local shows including Henty and Gundagai, the following weekend, are likely to be solid there is a fear overall entries at the royals during 2020 might be down.

Mr Blezard said the fact was people were recovering from fires, and drought made feeding of livestock difficult too.

Sisters Gracie Goodyer, 15 and Lucy, 13, of Wagga have both qualified for Sydney Royal Easter Show 2020 and have competed at the event in the past.

Their mum Lesley Goodyer explained that people in the showing community were certainly discussing issues such as qualifications and how their peers would get to the royal following fires and drought conditions.

Mrs Goodyer said government grants and funding to support country shows had been announced and it was well recognised that these events were morale boosting.

However, she said showing at any of the royals this year would be challenging for competitors.

Looking forward she said it might be necessary to consider options such as offering a "third ring" to provide more qualification opportunities.

The story Fires and ongoing drought set to take toll on royal shows first appeared on The Rural.

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