Exhibitors preparing their Merino sheep for display at the annual South West Slopes Stud Merino field day held in Harden have been notified by the committee the event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 social restrictions currently in place.
The decision was made during the annual general meeting and general meeting held on the weekend at which the general manager of the Hilltops Shire Council was invited to attend.
Committee president Steve Phillips said the decision to cancel was taken in the light of current social restrictions on crowd size with the committee also aware of the logistical problems entailed with a large crowd in a relatively small area.
"Please be assured this decision was carefully considered and the members present agreed this to be the most responsible course of action for all involved," Mr Phillips said.
"With all the necessary restrictions in place due to COVID-19 we could not place 1200 to 1500 people at risk.
"It would have been impossible to run the event under the current guidelines."
Mr Phillips said the committee had given consideration to postponing the event for a month, but understood that the current social isolation might still be in force then.
"We consulted NSW Health and they advised against it," he said.
"Cancelling the event was not something any of us wanted to do, but we all knew in our minds it was the right decision."
Mr Phillips said exhibitors will now arrange open days on their properties for clients to inspect rams prior to the sales.
"We hope we will be back next year with another successful display for which the annual event is known," he said.