ONE of the state's most highly anticipated rodeo events has been cancelled in light of rising COVID-19 case numbers.
The Australian Bushmen's Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA)'s Rodeo Round Up event was cancelled on Tuesday due to the strain the ongoing outbreak was having on services and entrants.
Slated to be held at the Australian Equine and Livestock Entertainment Centre (AELEC) in Tamworth, competitors from across the state were expected to flock to the country music capital, giving the region a much-needed economic boost in light of the Tamworth Country Music Festival's postponement.
However, ABCRA executive officer, Craig Young, said the ABCRA board made the tough call to cancel the annual showcase at a meeting on Monday night.
"Unfortunately, the growing number of COVID-19 cases impacting on many services and events state-wide, has also impacted the ABCRA and while this was an extremely tough and difficult decision for the board to make, we must prioritise the health and safety of our team, competitors, sponsors and spectators," Mr Young said.
"We want to run events and we want to have our athletes competing, but given the significant health and financial risk to the association, the board simply had no other option but to cancel this particular event."
Competitors who have already paid entry fees will be given a full refund.
"The board would like to thank everyone who supported this event with entries, our sponsors and the volunteers who had committed to the event," Mr Young said.
Mr Young said the ABCRA would now turn its focus to other upcoming events as well as a return to AELEC in 2023, along with exploring options through the NSW Government's new Event Saver funding.
Announced on Monday by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, the funds will be available to eligible organisations which have had to reschedule, cancel or significantly change major events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Major events are a key economic driver that create thousands of jobs across the state," Mr Perrottet said.
"The Event Saver Fund will ensure that organisers aren't left high and dry as we work through this latest phase of the pandemic, and sends a strong signal that the government is here to support business."
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