Bendigo’s Australian Sheep and Wool Show cancelled due to snap lockdown

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Adam PoulsenThe West Australian
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Coromandel stud principal Michael Campbell and his Poll Merino ram earned broad ribbons at the National Wool and Sheep Show at Bendigo in 2019.
Camera IconCoromandel stud principal Michael Campbell and his Poll Merino ram earned broad ribbons at the National Wool and Sheep Show at Bendigo in 2019. Credit: Chloe Smith, The Weekly Times

The Australian Sheep and Wool Show has fallen victim to COVID-19 for the second year running, with Victoria’s snap lockdown forcing organisers to pull the pin on the eve of the event.

The Australian Sheep Breeders’ Association cancelled the Bendigo event last night following the Victorian Government’s announcement of the lockdown, which took effect at midnight.

“We are so very sorry about this and understand how much you have invested in your site and your presence at this event,” organisers said in a statement.

“We are sorry that we have been unable to find out further information at this stage.

“If you are returning to other states, please check your own state regulations about returning and what is required from a COVID testing perspective.”

The event was scheduled to start today and run until Sunday

Site holders who were unable to clear their site by last night were told they could not return to do so until next Wednesday.

“We will have security on site every day and night to ensure the safety of your goods,” the statement continues.

“Refunds and carry over of fees will be dealt with in the coming weeks, please give us time.”

The event, which usually attracts about 30,000 people and is spruiked by organisers as the largest of its type in the world, was also called off last year due to the pandemic.

It was first held in 1877 and has become a benchmark event for showcasing innovation and excellence in the sheep and wool industry.

It was only late last month that organisers confirmed this year’s event would go ahead so long as restrictions were not tightened.

The show would have attracted about 450 trade sites and 500 farmers, and would have pumped millions into the local economy.

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