Perth Royal Show cancels wool competition

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With their 2019 Perth Royal Show supreme fleece, was Jeremy King and Melinda King, of Rangeview stud, at Darkan, with their children Gemma King, 10, Tom King, 13, and Erin King, 7, and chief wool judge Tim Chapman, back.
Camera IconWith their 2019 Perth Royal Show supreme fleece, was Jeremy King and Melinda King, of Rangeview stud, at Darkan, with their children Gemma King, 10, Tom King, 13, and Erin King, 7, and chief wool judge Tim Chapman, back. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

The Perth Royal Show has canned its prestigious fleece competition this year, blaming logistical issues and staffing shortages.

Despite the State Government announcing on June 22 the Show would go ahead, Royal Agricultural Society of WA councillor in charge of the wool competition Ken Walker said it was decided the wool competition would not take place.

“The tight timeframe for growers to prepare and deliver their entries to the Claremont Showgrounds was a major consideration,” he said.

“In the past, fleeces arrived the second week in August before being tested and judged prior to the Show’s opening.”

Mr Walker said the staff shortfall was also a consideration with less RASWA staff available to help run the competition.

He said he felt uncomfortable asking Perth colleges to commit their senior students for voluntary positions to help with the wool competition, as was done previously.

“There remains a risk of COVID-19 this year, with the pandemic responsible for the cancellation of last year’s Perth Royal Show,” Mr Walker said.

Mr Walkers said all other events at the Show’s Jim Horwood Pavilion were still planned to go ahead.

This includes woolhandling and shearing competition, the Merino and British and Australasian sheep breeds competition, the lamb carcase competition, the stud ram sale and the young junior judge’s competition.

“Entries are now open for woolhandling and shearing,” Mr Walker said.

“The students from agricultural colleges will also participate in the junior sheep judging, dependent on the colleges confirming their student’s participation.”

Mr Walker said the State Government was contributing $1 million to the RASWA COVID-19 Marshall Plan with another $1 million to go towards a 25 per cent discount on ticket prices.

“The government has also committed $2 million to the RASWA if the Show was to be cancelled due to health safety concerns,” he said.

The cancellation of the Perth Royal Show’s wool competition was made public through a statement on its website.

“The team at the RASWA are disappointed to announce that although the Perth Royal Show will be moving ahead in 2021, due to time constraints required we will not be running the wool competition this year,” a RASWA spokesman said.

“This decision was not made lightly as we value all our competitions and competitors, however with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and lockdowns in 2020-21, we have been required to amend the competitions available.

“We are hopeful for a strong Perth Royal Show this year and dependent upon COVID-19 future restrictions, we look forward to offering the wool competition next year.”

To find out more, visit perthroyalshow.com.au/competitions/competitions-entries/wool/.

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