All Shearing Competitions Cancelled
The New Zealand Shearing Sports season is over with the cancellation of nine competitions which were scheduled for the next three weeks.
The cancellations include six A and P shows, with confirmation on Wednesday that the Oxford and Mackenzie shows in the South Island, following the earlier cancellations of the Methven, Flaxbourne, Warkworth and Auckland Royal Easter shows, the Waimarino and Waitomo shearing competitions, and the New Zealand Shears national shearing and woolhandling championships.
All have been cancelled among measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, and other shows which don’t involve shearing competitions, are also being cancelled.
New Zealand Shears president Claire Grainger, of Te Kuiti, said the cancellation is in line with Government guidelines around mass gatherings.
“It is with regret that we announce this decision, but the safety of everyone involved is our priority,” she said.
The cancellation leaves her organisation with a significant amount of work to do, in how it resolves matters with sponsors and competitors who had paid advance entries, which were to have closed on Wednesday.
Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan, also of Te Kuiti, said there will be no New Zealand shearing team tour of the UK this year, with the selection events at Te Kuiti now not being held, restrictions on international travel and likelihood the crisis would also lead to cancellation of events in Britain, where at least one major early show scheduled for May has already been postponed
The NZ Shears decision had been expected in light of limitations on mass gatherings and other steps throughout New Zealand, and internationally, he said.
“There were the regulations, and it’s morally the right thing to do,” he said.