Dry drives central west no-show

Alpha show cancelled for 2019, Tambo cattle, stock horse sections off


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The notice that appeared on social media announcing the show's cancellation.

The notice that appeared on social media announcing the show's cancellation.

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Drought has caused the cancellation of the Alpha Show and has forced the Tambo Show Society to announce the cancellation of elements of its show involving cattle.

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Drought continues to take its toll on western Queensland, most recently causing the cancellation of the Alpha Show and forcing the Tambo Show Society to announce the cancellation of elements of its show involving cattle.

In Alpha's case, the lack of upwards of a dozen Emerald Agricultural College student volunteers this year has contributed to what was a very difficult decision for the small community.

They had been instrumental in operating ring events at the two-day show, one of the sections demanding a number of workers on hand.

Spokeswoman Kristy Sparrow said that without that horse activity and events relying on cattle, there was not a full program to offer show patrons in its 54th year.

"Even the working dog section needs cattle," she said. "With drought and everyone busy putting out feed or off-loading stock, we couldn't make it work."

Related: Numbers boost for Alpha prime steer comp

There had been debate about a one-day show, she said, but they couldn't condense the horse program down, and volunteers were working in multiple areas that would have overlapped on a single day.

"It's particularly difficult being a mid-week show," Kirsty said.

"We're given these dates, and now Comet has been added to the CQ circuit so there's less space to move in.

"The sideshows are in a circuit so we have to fit with the schedule."

The working dog challenge in action at a previous Alpha Show. Picture - Sally Cripps.

The working dog challenge in action at a previous Alpha Show. Picture - Sally Cripps.

The community will have a family fun day of entertainment to attend instead, which Kristy said would incorporate all the entertainment elements of the show, including the FRRR-sponsored Dinkum Dinosaurs show.

Described as an exciting exhibition combining dinosaur education with comedy family entertainment and an animatronic walk-through display and T-rex encounter, it's attracting dozens of local school students on excursion.

"Our sponsors have been amazing," Kristy said. "They've all said to use the money they pledged to make the fun day happen rather than for competition prizes."

Read more: Action at the Alpha show

In Tambo's case, it's the lack of cattle that will slim their program down this year.

Secretary Alexandra Hacon said properties wouldn't have had entries up to the standard they needed to be to compete.

"We couldn't ask a judge to come to town to judge just a few classes," she said.

As well as the loss of the cattle section, there will be no stockman's challenge at Tambo this year.

It had been offering wet and dry work and the cattle for the wet section have just been sent on agistment.

Alex said it was too big an ask to expect anyone else to come up with cattle at this stage and so they had decided to rest that section this year.

"It's hard to say what the impact will be - the challenge has been run on a Sunday the past couple of years and has stood on its own two feet so it shouldn't impact Saturday numbers.

"As for the cattle section, there are some hardcore cattle attendees who might not come if those pens are empty."

Gymkhana and ring events not needing cattle will still be part of the Tambo horse program, and Alex said it was business as usual for all other sections.

Shearing for the wether trial, the only one left in western Queensland, will take place on April 6.

The flock ewe show and the wool pavilion are still taking entries.

Read more: Tambo Show 2018 in pictures

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