The current run of postponed and cancelled shows in regional Queensland has left producers with show cattle primed and polished, but nowhere to go.
After a number of shows in south east Queensland were cancelled or postponed in recent weeks due to COVID issue, show cattle owners have expressed their disappointment at the lack of opportunities to show their cattle who were prepared in the hope that 2022 would be a better year.
Some of the affected shows include Stanthorpe, which has been moved to the 23rd and 24th of April, as well as Killarney, Clifton and Cooyar who have all been postponed and are awaiting confirmation on new dates.
Kalbar cattle owner Peta O'Dwyer said the postponement and cancellation of shows is disappointing for those competing in the livestock sections, considering the time, effort and money that goes into getting their animals show-ready.
"Usually last weekend would have been the first show for the year where everyone takes their cows," she said.
"With the shows that aren't on and haven't been on in the last couple of years, people are feeding their steers and cattle months in advance for them, if not for 12 months.
"All the time and preparation that goes into it and then for them not to go ahead, it's really disappointing.
"It's also from the side of everyone catching up and getting together. Obviously the cows are important but it's not just that, it's the whole social aspect of it too."
Ms O'Dwyer said she and her husband were planning to sell some of their steers who were reaching weights that were too heavy for showing, after missing several shows and the Ekka competition last year.
"We're going to sell some of our steers at the show sales at Silverdale instead of showing them all because potentially we might not be able to, we just don't don't know what's going to happen.
"The only thing is that cattle are worth so much at the moment, so that's a bonus."
After the Allora show society announced the cancellation of their show a few weeks ago, Kalbar producer and auctioneer Neil Goestch decided to take over the running of the led steer section.
Mr Goestch alongside fellow cattle owner Matthew Sowden, Kingaroy, run a 'Combined Forces' show cattle sale each year and together they have taken on the competition, as they did a few times in 2019.
"Back in 2019 when all the shows cancelled we went ahead and we managed to run a series of shows for those people with steers," Mr Goestch said.
"Now that the shows are cancelling again this year, we've decided to do the same thing, so our plan is to do more steer shows later this year if the shows keep cancelling.
"There's nowhere for the people to go but they've put money, time and effort into them, so we contacted the sponsors of the Allora show and got them onboard and they were happy to support it so we said we'd still go ahead and run it."
When asked why he decided to take on the responsibility of the competition, Mr Goestch said he wanted to alleviate some of the disappointment for cattle owners who were looking at their third year of cancelled shows.
"I'm pretty passionate about led steers, I've been showing them for 40 odd years so it's something I really enjoy doing, and I just really feel for the people who have the cattle ready and have nowhere to take them," he said.
The Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies is currently in the process of assigning new dates for the postponed shows, dependent on the evolving COVID situation.
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