CALLED OFF: The 2020 Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Camp Draft has been officially cancelled. Picture: John Skinner
CALLED OFF: The 2020 Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Camp Draft has been officially cancelled. Picture: John Skinner

BUCKED OFF: 2020 Warwick Rodeo cancelled

THE 2020 Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Campdraft has officially been cancelled, wiping out one of the region’s biggest sporting and tourism events.

The Warwick Show and Rodeo Society released the final decision this afternoon in a statement on social media, citing ongoing coronavirus restrictions and uncertainty as the driving factor.

“After extensive consultations with state and local governments, stakeholders, and public health authorities, the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society have made the hard decision to cancel the (event),” they said.

“The complex nature of our event being seven days and the vast space of our venue made the logistic implementation of the COVID Plan unattainable.

“We understand that not only will the cancellation have a massive economic effect on our local community, but that our event for many rural and regional competitors has been a reprieve from a tough few years batting through drought, fire, and now (the coronavirus).”

Events and marketing co-ordinator Teilah McKelvey said the decision was far from an easy one, given the impact it will have on Warwick’s economy, tourism, and agricultural sport.

“At the moment it’s disappointing for sponsors, patrons, and many of them have never missed a rodeo or campdraft,” Mrs McKelvey said.

“But, it’s extremely out of our control, and something we’ve always realised was it would be our external environment that really dictated this outcome.

“The way we’ve structured everything, we chose this date to cancel to ensure we have the least impact on our competitors and give everyone enough time to move forward after the decision.”

With the event officially ruled out, Mrs McKelvey said she and the rest of the Show and Rodeo Society would focus on interim events and working to make the 2021 rodeo and campdraft better than ever.

“It is sad now, but we just need to keep looking forward through the next 12 months, for our sport and its competitors,” she said.

“We’ve been progressing as needed to make sure our sponsors who have been with us for a while are still looked after, as well as the community.

“For a lot of people, the Warwick Rodeo is a time they can get together, especially for those in regional and rural areas, and we’re collaborating with our key stakeholders now to make sure those connections aren’t forgotten.”

At this stage, the 2021 Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft is scheduled for October 25-31.