This weekend will see Cowra host the 34th annual NSW Dorset Championships with a good crowd expected given COVID-19 restrictions. Originally known as the Cowra Dorset Fair, the competition has been running under the NSW Dorset Championships for several years now and offers some quality breeding this season. While the COVID-19 outbreak has caused havoc with events across the country this year, it is great that the Championships are able to go ahead. Chief Steward, Roger Traves, said that many precautions and measures have been put in place to help the event run smoothly. "We have made slight adjustment to lane ways in the shed and pen setups and we have been working closely with Cowra Show Society to follow the requirements set out by the governing bodies," he said. "We have specific entry doors with sanitary equipment and a QR code sign along with formulated guidelines for exhibitors.
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, Roger said the committee were excited by the fact they had received more than 170 entries with over 150 sheep entered. "The committee are over the moon with the number of studs entered their sheep with over 170 entries," he said. "We have been encouraged throughout the coronavirus period by several studs to hold an event if possible given many studs have not been able to show this year".
The turn of events has also resulted in the competition attracting a number of new exhibitors along with a few that haven't exhibited for a while making their return. Roger said that it has provided new opportunities for many studs. "The unfortunate cancellation of most shows this year means that exhibitors are very keen to present their sheep in the show ring," he said. "This gives them the opportunity to compare and assess other stud sheep which is an important process in promoting their stud for upcoming production sales".
Indeed Saturdays sale will be an interesting finale to the show .The Australian Show committee has worked hard to hold this ground breaking event in conjunction with NSW Championships and there will be 45 stud rams listed along with two ewes from across Australia. The sale will also be live streamed from the Show Pavilion for those who cannot attend the event.
Events like these don;t run without the hard work of amazing committees and volunteers along with generous sponsors. Given the increasing difficulty resulting from COVID-19 restrictions and financial difficulties both from it and the recent drought, Roger said it was fantastic to see so many people, both volunteers and sponsors, willing to put up their hand. "The event would not happen without the amazing effort from the Cowra Show Society and the NSW Championships committees.These committee have great support from all exhibitors," he said. "This encouragement drives the success of the show and having a wonderful range of sponsors backing us makes it all worth while".
At last years event, the winners list was dominated by Hillden and Armdale Park, while the champion school was College Park. Roger said he expected Hillden to feature heavily again. "Hilden from Crookwell will be up the list, while Springwaters from Boorowa and Valley Vista Studs from Coolac will also be prominent," he said. "In saying that, there are several studs entered that will very competitive and will no doubt make the judges job very difficult". For more information about the upcoming NSW Dorset Championships, visit www.cowrashow.com/nsw-dorset-championships.