DOUBLE WHAMMY: Charnelle Charolais Stud principal Graham Blanch said the cancellation of the Ekka was a big blow for the stud community. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
DOUBLE WHAMMY: Charnelle Charolais Stud principal Graham Blanch said the cancellation of the Ekka was a big blow for the stud community. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

EKKA’S OFF: Generation of cattle to miss out on showing

LOCKYER Valley cattle studs have been left devastated at the news the Ekka has been cancelled for just the third time in its history.

Charnelle Charolais Stud principal Graham Blanch said the announcement was understandable, but no less disappointing.

What made it even worse was the fact the Charolais World Congress had been set to take place this year, celebrating 50 years of the breed in Australia.

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The major event was to kick off at the Ekka with a feature show that could have attracted more than 300 head of the best Charolais cattle from across Australia.

“It’s a big whammy for us … a lot of people put a lot of work into it and there’s a lot of timing into breeding the cattle so that they’re going to be at their peak,” Mr Blanch said.

With both the congress and the whole Ekka cancelled, he said there was a whole generation of cattle that could miss out on being shown due to the timing of calving for studs – especially bulls.

“Speaking for myself, there’s a few bulls there that won’t ever get a chance of being shown,” he said.

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It was also disappointing for cattle show team at West Moreton Anglican College, which shows most of Mr Blanch’s cattle.

“I feel very much for the students and especially the teachers trying to make decisions,” he said.

“It’s a big disappointment – (because) it’s a very big highlight for the students.”

RNA chief executive Brendan Christou made the announcement of the Ekka’s cancellation yesterday, and said ensuring the health and safety of the Ekka community and the general public was paramount.

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Mr Christou said it was also important to decide on the Ekka now as many exhibitors and competitors spend months preparing for the show and getting entries ready plus the hundreds of volunteers who give so generously of their time each year, many of whom take annual leave.

“They are incredibly passionate and supportive of the Show and we wanted to give them as much notice as possible,’’ Mr Christou said.

“We are also very mindful of our farming families who rely on events like the Ekka that not just showcase and reward the best of the best, but also provide much needed respite and highlight the many challenges they face such as drought.”

He added the RNA would work tirelessly to ensure the 2021 Ekka was the “biggest and best yet”.