Future of regional shows uncertain due to coronavirus

Apr 30, 2020

Read the full article here.

The cancellation of the Royal Melbourne Show has disappointed many producers who prepare for the event months in advance, and it is also unlikely they will get other opportunities to compete.

In western Victoria, local shows are being cancelled or postponed as social restrictions of mass gatherings show no signs of easing. For Koroit sheepdog trainer Barry Paton, showing off his pooches is one of his favourite pastimes.
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And like many regular attendees, the show is also an important social event.

“There are a lot of country shows that have struggled over the years and small towns are going to struggle with not being able to get the public to go.”

Mr Paton organises the Koroit sheepdog trials and says these events bring money into the town.

“I know when we run our sheepdog trials here the business people do well,” he said.

“People come and eat, and they’ve gotta live here for a week, so [businesses] do well from other people coming from interstate and supporting all the businesses.”

“Towns are going to miss out in the next little while.”

In addition to the excitement of showcasing his dogs, Mr Paton says he has a group of friends he looks forward to catching up with at the events.

“You meet up with a lot of people who are good mates, you just sit around and have a good chat. You miss the people a lot,” he said.

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