Agricultural Shows of Australia regrets to inform that the national finals for young judges, young paraders and rural ambassadors will be postponed, and will not be held at the upcoming Royal Queensland Show in August as planned.
Ararat's own Ben Hartwich was to represent Victoria for the the Agricultural Shows of Australia's annual Merino sheep young judges competition.
He said he was disappointed with the news but understood the decision.
"I look forward to the competition when the new dates are released," Mr Hartwhich said.
Mr Hartwich spoke about his excitement to represent Victoria earlier in July.
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Following a meeting of the working groups and organising committees of Agricultural Shows of Australia and the host body Queensland Ag Shows on Wednesday, July 21, the unanimous decision was made that the national finals for 2021 would not be conducted in conjunction with the 2021 Royal Queensland Show (Ekka).
"The increasing uncertainty around the ability of interstate competitors and officials was the major consideration. With that in mind, the joint committee decided that it was not possible to proceed with the 2021 campaign in the current location," Chairman of Agricultural Shows of Australia, Rob Wilson said.
"Given our duty of care when conducting these competitions, the uncertainty around border restrictions and quarantine requirements, and the possible adverse impacts to finances and the wellbeing of competitors, supporters and organising committees were catalysts for this decision."
Queensland Ag Shows confirmed that the Queensland State Young Judges and Paraders, Rural Ambassador and Showgirl competitions will continue as normal at the Ekka this year.
"The enormous amount of preparation has gone into these national finals - and the achievements of those 63 eligible national competitors across the nine competitions will not go to waste. We have every intention of staging these important competitions in the future," Mr Wilson said.
This announcement affects the state winners who were eligible as national competitors in the young judges competitions for poultry, alpacas, Merino sheep, Merino fleece, meat sheep breeds, dairy and beef cattle, paraders in dairy and beef cattle competitions and rural ambassadors.
Agricultural Shows Australia confirmed on August 10 that the 2021 National Championships for Young Judges and Rural Ambassadors will be hosted at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show.