23 Nov 2018

Floods force South Otago A&P Show to go livestock-free

5:55 pm on 23 November 2018

The South Otago A&P Show is having to scale back tomorrow's event, due to flooding that hit much of the region this week.

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The Clutha River was in flood on Wednesday (as pictured) and remains high. Photo: RNZ

While the clean-up is well underway for many, the Lower Clutha and the Taieri rivers remain high and in flood.

South Otago A&P Society president Neil Kelly said in an effort to protect the waterlogged Balclutha sportsgrounds where the show is held, livestock - including horses, goats, sheep and alpacas - would not be allowed this year.

The cattle section of the show had already been cancelled due to Mycoplasma bovis.

There will still be pet lambs and calves for children to enjoy, while exhibition stalls and farm machinery are being shifted inside to the Balclutha recreation centre.

"Part of the fields have been flooded from the Clutha River... so we've got a lot of surface water and we've just been so wet... so we've decided to try and save the grounds as best we can," Mr Kelly said.

While the weather was causing a major reshuffle, the show would be a good chance for those in the community to check in on each other after the flooding, he said.

"Going to the show and having a sausage and a patty and talking to your neighbour, it's a really good way to stop the stress," he said.

This year will mark the South Otago A&P show's 152nd year.

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