Iconic Birdsville races cancelled
THE coronavirus has claimed another iconic Queensland event, with September's Birdsville Races officially cancelled.
The famous outback race meeting had been one of the last major events still standing on the Queensland calendar, but organisers on Monday made the decision to scrap this year's race, which brings thousands of visitors to the tiny town of Birdsville.
Next year's event has been pencilled in for September 3 and 4.
One of Australia's great outback events, the Birdsville Races has only been cancelled once in its 138-year history and has even been held without horses when flooding rains made the track unraceable.
Ironically, the only other cancellation was also due to a virus - the equine flu crisis of 2007.
Vice President of the Birdsville Race Club Gary Brook said it was disappointing to call the event off.
"It is with heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision not to stage the Birdsville Races this year," he said.
"As much as we were holding onto the hope that we could run them, we're at a point where we've had to concede defeat. The health of our patrons, and those who live in Outback Queensland, is of paramount importance to us - and it is impossible to know what the status with Covid-19 will be come September."
Originally published as Iconic Birdsville races cancelled