The Royal Bathurst Show has been called off for 2020 after the event's executive committee determined on Monday night it would be unfeasible to run the event this year.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the committee initially decided in March to postpone the show from its traditional dates in late April to the October long weekend.
But with three months to go until the alternate date, the committee made the difficult decision to cancel the event for what is believed to be the first time since World War II.
Bathurst Agricultural, Horticultural and Pastoral [A, H and P] Association executive secretary Brett Kenworthy said a number of factors went into the decision, including uncertainty around public health orders, the risks posed to show staff, volunteers and visitors, and costs involved with social distancing requirements.
"We also had to look at the situation from a reputation standpoint, because if we were to go ahead with the event and someone got ill, it wouldn't be a good look for us or Bathurst as a tourist destination," Mr Kenworthy said.
"The safety of our patrons, competitors and volunteers [many of whom are retirees] was our highest priority in this decision and given the current climate, we would've been running against time to secure all our regular attractions."
The 152nd Royal Bathurst Show has been rescheduled for April 16 to 18, 2021.
Mr Kenworthy said the Bathurst A, H and P is currently in the process of reviewing ways to maintain connections with key stakeholders and the community for the remainder of the year.
"We don't exist for the sole purpose of running a show, we exist to promote regional agriculture, horticulture and business," he said.
"The A, H and P normally runs a Spring Horse Show on the October long weekend and with the cancellation of the Bathurst Show, it opens up the possibility to run that event as usual."
"There's also the opportunity to relaunch our seasonal A, H and P market later in the year, but it will all depend on how restrictions pan out."
The Bathurst A, H and P could also benefit from a $36 million federal government funding injection into agricultural show societies affected by COVID-19.
Mr Kenworthy said the funding could help numerous show societies recuperate costs lost in the show preparation process.
"We spend close to $100,000 a year preparing for each show, and its a 12-month process," he said.
"This package is aimed at recognising the many show societies who were already well into the preparation process before COVID-19 hit."