October 12, 2017
New Shearing Season Steps Up a Notch
The new shearing sports season steps up another notch with a clash of three events throughout the country on only the
The feature event is the 50th anniversary New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate on Friday and Saturday, with a flow-on
impact on entries expected on Saturday for both the Ellesmere A and P Show, about 175km away at Leeston, near
Christchurch, and the season’s first North Island competition, at the Poverty Bay A and P show in Gisborne.
Both the Waimate and Gisborne competitions have shearing and woolhandling, but Ellesmere, usually held a week after the
Waimate shears, has only shearing and could struggle for entries, says Ellesmere organiser Jason Palmer.
“Obviously we are going to be well back on entries,” he said, “but it has happened in the past.”
The last time the clash happened was in 2012, when the Ellesmere entries dropped to such a level that both the Open and
Intermediate class competitions were cancelled.
With 230-250 hoggets prepared Mr Palmer may compete to help make up the numbers, as he did five years ago.
“I did sharpen the gear up the other day just in case,” he said.
Many of the country’s top Open-class shearers and woolhandlers will be at Waimate, which for the Open shearers doubles
as the second leg of the PGG Wrightson Wool National Circuit.
The Waimate shears, in a new stadium at the Southern Canterbury A and P Showgrounds, will also feature a Transtasman
blades shearing test between the New Zealand team of Tony Dobbs and Phil Oldfield, and the Australian team of John Dalla
and Ken French, all of whom competed in the World Championships in Invercargill in February.
The same teams will meet again at the end of the month in Bendigo, Vic., where machine shearing and woolhandling
Transtasman tests will also be held.
Like the Spring Shears in Waimate, the Poverty Bay Shears will be contested in Open, Senior, Intermediate aand Junior
shearing grades, and Open, Senior and Junior woolhandling grades.
There will also be speedshear events, and a quick throw for the woolhandlers in Waimate tomorrow night(Friday), while in
Gisborne a Speedshear will be held tomorrow night at the Roseland Tavern at Makaraka, and another will be held at the
Breez Inn in Gisborne on Saturday night.
The Shearing Sports New Zealand season started with the national Merino championships last Friday and Saturday n