SOME of the country’s most talented shearers and wool handlers will return to the Australian Sheep and Wool Show to battle it out for the state’s top titles in the shearing auditorium at Bendigo.
Australian shearing champion Jason Wingfield will again be a thrilling drawcard as he attempts to snag a position at the nationals at Warialda, NSW in October.
The fierce competition is anticipated to be delivered by national team contenders such as renown woolhandler Sarah Moran, as well as local up-and-comers Rhett Parry, Sam Mackrill and Jayne Griffin who are forecast to turn heads in their fields.
They will be among the full card of entries with more than 80 shearers and 35 wool handlers who will take part in two days of competition at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show.
Featuring both blade shearing and wool handling, beginners in both fields receive expert tuition on day one of the show.
Attendees on day two will be captivated by the best shearers and wool handlers who compete to keep Australian shearing standards at the top in the open competition, with the excitement of state championships staged on day three.
Competition organisers Northern Shears and Sports Shear Victoria spokesperson Paul McCormick said growth from junior competitors vying for a national ticket had seen the competition reach its capacity.
Mr McCormick expected a packed auditorium to watch the contest and celebration of the traditional rural skills.
“People like the shearing competition because it is such a physical sport that they don’t see from a day to day basis,” he said.
Training workshops on July 15 will help up-and-coming shearers get the best out of their equipment, while there will also be workshops for shearing and wool handling judging.
On Saturday, July 16, the Northern Shears Association will hold its competition drawing shearers and wool handlers from most States of Australia.
Rasmussen family of Goornong, Vic, will supply 350 Merinos to be shorn competitors in four grades – novice, intermediate, senior and open. Wool handlers will be divided into in three grades – novice, senior and open.
“The Bendigo shearing competitions are very important to the industry because they help people gain the skills while improving the harvesting of wool, as well as providing a benchmark for the industry standards,” Mr McCormick said.
“We’re seeing shearers improve all the time - since we started taking junior entries to the National competition we’ve seeing numbers increase immensely throughout the last 12 months.”