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Return Of Omarama Shears Welcomed

Return Of Omarama Shears Welcomed

By Des Williams

Omarama high country farmer Peter Patterson has welcomed the successful return of the Omarama NZ Merino Expo, held at Tara Hills last weekend, after a year in recess. The Expo incorporates the New Zealand merino blades and winter comb shearing championships and the Omarama merino woolhandling titles. Mr Patterson said these three events had been sorely missed from the national shearing sports calendar.

"Since 1995 Omarama has hosted one of only two fine wool shearing and woolhandling championships held in New Zealand each season and the fact that they were in recess last year left a sizeable gap in our programme.

"Apart from the national titles available to our winners, the competition itself is most important for the way it encourages higher standards in our shearing sheds. There’s no doubt that shearers and woolhandlers who attend weekend competitions, and perform under the pressure of strict judging standards, carry that discipline on during the week when they are doing their normal work helping remove and process the national clip."

Mr Patterson said the work that Shearing Sports New Zealand does, encouraging shearers and woolhandlers to perform at the best of their ability in competitions and on a day by day basis, has done much to ensure that New Zealand leads the world in its standard of wool clip preparation.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman, John Fagan of Mangapehi, said it was encouraging to hear a farmer of Mr Patterson’s standing acknowledging the importance of competitions in raising skill levels and quality standards throughout the wool industry.

"It’s what we strive for on a season by season basis in each of the 70 or so competitions held throughout New Zealand," John Fagan said. "With the support of Meat and Wool New Zealand as a major sponsor this year, those benefits will also go back to the sheep farmers whose levies help fund what we are doing."

Mr Fagan said Shearing Sports NZ had become a stand-alone organisation last year when the traditional backing from New Zealand Wool Board and WoolPro had become unavailable through restructuring and demise or those organisations.

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