South Africa arrives in Ireland for World shearing champs
South Africa arrives in Ireland for World shearing championships
May 9, 2014
South Africa has become the first team to arrive in Ireland for the Golden Shears World shearing and woolhandling championships which will be held in Corey, Co Wexford, on May 22-25.
Including champion blades shearers Zweliwile Hans and Mayenzeke Shweni, the team arrived in Gorey today, and will show-off their unique skill at three competitions leading-into the championships.
They will first compete at the Leinster and All-Ireland Championships on the property of farmer Charles Fenton at Donard, Co Wicklow, on Sunday, followed by the Royal Ulster national and international championships at the Balmoral Show from Wednesday to Friday, and the Connacht Spring Show on May 17-18.
Hans, 52, is the undisputed king of worldwide blades shearing, having won the individual blades shearing title four times, starting with Gorey in 1998, followed by Australia in 2005, Norway in 2008 and New Zealand in 2012.
With 27 countries competing, South Africa is one of just nine which will contest all six championships, with individual and teams titles to be decided also in machine shearing and woolhandling.
The machine shearers are Themba Khoza and Abel Notsi, and the woolhandlers Elna Kitching and Nuvo Klyane.
Selected after trials which ended at Grootfontein College, in Middelburg, Eastern Cape, in October, the team showed they were on target by cleansweeping the South African National Championships at Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga, on April 26.
Assembled just before the championships under the guidance of Australia-based New Zealand shearer, instructor and team coach Peter Black, the team has, however, had to confine its shearing preparation mainly to finewool merino sheep, according to manager Izak Klopper.
“Now we need some crossbred to finish them off,” he said, as he looked forward toi the competition prospects of the week ahead.. “It will be good practice.”