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Shear fun weekend at national champs in Alexandra

MEDIA RELEASE (includes season's dates attached)

From Doug Laing on behalf of Shearing Sports New Zaland

October 3, 2014

Shear fun weekend at national champs in Alexandra

Many of New Zealand’s top shearers and woolhandlers are gathered in the Central Otago town of Alexandra for the New Zealand Merino Championships which open the Shearing Sports New Zealand season today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday).

Greatest interest at the only finewool event in a season of 60 shows ending a week after Easter next year will centre on the Open shearing in which West Australian shearer Damien Boyle will be out to win the title for an unprecedented 5th time in a row.

Other features at the event include a transtasman match in which Boyle and Royal Perth Show teammate Mark Buscumb will be out to complete a 2-0 home and away series which opened in Pertrh last week with a narrow victory over New Zealanders Grant Smith and Charlie O’Neill.

The Open woolhandling event, won by six different competitors in the last seven years, will be a special time for many competitors as they celebrate 2012 winner Joel Henare’s naming in August as the youngest person to be accorded Master Woolhandler or Master Shearing status.

Heats of the Senior Shearing Championship will be held today along with preliminary rounds in the Open, Senior and Junior woolhandling.

All rounds of the Open shearing will be held tomorrow, the heats doubling as the compulsory first round of New Zealand’s premier multi-breeds competition, the PGG Wrightson National Circuit.

Other qualifying rounds will be held at Waimate, Christchurch, Marton and Pahiatua, the top 12 qualifying for the semi-finals and final at the 2015 Golden Shears in Masterton.

The championships culminate tomorrow night with the New Zealand Merino-Royal Perth Show Shearing Challenge, and the Open shearing final, a six-man duel over 12 merino wethers each which only two shearers have shorn under 22 minutes in the last six years.

Programme:

Today (Friday):
7am Check In, 7.30am Start, Junior Woolhandling – Heats, Senior Woolhandling – Heats, Junior Woolhandling - Semi Final, Senior Woolhandling - Semi Final, Open Woolhandling – Heats, Senior Shearing – Heats, Open Woolhandling – Quarter finals.

Tonight (Friday):

6.45pm Report Time, Team Event – Heats, Open Woolhandling - Semi Final, Open Team Woolhandling - Semi Final.

Tomorrow (Saturday)
7.30am Check In, 8.15am Start, Open Shearing – Heats, Senior Shearing - Semi Final, Open Shear – Quarterfinals.

Afternoon
Junior Woolhandling – Final, Senior Woolhandling – Final, Teddy Bear Shear, Open Shearing - Semi Final, Senior Shearing – Final.

Tomorrow night (Saturday)
Report 7pm,Start 7.30pm, Senior Shearing Final Prize Giving, NZ Teams – Final, NZ Merino - Royal Perth Challenge, Open Woolhandling – Final, Open Shearing – Final.
ENDS


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