Akaroa gets new shearing decade under way
The honour of staging the first show shearing competition of the new decade will go to the tourism haven of Akaroa with the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears at the Duvauchelle A and P Show on Saturday.
There has been a traditional late-November to early January break in the competition season as work in the woolshed hits its peak, wih some shearers reporting working as much as 35 days in a row up to the first day-off at Christmas.
As a one-day show, Duvauchelle is among the smaller A and P Shows throughout the country, but is in its 106th year, and 151st year of A and P shows in the area.
While it’s not clear when shearing competitions were first held at the shows, it is the second year of the shearing competition’s Shearing Sports New Zealand B-grade status, based on it having more than $2000 worth of prizes. The shearing starts at 10am.
In what was an extension of its international appeal, shearers from three countries took titles cross the four grades last year, among them New Zealand transtasman series representative Troy Pyper, who won the Open final, and World Championships Chilean representative Luis Pincol, who won the Senior title and who is now in his first season as an Open shearer.
Akaroa local Edward Harrington won last year’s Intermediate event, and young England shearer Henry Mayo the Junior title, one of his 10 wins in 13 finals during the season which culminated with a New Zealand Junior title at Te Kuiti.
Organisers expect entries of similar quality, particularly with growing interest in the region’s Canterbury and Marlborough Development Circuit.
Duvauchelle is the 6th of 10 shows in the series from which the top two in the Intermediate and Junior grades will win travel and accommodation for the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti on April 2-4.
With a requirement to shear in at least five of the shows, it is the last chance to get started for anyone hoping to be in series contention, with further shows in the circuit at Amuri, Cheviot, Sefton and Methven, all in mid-March.
The Shearing Sports New Zealand competition season, which will have events every weekend through to and including Easter in April, steps-up a notch next week with five competitions, including A-grade shearing and woolhandling shows the Northern Southland Community Shears in two woolsheds near Lumsden on January 17 and the national crossbred lambs championship at the Winton and P Show the following day.
Also on January 18 will be the first international development teams match between a Welsh team and a New Zealand selection at the Wairoa A and P Show in Northern Hawke’s Bay, and the shearing only Golden Bay A and P Show competition in Takaka, while on the next day will be the Horowhenua A and P Show shearing championships in Levin.