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Pahiatua launches Novice grade

A Novice Shearing competition will be held at this year’s Pahiatua Shears to meet the increasing demand for opportunities for new entrants in the shearing industry and shearing sports.

The one-day Sunday shearing competitions in Northern Wairarapa on March 1 become at least the 21st of the 59 shows during the 2019-2020 Shearing Sports New Zealand season to offer a Novice grade, designed for learner shearers who have not shorn more than 60 lambs or 50 adult sheep in a day. Some competitions also offer Novice woolhandling competitions.

The Pahiatua Shears is the last competition before the 60th Golden Shears international championships being held in Masterton on Masterton 4-7.

The Golden Shears, first held in 1961 with shearing in just the Open, Intermediate and Junior grades, introduced Novice Shearing in 1998.

This year it is facing possible record entries in the grade with confirmation from Hawke’s Bay shearing contractor Colin Watson Paul that they will include those who took part in the Women and Wool fundraiser Farmstrong fundraiser at the Royal New Zealand Show in Hastings in October.

Women and Wool drew the women out of the comfort zone of such careers as dentistry, accountancy and policing and taught them to shear, ultimately in front of a crowd and raising $41,000 for the cause.

It more than doubled expectations, but also sparked a new drive from the self-titled “bunch of ladies”, with some entering the Novice grade at the show’s Great Raihania Shears two days later, and Women and Wool showdown winner and career wool buying representative Maureen Chaffey placing in several finals in the lower North Island in October and November.

Novice grades will be held at two of the five shearing sports competitions throughout the country this weekend. The Wairoa A and P Show on Saturday has a Novice grade with heats starting at 8.30am, and at the Horowhenua A.P. and I. Show I Levin on Sunday Novice heats start at 9am.

Remaining 2019-2020 season shearing sports shows offering Novice shearing competitions are: Wairoa (January 17); Horowhenua (January 18); Dannevirke (January 31); Rangitikei, Marton (February 1); Northern Wairoa, Dargaville (February 8), Southern Shears, Gore (February 14-15), Ohura (February 15), Counties, Pukekohe (February 16), Apiti (February 29), Pahiatua (March 1), Golden Shears, Masterton (March 4-7), Mayfield (March 14), Waimarino, Raetihi (March 21), Waitomo (March 28), New Zealand Shears, Te Kuiti (April 2-4), Royal Easter Show, Auckland (April 10-11).

The Southern Shears, Dannevirke A and P Show, Rangitikei Shearing Sports, Apiti Sports, Golden Shears and New Zealand Shears will also have Novice woolhandling.


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