Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Keeping Fingers Crossed For Golden Shears

Golden Shears champions Rowland Smith and Joel Henare in the celebration mode that has become a regular feature of Golden Shears over recent years. They're expected back in Masterton to defend the major titles next week. Photos / Pete Nikolaison

Organisers of the 61st Golden Shears in Masterton next week are reminding competitors of the advantages of getting entries in this week despite uncertainty created by the coronavirus crisis.

Entries after Thursday incur the late fee of 50 per cent, and president Sam Saunders says late entries risk missing the cut for the March 4-6 championships in Masterton’s War Memorial Stadium, where the Golden Shears have been held each year since the inception in 1961.

But he reiterated that whether on-time or late competitors won’t be risking losing their money if Covid-19 alert levels are stepped-up and force what would be the Golden Shears first-ever cancellation.

“We wouldn’t be able to run if the alert was Level 2 or greater,” he said. “If we have to cancel, everyone will be refunded. If people have paid their entries and something happened we would pay them back.”

“We wouldn’t want to see anyone out of pocket – not our sheep suppliers, our sponsors or the competitors,” he said.

While the number of entries received wasn’t able to be confirmed on Tuesday, Saunders said he believes some competitors are waiting to see what unfolds over the next few days.

Tuesday’s news of three more cases of the virus in the community wasn’t encouraging, but it was confined to Auckland, and Golden Shears, which runs a budget around $250,000, retains the hope that the championships won’t be impacted, although Saunders conceded: “Nobody knows. We just keep our fingers crossed, but I think it will go ahead.”

Last year the celebration of 60 years of Golden Shears took place amid rapidly-growing fears of the arrival of Covid-19 in New Zealand, and the 2019-2020 season survived just one more week before the lockdown was imposed later in the month.

Golden Shears entries peaked at about 580 shearers around the second World Championships in 1980, when sheep numbers were nearing the 1982 peak of 70 million.

With the ovine population now hovering around 27 million, competitor numbers have declined over the years, but the more-than 300 shearers, woolhandlers, and pressers each year helps the championships retain the image of being the holy grail of shearing sports worldwide.

Many of this year’s hopefuls will also be taking part in the four-day build-up, at the Taumarunui Shears and Apiti Sports shearing and woolhandling championships on Friday and Saturday respectively, the 50th Pahiatua Shears shearing championships on Sunday, and the Wairarapa Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championships next Wednesday.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland