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A Big Climax For Shearing Season

A possible record of six major Open title events has been confirmed for a ready-to-rock end of the 2020-2021 shearing sports season at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti on April 8-10.

The championships committee has agreed to include national team selection events the National Shearing Circuit and the North Island Open Woolhandling Circuit finals, which had been on the schedule for the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 4-6 but cancelled at just four days’ notice because of a new Covid-19 alert.

Winners of the two events are automatic selections in the 2021-2022 transtasman series teams, although amid the Covid-19 uncertainty it remains unclear whether the series will be held.

In a unique climax to a season which has seen 11 competition cancellations, the National Shearing Circuit finals and the North Island woolhandling final will add to the existing band of Open-class Te Kuiti headliners – shearing’s North Island Shearer of the Year, New Zealand Shears Circuit and New Zealand Open finals, and the New Zealand Shears Open woolhandling championship.

The New Zealand Shears will also feature presentations of prizes for the North Island Senior and Junior Woolhandling Circuits, which have been completed without the finals which were to have been held at the Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championships, also cancelled in the Covid alert.

The Open Circuit woolhandling final and the circuit prizegiving ceremonies will be held on the opening day in Te Kuiti, along with the National Shearing Circuit semi-finals, for the top 12 at the time the qualifying rounds ended prematurely with the cancellation of second-shear round the Pahiatua Shears.

The Shearing Circuit final will be held on the Saturday afternoon.

Circumstances have led to several changes, with competition cancellations leading to reductions in the numbers of competitions need to be contested for eligibility for New Zealand Shears Circuit and North Island Shearer of the Year events.

Meanwhile, the Can-Am Outlander 570 Pro Quad Bike which in the past has been part of the Open Shearing Championship first-prize package will not be included in the package this year. But it will still be on the line in a prize draw among the 24 Open Championship quarterfinalists. The draw will be done on the final night, and competitors are being told they need to be present to collect.

Events remaining on the 2020-2021 Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar:

March 27 (Sat): Kumeu Shears (shearing only, Junior to Open, Veterans, start 9am); Waitomo Caves Sport (shearing only, Novice to Open, starts 10am), at Waitomo.

March 28 (Sun): Flaxbourne A and P Show (shearing only, 11.30am), at Ward.

April 3 (Sat): Oxford A and P Show (shearing, Junior to Open, blades, starts 9am), at Oxford.

April 5 (Mon): MacKenzie Shears (shearing, Junior to Open, Blades, woolhandling, Junior to Open, starts 8.30am), at Fairlie.

April 8-10 (Thu-Sat): New Zealand Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Te Kuiti.

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