Colin King Shield - The Ranfurly Shield Of Shearing
A trophy named after a champion shearer who became a Member of Parliament will go on the line for the first time at the Marlborough A and P Show shearing championships in Blenheim on Saturday.
The Colin King Challenge Shield, set to become the Ranfurly Shield of South Island shearing, will be contested between Marlborough and North Canterbury in a relay with one shearer from each grade in each team to decide the inaugural holder.
It will be limited to teams in the South Island.
From Canterbury, King is the only left-handed shearer to have won the Golden Shears Open, having triumphed in 1982, 1987 and 1988, along with six wins in the final of the National Shearing Circuit, incorporating the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown.
Having in 2000 been awarded the MNZM for services to shearing and the wool industry, he turned to politics and served three terms as National Party MP for Kaikoura from 2005 to 2014.
The Marlborough Shears are also a round of the junior and intermediate grades’ Beef+Lamb Canterbury and Marlborough Development Circuit, from which two shears in each grade will get paid travel, accommodation and entry to the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti at the end of the season.
Evenets in Blenheim on Saturday be run under Covid-19 Level 2 conditions, without general public admission and with competitors being asked to bring their own food and refreshment because there won’t be any food stalls.
With multiple cancellations throughout the country because of coronavirus crisis, shearers face a busy week in the South Island, with the Pleasant Point Shears also on Saturday in South Canterbury, and the Canterbury Shears New Zealand Corriedale Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Christchurch on Thursday and Friday next week.
Canterbury Shears convener Dave Brooker said he hopes districts throughout the South Island will start lodging challenges for the Shield, to help increase competitor numbers and interesting, particularly in some of the smaller shows, and the create interest in being in the teams.