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Shear Glory Getting The Shows On The Road

Shearing and woolhandling competition hit hard by the pandemic restrictions in 2021 are ready to go in the New Year with a determination to hold the sport within the orange traffic-light conditions of the Covid-19 Protection Framework.

While major early-February show the Rangitikei Shearing Sports has joined the list of cancellations, cancelled, there are still 29 competitions on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar to mid-April, starting 2022 with the shearing-only Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears on Banks Peninsula on Saturday.

The Rangitikei shears were to have been held at Marton on February 5, incorporating the 4th round lambshearing leg of the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Sharing Circuit.

Of the 59 competitions on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar for the season 23 have been cancelled and pre-Christmas only seven were held - all in the South Island.

The first North Island competition of the season will be the Horowhenua Shears in Levin on January 23, with organisers adding woolhandling, amid the demise of the North Island Woolhandling Circuit through cancellation so far of 10 of its 13 rounds.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan said the SSNZ executive had discussed the situation of competitions still going ahead and supports them meeting the “orange” requirement that competitors and anyone else attending must have their vaccine pass confirming their double vaccination. Contact tracing conditions would also apply, and mask wearing would be necessary except when competing.

Without the vaccine requirement events would be limited to a maximum of 50 people, probably making them impossible to run.

He said the executive recognises both the extra responsibilities taken-on by competition organisers and the plight and distress of those who have had to cancel.

“Safety is obviously the paramount concern, but there is also some concern that some competitions might struggle to get back up and running again, especially those who have had to cancel for the second time,” he said. “It makes it even more important that the competitions are supported, and competitors and supporters need to do everything they can to help make sure they are run successful.”

“The wool industry and our competitions are part of a long-standing backbone of the economy and of rural life and culture, so let’s get on with it,” he said.”

The Metservice forecast for Banks Peninsula on Saturday is for fine weather, with areas of morning cloud and northeasterlies developing in the afternoon, offering confidence for Duvauchelle show president and shearing convener James Dwyer.

“Perfect weather, 21 degrees, high cloud…Couldn’t be better,” he said.

Shearing starts on Saturday 10am, preceded by “bacon sandwiches and a cuppa” to keep the shearers and the judges happy as they get ready to shear through the four grades from heats to finals mid-afternoon.

In a good year there’d be 25-30 shearers, he said, but in the era of the unknown he’s not sure what to expect, but will have the sheep available to cope.

Final preparation of the sheep will be done on Friday afternoon, with the community involvement likely to again include daughter Lilly and neighbours’ son Max Court, pictured helping out beforehand last year.

“A big part of making sure we go ahead was to keep the show going for the sake of the community,” he said.

Shearing Sports competition still scheduled to go ahead this summer:

January 8 (Sat): Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears (shearing only), at Duvauchelle.

January 14 (Fri): Northern Southland Community Shears and national lonbgwool championships (shearing, woolhanding), at Lowther Downs, Five Rivers, Lumsden.

January 22 (Sat): Tapawera Shears (shearing only), at Tapawera.

January 23 (Sun): Horowhenua A, P and I Show (shearing and woolhandling), at Levin.

January 30 (Sun): Geyserland Agrodome Shears Rotorua (shearing, woolhandling), at Rotorua A and P Showgrounds, Ngongotaha.

February 5 (Sat): Reefton Shears (shearing, blade shearing), Ikamatua.

February 6 (Sun): Aria Waitangi Day Sports (shearing, woolhandling), at Aria.

February 12 (Sat): Te Puke A and P Show (shearing only), at Te Puke; Otago Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Telford Farm, Balclutha.

February 18-19 (Fri-Sat): Southern Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Gore.

February 19 (Sat): North Hokianga A and P Show (shearing only), at Broadwood; Ohura Shears (shearing only), at Ohura A, P , H and I Show, at Niho Niho Showgrounds.

February 20 (Sun): Counties Shears (shearing only), at Pukekohe.

February 26 (Sat): Apiti Sports (shearing, woolhandling), at Apiti; Kaikoura A and P Show (shearing only), at Kaikoura.

February 27 (Sun): Pahiatua Shears (shearing only), at Mangaone Valley Rd, Pahiatua.

March 2 (Wed): Wairarapa Pre-Shears Woolhandling (woolhandling only), at Riverside Farm, Mikimiki.

March 5 (Sat): Amuri A and P Show (shearing only), at Rotherham.

March 12 (Sat): Kumeu Autumn Shears (shearing only), at Kumeu; Mayfield A and P Show (shearing, blade shearing), at Mayfield.

March 19 (Sat): Warkworth A and P Show (shearing only), at Warkworth; Waimarino Shears (shearing only), at Raetihi; Methven Lamb Shears (shearing only), at Methven A and P Show.

March 26 (Sat): Waitomo Caves Sports (shearing only), at Waitomo.

March 27 (Sun): Flaxbourne A and P Show (shearing only), at Ward.

March 31-April 2 (Thu-Sat): New Zealand Shears (shearing, woolhandling), at Te Kuiti.

April 2 (Sat): Oxford A and P Show (shearing, blade shearing), at Oxford.

April 15-16 (Fri-Sat): Royal Easter Show (shearing only), at Auckland.

April 18 (Mon): Mackenzie A and P Show and national lambshearing championships (shearing, blade shearing, woolhandling), at Fairlie.

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