Dalla excels among Aussies at Golden Shears championships

Sheep Central, June 26, 2023

Australian blade shearer John Dalla at the Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships. Photo – Joanne Crawford.

SOUTH Australian blade shearer John Dalla has emerged as one of Australia’s top performers at the 2023 Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships over the weekend.

Although no Australian shearer or wool handler managed a major placing in a GS final, Sports Shear Australia Association secretary Raelene Laidlaw said team manager Tom Kelly was impressed with all team members’ performances.

John Dalla placed sixth in the GS blades final that was won by South African Bonile Rabela, about penalty 2.5 points clear of New Zealand’s Tony Dobbs.

Dalla comes from Warooka in South Australia and has competed in several worlds events. His team mate Andrew Murray placed 15th overall in the GS competition, in his first world championship. The pair placed fourth in the GS teams event, behind South Africa, New Zealand and Wales.

Hutchison places eighth in the wool handling

NSW wool handler Racheal Hutchison rolls a fleece tight at the world championships. Photo – Joanne Crawford.

In the GS wool handling, New South Wales’ Racheal Hutchison was eighth overall, just missing out on the eight-competitor final won by Rosie Keenan from Scotland. Racheal has been Australian champion eight times and previously been to world championships in Wales, New Zealand and France.

Racheal’s team mate, Victorian Mark Purcell, in his first worlds competition, managed 16th overall. In the wool handling teams event, the pair finished sixth.

Wool handler Mark Purcell works his magic on a fleece at the world championships. Photo – Joanne Crawford.

In the machine shearing, South Australian shearer Nathan Meaney, managed 15th overall with team mate and Australian champion Daniel McIntyre from New South Wales 17th, with both shearers failing to get into a tighter semi-finals field.

Ms Laidlaw said competitors had to contend with different breeds of sheep that were challenging to shear and prepare the wool from.

“There were comments from a few people about how challenging the sheep were.

“Tom said they had all placed very well for the conditions and the types of sheep they had,” she said.

“Tony Dobbs after his blades event said there were some really challenging sheep for all grades whether they were shearing or wool handling, they were challenging.”

Wool handlers had to roll fleeces, either with the tip of fleece on the outside or inside, depending on the breed, and the belly wool had to placed in the roll in the correct place, she said.

“And that meant you had to throw the fleece differently to start with.”

The other members of the Australian teams were wool handling judge Matt Stasinowsky and shearing judge Daryl Wallace.




The 2023 Australian world shearing and wool handling team from left, back row – John Dalla, Daryl Wallace, Tom Kelly, Matt Stasinowsky; middle row – Mark Purcell, SSAA president Dave Lawrence, Racheal Hutchison; front row – Nathan Meaney, Andrew Murray, Daniel McIntyre. Photo – SSAA.


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  1. Don Mudford, June 27, 2023

    Congratulations to the Australian team. Well done. A huge call in British breeds that the wool only comes clean from skin level in Summer. Very different sheep to shear and fleeces to handle. We need to get an Australian world event in Merinos so our team can show their talent. Well done, a huge effort for all. Well done amongst a huge field.

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