AUSTRALIA’S national shearing and wool handling titles will return to Hamilton in September with a unique format aimed at boosting shearer and wool handler participation.
The titles will be held at Hamilton Showgrounds on September 25 and 26, 20 years after they were last held in the south-west Victorian city.
Sports Shear Australia chair Stephanie Brooker-Jones said Hamilton was chosen for the titles after the showgrounds was declared available and Warrnambool declined to run the event as part of its annual Romney Shears competition.
Mrs Brooker-Jones said the proposed format for the 2016 titles would involve each state being asked to send representatives for the various shearing and wool handling grade events.
“As well as the three open shearers and three wool handlers from each state, what our plan is to invite two novice shearers and wool handlers, two intermediate shearers and two senior shearers and wool handlers from each state.
“Because it is very short notice we want to run junior events so we can encourage the up-and-comers from each state to get a taste of a national event,” she said.
The national titles usually involves events for just the top three open shearers and open wool handlers, and separate open shearing and wool handling events are also run for non-state competitors.
However, at Hamilton because of the late notice of the titles venue location and to help with sheep sourcing, non-state events will not be run, apart from possibly a local Trans-Tasman event between Australian and New Zealand shearers and wool handlers.
“This is probably the first time it has been done – it might be the start of a new format.
“We just find it might be simpler for the hosting committee to source sheep; rather than sourcing 2000 sheep they might have to source only 1000.”
The Victorian state team representatives finalised at the Northern Shears event at Bendigo include:
Shearing – Open: Jason Wingfield, Dan Mraz and Brian Waldren; intermediate: Rickey Petersen, Clint Atkinson and Shelley King; senior: Cory Collins, Nathan Touhey and Nicholas Collins. Wool handling – Open: Sarah Moran, Sophie Huf and Mark Purcell; senior: Clare Price, Amy Rogers and Ali Torney; novice: Sharelle Dyson, Tyrone Gordon and Karli Boag.
HAVE YOUR SAY