World champions will sweat over sheep and wool beside other shearers and wool handlers from three countries at Australia’s national shearing championships in NSW this weekend.
From November 21-23 at the historic Errowanbang woolshed near Carcoar, NSW, about 100 shearers and 50 wool handlers will compete in team and individual events where sheep and wool-handling quality and speed will be assessed by the world’s top judges.
For the first time the championships will include the inaugural Australian junior wool handling and shearing championships, for the top novice shearing and wool handling, intermediate and Senior Shearing qualifiers from each state in preliminary events.
Championship secretary Kacee Artridge said this year the shearers and wool handlers will be tested by shearing and handle the wool from crossbred ewes and second cross lambs in the open competition. National event competitors will contend with fine wool merinos, cross bred ewes and second cross lambs.
Current Australian shearing champion leads Vic team
Current Australian national champion shearer Jason Wingfield, now based at Tocumwal, will lead the Victorian team, with the other shearers being Brian Waldron from Kyabram, Glenn Stephens and Brett Caldwell from Heywood, and Frank Atkinson from Echuca. The Victorian wool handlers all come from south-west Victoria – Fi Patison, Mark Purcell and Sophie Huf.
SA team lead by 10-time national shearing champion
The South Australian team will be led by two times world and 10-time national champion shearer Shannon Warnest, supported by Nathan Meaney and Tyson Scholz. SA’s wool handlers include Tara Smith and Lisa Nosworthy.
New South Wales’ state team includes Australian shearing team member Daniel McIntyre, with Wayne Hosie from Gunnedah and Tim Foster from Guyra. NSW’s wool handlers are Angela Wakely, Michaela Laneyrie and Rachel Hutchison.
Tasmania’s state team will be led by shearer veteran Robert Glover, with Steve Rigby and Adrian Lovell. The state’s wool handlers are Michelle Walker, Kellie Hazell and Jono Wilson.
Western Australia’s team is lead by five-time NZ Merino shearing champion Damien Boyle, supported by Mark Buscomb and Todd Wegner. The state team’s wool handlers are Wayne Laird and Todd Wegner.
Queensland’s state shearers include Dave Grant, James Ferguson and Barry Hamonds, with wool handlers Kelly Moir, Dave Grant and Raelene Bowden.
World champion blade shearer to compete
A feature at the championships this year will be an appearance with the South African team of the current world champion blade shearer, Zweliwile Hans.
Other key events at the championships include the Sports Shear Association of Australia’s Tri-Nation Challenge between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and the 40th trans-Tasman shearing and wool handling test match.
On November 21, there will be an Old Errowanbang Training and Mentoring day and the national titles will be run concurrently with the annual woolshed open days.
Other features of the three-day wool and shearing event include a fashion parade, market and industry stalls, sheep dog trials and woolshed history tours.