Sheep meat

Young Aussie shepherds selected for world competition

Sheep Central, May 22, 2024

Gabrielle Horton is off to the World Young Shepherds Competition.

TWO Aussies have been selected to represent the nation in the sheep industry in the sector’s Olympic-style event – the World Young Shepherds Competition – from this weekend.

Don’t worry about the Olympics! Young Aussies flock to France for World Young Shepherd Competition WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers) are excited to announce that

Former Peter Westblade scholar Gabrielle ‘Gabbie’ Horton from New South Wales and South Australian station overseer Jack Grundy will represent Australia in the World Young Shepherds Competition (Ovinpiades Mondiales) in France from 25 May-1 June.

Peak grower body WoolProducers Australia was approached by the French Embassy seeking nominees to represent Australia at the 2024 Ovinpiades Mondiales. With the Peter Westblade Scholarship and Hay Inc. Gabbie and Jack were identified as ideal to represent of Australia’s sheep and wool industry.

Gabbie comes from Tasmania and is now working in New South Wales. She said she is looking forward to the international networking opportunities that the Ovinpiades competition will offer, and the chance to learn with likeminded people about the sheep industry in a different country.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for passionate young sheep enthusiasts and I intend on making the most of every second.”

Hay Inc. graduate Jack is off a property near Padthaway in SA and is currently studying at university.

“The Ovianpiades Competition is a great away for passionate young sheep enthusiasts to come together and compare and contrast different sheep farming techniques.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting, competing against, and learning different practices from young farmers from around the globe,” he said.

Young SA shepherd Jack Grundy is keen to learn different shepherding practices.

Gabbie and Jack will be accompanied by Peter Westblade Scholarship chairman Joe Walden, who will act as “Chef de Mission” for the Australian delegation.

Ovinpiades Mondiales brings together young people from across the world to compete against one another in a series of tasks to test their sheep husbandry skills and knowledge. The 2024 Ovinpiades Mondiales brings together 29 competitors from 15 countries, including Argentina, Canada, Chile, Peru,  Armenia, Benin, Ivory Coast, Togo, Australia, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, France and the United Kingdom.

The delegation of competitors will travel throughout France, undertaking skills and knowledge tests, such as shearing, foot trimming, ewe health assessment and electric fence building across various locations, before an award ceremony near Paris on 1 June.

WoolProducers general manager Adam Dawes said the competition is a great opportunity for Jack and Gabbie to not only represent Australia in an international event, but to build their global network of industry contacts while having some amazing experiences.

“We are grateful to have worked with the French embassy in Canberra, Peter Westblade Scholarship and Hay Inc. to bring this opportunity to fruition.

“We will post updates on Jack and Gabbie’s progress on WoolProducers social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and X) and would encourage people to reply with a message of support to Gabbie and Jack as they represent Australia at Ovinpiades Mondiales 2024,” Mr Dawes said.


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