Biggest month of Southland shearing

Article by Doug Laing - Shearing Sports NZ

The biggest month of shearing sports in Southland and Otago gets under way with the Northern Southland Community Shears on Friday

The shears feature shearing events at the new venue of Lowther Downs (874 Five Rivers-Lumsden Highway) while the woolhandling has been moved to former shearing competition venue North Range (483 Sutherland Rd, Castle Rock).

The shearing starts at 7.30am and the woolhandling at 8am, and will be followed the next day by the Southland Shears' national crossbred championships at the Winton A and P Show, with woolhandling starting at 8am on Saturday and shearing at 10am.

With three hotel speedshears, at the Railway Hotel in Otautau on Thursday night, the Middle Pub in Winton on Friday night and the Colac Bay Tavern on Saturday night, organisers are expecting increased entries as the first sign of an invasion ahead of the 40th anniversary World championships in ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on February 8-11.

Also in the southern region in the big month are the Otago championships in Balclutha on February 3-4 and the Southern Shears in Gore on February 17-18.

New Zealand's machine shearing team members have dominated the Lumsden and Winton shows over the last decade.

In that time, Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick has won at Lumsden five times and Winton four, including three consecutive doubles, in 2009, 2010, and 2011, while host-city hope Nathan Stratford has won each of the titles twice.

Woolhandling representative and 2012 World champion Joel Henare has also won five Lumsden Open finals, and won the Winton Open final most recently in 2007 and 2012.


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