Balclutha all go - 2000 sheep and all

Organisers of the Otago Shears which start tomorrow (Friday) are bringing in extra sheep to cope with increased entries in the final shakedown before next week's World championships in Invercargill.

Organising committee member Ken Payne said keen interest from World Championships teams means about 2000 sheep will be shorn in the two days of shearing and woolhandling in the Balclutha War Memorial Hall – about 400 more than normal..

Finishing on Saturday, the two-day Otago championships has been an annual event for more than 55 years, and comprise four grades of shearing, and the three classes of the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year and Southern Woolhandling Circuit competitions.

World championships teams have been involved in two training days at Mt Linton in Southland and while machine shearers and woolhandlers head for Balclutha looking for a final shakedown before next week's big event in ILT Stadium Southland, some blades shearers are expected to head to the Reefton A and P Show, about nine hours' drive, for a blade shearing competition at the Inangahua A and P Show on Saturday.

Otago Shears winners over the last 10 years:

Open: 2007 John Kirkpatrick (Napier); 2008 John Kirkpatrick (Napier); 2009 John Kirkpatrick (Napier); 2010 Cam Ferguson (Waipawa); 2011 John Kirkpatrick (Napier); 2012 Rowland Smith(Hastings); 2013 Nathan Stratford (Invercargill); 2014 Rowland Smith (Hastings); 2015 David Fagan (Te Kuiti); 2016 Nathan Stratford (Invercargill).

New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year Open: 2007 Joanne Kumeroa (Whanganui); 2008 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2009 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2010 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2011 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2012 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2013 Tia Potae (Milton); 2014 Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu); 2015 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2016 Joel Henare (Gisborne).

South Island Circuit Open: 2007 Joanne Kumeroa; 2008 Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu); 2009 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2010 Joanne Kumeroa (Whanganui); 2011 Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu); 2012 Joanne Kumeroa (Whanganui); 2013 Pagan Rimene (Alexandra); 2014 Joel Henare (Gisborne); 2015 Pagan Rimene (Alexandra); 2016 Joel Henare (Gisborne).


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