Hopes are high for competitive shearing events to return after two years of Covid-19 restrictions saw all but 14 events abandoned last season.
The organizers are confident that they can move forward with all 59 sporting shearing competitions this season, which runs from October to April.
New Zealand shearing legend Sir David Fagan, who is also the president of Shearing Sports NZ, said seats were also up for grabs to represent the country at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland next year.
“The places up for grabs on the team are two machine clippers, blade clippers and two wool workers on the Wools of New Zealand team,” he said.
“And of course the manager and judges who will bring the team to Scotland in June next year.
“So, it’s pretty exciting for all the competitors. They spend all year planning and trying to form that team, so it’s going to be nice to get the competitions back on track.”
Sir David said being forced to eliminate many of last season’s events due to Covid-19 put a strain on some rural communities. In some cases, shearing competitions have been postponed or canceled for the first time in their 50-year history.
“It’s huge, first and foremost for the competitors – there are all the small rural events, which is where people get the good foundation and experience,” said Sir David.
“Then the bigger events that have been canceled, like the Golden Shears and the New Zealand Shears, where practically all the competitors, no matter if they are in the lower or upper classes in the open classes, this is their dream, to get on that stage. in those great events and this was taken away from him.
“We have seen it in many sports, but to get it all back this season … these big events bring a lot of money to the small towns and rural areas they are in. There are many people who have lost in the rural sector in New Zealand “.
Sir David said all organizers were preparing for the interruption or cancellation of their events due to Covid-19 restrictions.
And he had some advice for any clippers hoping to attend the Royal Highland Show in Scotland.
“Go to competitions, because there is only one way to improve and that is to go every weekend, compete, prepare for the competition.
“Not just physically, but with the equipment you use and mentally. By going every weekend and competing, you get better and better every week.”
The calendar of shearing events is yet to be confirmed, but the season will kick off with the New Zealand Shears Merino Wool Shearing and Processing Championships in Alexandra on September 30th.