People in New Zealand (NZ) equate the Golden Shears as the Wimbledon of sheep shearing. The 52nd Golden Shears kicked off in Masterton, NZ, this week with 500 shearers and woolhandlers from 25 countries participating. This event also doubles as the 2012 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships.
"Wool has so much going for it and the world championships provide a global showcase for wool as a natural and renewable fiber. Wool takes the care and craftsmanship of farmers to produce and the skill of shearers and wool handlers to harvest," said Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat and Fiber chairperson.
Shearers from heavyweight countries like New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain are competing with entries from lesser-known shearing countries, including Germany, Estonia and Japan. The United States is also represented in the competition. Shearers will be judged on speed and accuracy in both machine and hand-blade cutting categories.
The championships are being streamed live and can be viewed at www.goldenshears.co.nz/live12.htm.
Reprinted in part from Federated Farmers