Entries are now open for the annual New Zealand Merino Shears
(NZMS) competition, which is to be held in Alexandra on
October 4 and 5.
Organising committee immediate past president and spokesman
Graeme Bell, of Alexandra, said the event would be held at
the Molyneux Stadium and it was the 25th year it had taken
place at that venue.
''We normally get between 45 and 55 entries for the open
shearing event and we are targeting about 50 for the open
woolhandling,'' Mr Bell said.
''Last year, we had about 100 woolhandling entries in the
open, senior and junior events.''
Judges are coming from the North Island and last year's
shearing open winner, Damien Boyle, of Broomehill, West
Australia, hopes to win the event for the third time in a
''New Zealand shearers will be trying really hard to stop him
doing that,'' Mr Bell said. There would be shearers from
throughout New Zealand and Australia taking part and hoping
to win a share of the $14,000 worth of prizes and the chance
to compete at the Perth Royal Show next year as well as the
prestige that came with being a champion.
Local shearers to watch included Colin and Charlie O'Neill,
of Alexandra, and Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, who was
shearing in Central Otago.
''They will be major contenders and wanting to upset the
three-time potential victory.''
A team of shearers - Chris Vickers, of Shag Point and Tony
Coster, of mid-Canterbury, who placed second and third in
last year's NZMS open event - will be flying out to the Perth
Royal Show, to compete in the first round of the annual
Australia v New Zealand shearing test match at the end of
The second round of the test match will be held at the NZMS.
In addition to the merino shearing competition, the event
would also be the first round of the national PGG Wrightson
Shearing Championships, with other rounds held at Waimate,
Marton, Pahiatua and Christchurch.
The final will be held at the Golden Shears competition, in
Masterton, in March. Mervyn Kinaston, of Alexandra, is the
new NZMS committee president.
Mr Bell said Mr Kinaston, a retired farmer at Raes Junction,
and his wife, Helen, had been dedicated contributors and
supporters of the competition for many years.