Waimate Shears promises to be ‘action packed’

Tim Graham, of Te Akatarawa Station, on the shores of Lake Aviemore, drafts merino wethers in...
Tim Graham, of Te Akatarawa Station, on the shores of Lake Aviemore, drafts merino wethers in preparation for the Waimate Shears. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
It is the biggest show in town.

The 53rd Waimate Spring Shears is being held on Friday and Saturday this week and organiser Warren White is promising "a big show".

There would be "action-packed days", he said.

Entries have flooded in after the cancellation of the New Zealand Merino Shears in Alexandra and some of the country’s biggest names in shearing and woolhandling will be competing.

A special feature will be the New Zealand Winter Comb title which will be resurrected this year. The winter comb title was last contested more than 10 years ago at the now-defunct Omarama Shears.

It will be held on Friday, before the woolhandling event and speed shear in the afternoon. Other speed-shearing events are planned on Wednesday and Thursday in Waikouaiti and Maheno respectively.

The event will again be live-streamed on the Waimate Shears Facebook page, after a $30,000 media centre was installed last year at the purpose-built A&P Shears Pavilion. Last year, thousands of viewers from all over the world watched the live stream.

Mr White said as far as the logistics of organising the event went, it was not much different than usual — "just a wee bit bigger".

The winter comb class meant an additional 500 sheep, while there were probably between 1500 and 1600 sheep required for the overall event.

Some of those would be loaded from Te Akatarawa Station, on the shores of Lake Aviemore, at 2.30am on Friday to make it to the Southern Canterbury A&P showgrounds by 6am for a 7am start.

Mr White said it was fortunate to have such a good organising committee, while there had been tremendous support from the local community.

"Sponsorship has been unbelievable," he said.

With the cancellation of other events, it was proving popular because people wanted something to do. A wool expo was being held in the pavilion next door to the shearing pavilion.

 

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