Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool-handling Championships

Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool-handling Championships

Late February or March
The Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool-Handling Championships take place every year in late February or early March in Masterton, New Zealand. Participants with all levels of experience compete in shearing, wool handling, and wool pressing as individuals or in teams. There is also a triathlon event. As many as 120 competitors can take part in a single event. This can require more than 700 sheep, as uniform in size as possible. For the competitors, speed, skill, and style are all important in this fiercely competitive activity, which is keenly followed by fans in New Zealand, Australia, and beyond.
The first Shearing World Championships took place in March 1961 at the War Memorial Stadium in Masterton. It was so popular that the local army was called in to control the crowds. Within a few years, seats for the contest were being sold out 12 months in advance. The event's success inspired other communities in New Zealand and other countries to sponsor local shearing contests, and the level of physicality and technique at the championship grew higher. By the late 1980s, competitive shearing and wool handling had become an established, if unorthodox, athletic event.
CONTACTS:
Golden Shears International Shearing Society
Shear Discovery Centre
12 Dixon St.
P.O. Box 311
Masterton, New Zealand
www.goldenshears.co.nz/index.htm