Shears numbers fall as sun shines

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A spell of good weather in a season of otherwise poor conditions resulted in some shearers and woolhandlers opting to work instead of compete in the Southern Shears.
Southern Shears publicity officer Darnell Kennedy said competitor and spectator numbers were down on previous years.
The only sections on par with previous years were the open section, which attracted 38 entries, and the senior section, which drew 24, Miss Kennedy said.
Overall, 155 competitors were at the event.
The intermediate and junior sections were down about 10%, she said.
Some junior and intermediate woolhandlers and shearers sections opted to work, as fine spells this season had been few and far between, Miss Kennedy said.
“Unfortunately, the weather dictates our show.”
Also, structured shearing schools, which in the past had encouraged young shearers and woolhandlers to compete in events such as the Southern Shears, were fewer, resulting in fewer competitors, she said.
Shearers from Australia, England and Wales, along with one from Chile, also took part in the event.
Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith won the South Island Shearer of the Year and Southern Shears open titles at the Southern Shears on Saturday.
Smith became possibly only the fourth person to win 100 open-class shearing titles and scored three victories about 24 hours and 1700km apart during the weekend.
Smith raised the century at the Counties Shears in Pukekohe on Sunday, a few hours after arriving from Gore.
Dunedin-based world champion woolhandler Joel Henare won the Southern Shears open woolhandling title, his 92nd win in an open-class career which started in the 2006-07 season.