Dedication to shearing industry earns award

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Former Gore woman Jude McNab’s involvement in the shearing industry has been rewarded.

Mrs McNab was presented with the Federated Farmers contribution to the New Zealand rural sports industry award at the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards on Saturday.

“I was very, very lucky. I was the only South Island finalist,” Mrs McNab said.

She was very surprised when her name was called as section winner, she said.

One of the highlights was having the America’s Cup on show at the event.

She said it was good to mix with such a variety of people.

There were between 350 and 400 people at the gala event, she said.

Mrs McNab is Shearing Sport’s New Zealand South Island committee secretary and runs her own business.

She was secretary for the New Zealand Shearing Foundation, which was established to run the 40th Anniversary World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, for which she was event manager.

More than 30 countries were represented and 12,000 spectators attended the event in Invercargill.

The championships were named New Zealand international event of the year at the New Zealand Events Association awards.

In August, Mrs McNab was appointed Shearing Sports New Zealand secretary.

By the end of the year she was also helping organise the Southern Shears and a Southern Field Days Speed Shear, both held in Gore in February.

The award was presented by Sir Brian Lochore and Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner at Awapuni, in Palmerston North, on the eve of the New Zealand Rural Games.

New Zealand Rural Sports Awards judging panel chairman Sir Brian Lochore said the awards celebrated traditional sports and the people who kept events running year in and year out in towns and settlements throughout New Zealand.

“We had a fantastic line-up of entrants and finalists for each category,” Sir Brian said.

“Our 2018 winners have proven themselves on the field of their rural sport or in the committee room organising rural sporting events around New Zealand.”