Shows becoming ‘like second nature’

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Shear delight . . . Emma Martin won first place in the South Island Junior Woolhandler circuit at the 54th Waimate Shears NZ Spring Shearing Competition held at the start of this month. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Gore’s Emma Martin enjoys challenging herself in shearing and woolhandling competitions.

What she enjoyed the most about shearing was the physical and mental aspects, she said.

“I like the feeling after having a hard day’s work.

“Also when you are starting up shearing you have so many different things you have to take into consideration: your technique, your gear, what you’re doing and the best way to take care of yourself.”

As a female in a male-dominated industry she liked the challenge of the situation.

“Women are becoming more prominent in shearing but it’s still really satisfying being able to challenge things, especially as a minority within the field.

“Woman shearers are coming up through the ranks right now and we’ve got some good women shearers that are making a good pathway for us.”

She participated in the Waimate Shears New Zealand Spring Shearing Competition early this month.

It was her second full year participating in the competition.

She topped the South Island Junior Woolhandler circuit and received a second-equal quality encouragement award for her efforts.

She came fifth in the junior woolhandling, fifth in the junior machine shearing finals and sixth in the open section women’s machine shearing.

“It’s been a pretty good circuit for me because I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with the shows.”

She had not had time to prepare for the Canterbury Shears New Zealand Corriedale Shearing and Woolhandling Championships yet, as she was out on a tailing run until main shear started up again, she said.

However she hoped in the coming weeks to get out to a couple of shearing sheds to practise for the competitions.

“The start of the shows season is during the tailing season for me so Christchurch is a little hard to prepare for as I’m not doing any woolhandling or shearing at the moment.

“But I always try to maintain a high level of work so that when I get to a show, it’s like second nature.”