Change of venue for NS Shears
Entries at the 34th Northern Southland Community Shears is expected to be strong, with competitors from around the world looking to get in some early practice on local sheep before they head in to the World Championships in Invercargill.
The expected increase in numbers of shearers and wool handlers has forced a change to the venues.
Shearing is being held at Selbie's property at Five Rivers and the wool handling is at North Range Partnership's woolshed at Castlerock.
Shears secretary Patsy Shirley said the committee had been meeting regularly to ensure competitors from around the world can have a good run at the first event on the calender in the new year.
Entries had been received from competitors Chile, Mongolia, Japan, Estonia and Croatia.
"Top shearers including Southland's Nathan Stratford, Troy Pyper and Darin Forde are all looking to compete here again with John Kirkpatrick, NSCS 2016 open winner Rowland Smith and other top national shearers."
Sheep will be provided by North Range under the management of Ian Grant.
Points gained at the Northern Southland day contribute to the New Zealand Crossbred Full Wool title.
"It is good to see one of our local winners, Nathan Stratford, making the New Zealand shearing team of two, alongside John Kirkpatrick from Napier,which will be competing against 30 other teams. The two wool handlers who have been selected are NSCS 2016 open winner Joel Henare and Mary Baty, both from Gisborne."
Following on from the Friday events at Five Rivers and Castlerock, Winton's Top Pub will host a speed shear from 7.30pm, leading on to the Saturday events at Winton's A&P Show, for the Southland Shears and NZ Crossbred Lamb Championships.
"There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about holding the World Championships in Invercargill for the first time. World Championship committee member Mike Hogan from Invercargill is chairing the NSCS working committee with help from other shearing industry experts, World Championship chair Tom Wilson and committee member Sir David Fagan."
The public are welcome to see top class competitors from countries like Chile, Mongolia, Japan, Estonia and Slavonia with entry free for spectators.