Golden Shears

Masterton, New ZealandNew ZealandThe Golden Shears International Shearing and Woolhandling Championships is the World's most prestigious sheep shearing event. It was founded in Masterton, New Zealand, and has been held in the town's War Memorial Stadium each March since 1961. It initially comprised competition in three shearing classes, including the Open championship, which is the most revered of all single shearing titles worldwide. In the final, sometimes referred to as shearing's equivalent of the Wimbledon Open in tennis, six shearers each shear 20 second-shear sheep, for which the fastest time was 15min 27.4sec, shorn in 2003. But the competition is about more than just the fastest time, and the winner is decided on time and quality penalty points, the winner being the shearer with the lowest score. Other events have expanded the programme over the years, with competition now held in five shearing classes, four woolhandling classes and three woolpressing classes, along with other events. The McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown final was added to the programme in 1973, and in various sponsorship guises has become the unofficial New Zealand multiwools national championship. Currently known as the PGG Wrightson National Circuit, it is shorn in five qualifying stages in which points are accrued for shearing finewooled merino sheep, fullwooled strongool sheep, coarse-wooled Corriedales, lambs and second-shear sheep. In the final, six competitors shear three of each type. The Golden Shears in Masterton spawned Golden Shears championships in other countries, including the United Kingdom, where a Golden Shears of Great Britain was held at the Royal Bath and West Show, and Australia, which became involved in an annual home-and-away transtasman test series, staged alternately at Masterton, and at Euroa, Vic. Suspended for some years after industrial disturbances in Australia, the Australian legs of the series are now held at differing venues in conjunction with the Australisan national championships. While machine shearing contests have been held at least since 1902, when an event was held at the Hawke's Bay A and P Show, Hastings, New Zealand, the Golden Shears is credited with the spread of shearing as a world-wide sport, including a Golden Shears World Championships, held first in England in 1977. Despite the advent of a World Championships every 2–4 years, the Golden Shears in Masterton every year remains the mecca for sheep shearers worldwide, and entries in all classes have in peak years exceeded 600.03/03/2016MarchOfficialWebsiteSource on Description