Tri-Nations Sheep Shearing Championships, Alexandra, New Zealand
Upon invitation from New Zealand Merino Shearing in Alexandra as well as Western Australia Sport Shearing, the SASSF send two machine and two blade shearers to participate in these events. It was the first time ever that SA participated in two Tri Nations competitions. The team, with Hendrik Botha as Manager and Eric Truter as judge, departed for NZ on the 23rd of September.
The Federation appointed two additional machine shearers to go to NZ. The reason and planning behind sending four machine shearers to NZ, is for them to stay in NZ after the Tri Nations to gain experience in the shearing of cross breed sheep as well as to attend a course in the shearing of cross breeds. The machine shearers will stay in NZ until after the Golden Shears World Shearing Championships, which starts on the 29th of February 2012 in Masterton. The shearers will participate in a number of competitions after which the two who will compete in the World Championships, will be appointed on merit.
The SA Team performed very well during the 50th Merino Shearing Competition in Alexandra. The Tri Nations competition, the first ever where three countries had a team each of two blade shearers and two machine shearers, shearing simultaneously on the same shearing platform, was extraordinary. The National Anthem of all three countries was played before the competition, in which New Zealand won and SA was in second place.
During the Tri Nations Blade Shearing Competition, Zweliwile Hans won and Mayenzeke Shweni took the second position.
Our machine shearers performed very well with good quality shearing although they are slightly slower than the Kiwis.
During the senior machine shearing event, Themba Khoza came in third, and he gained valuable experience. During our visit the shearers were able to practice shearing merino sheep with a lot of pleats, but with good quality fine wool.
Alexandra celebrated the 50th Merino Shearing Competition during a historical dinner to which all previous winners of the competition were invited. All the winners were introduced to the other guests, Ian Rutherford, a winner in the 1960’s gave an overview of the competition in the past. Only two shearers won both New Zealand’s biggest competitions over the last 50 years, which once again confirm the difference between shearing merinos and the cross breeds. Both shearers attended the dinner.
Our 4 shearers practiced for three days on large, somewhat pleated merino ewes in Western Australia as well. Australia hosted their annual championships during the Royal Perth Show. Six teams representing the six provinces of Australia, as well as the New Zealand and SA teams participated. The Tri Nations in Australia received huge publicity from the press as well as television and the event took on a different form to that of the one in NZ. Blade and machine shearers competed in separate events. SA won the blade shearing and took third place in the machine shearing. Mayenzeke Shweni won the blade shearing open event in AU.
It was a privilege to be guests in AU and NZ, and our shearers gained valuable experience with international participation. I am planning for a Tri Nations Competition to be hosted in SA, during the 2013 SA National Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships. I am confident that this unique competition can be hosted with great success in SA.
Once again our sincere appreciation to our sponsors Cape Wools, National Lottery and Mutual and Federal Agri for their generous contributions towards our attending the Tri Nations. Our shearers received valuable exposure.
Tri Nations Sheep Shearing Championships
50th Marino Shearing competition, Alexandra, NZ
Tri-Nations Machine Shearing Challenge
1. New Zealand Grant Smith & Charlie O’Neill (170.52pts)
2. Australia Damian Boyle & Mark Buscomb (175.867pts)
3. South Africa Bangani (Dawid) August & Isaac Ndlongwane (201.16 pts)
Tri-Nations Blade Shearing Challenge
1. South Africa Zweliwile Hans & Mayenzeke Shweni (194.041pts)
2. New Zealand Mike McConnell & Brian Thompson (207.057pts)
3. Australia John Nicholl & Jim Barnett (240.815pts)
Tri Nations Sheep Shearing Championships
Royal Perth Show, Australia
Blade Shearing South Africa won the team event
Blade Shearing Open Mayenzeke Shweni won the event
Overall South Africa placed third in the event.