Sheep shearers from across South Africa gathered in Bloemfontein over the weekend to try and secure their place in the national team heading to the Golden Shears World Championship in Le Dorat, France, in July.
Chairperson of the South African Sheep Shearing Federation, Eddie Archer, said South Africa’s shearers were well-respected across the world, especially blade shearers. “We are the reigning blade champions and have not lost that title since 1996,” he said.
Fickson Maqhosha and Bonile Rebela are the two new blade shearers who will defend the country’s title at the Golden Shears World Championship in Le Dorat, France later this year.
The pair finished first and second respectively in the South African National Blade Championship held at the Bloem Show in Bloemfontein this weekend, unseating current world champion, Mayenzeke Shweni.
In the machine category, first place went to Guillaume Strydom, with another favourite, Shaun Hamlet, also securing his spot on the South African team with his second place finish.
The wool handling team members are Franciska Flynn, who finished first, and Jan du Toit, who came second.
The team will be accompanied by two official judges, Jan Louis Venter as wool handling judge, and Piet Nel as shearing judge. Izak Klopper will attend as team manager, and South African Sheep Shearing Federation (SASSF) president, Eddie Archer, will serve as South Africa’s representative on the Golden Shears World Council.
He said the competitive aspect of sheep shearing was important for the industry as it provided shearers with an opportunity to measure their skills against others.
Even more important, though, was the value of what was being taught during shearing training to the farmer.
“We don’t teach them to race; we teach them to do quality shearing in as short a time as possible to enable them to earn a decent living,” he said.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly