Another successful season for the Welsh Shearing and Woolhandling Team
19 August 2015
The popularity of the shearing competitions at the Royal Welsh Show is evident for all to see with crowds of thousands flocking to the Meirion Shearing Centre to help cheer on the competitors during the four days of competitions.
Following on from the success of previous competitions and test matches, the Welsh Shearing and Woolhandling Team did not disappoint their home crowd.
Richard Jones from Corwen took the title of Champion Shearer of Wales at the Royal Welsh Show
During the show, Richard Jones from Corwen took the title of Champion Shearer of Wales whilst Gareth Daniel from Machynlleth won the Welsh Open Circuit competition and in doing so secured their places on the Welsh Shearing Team for 2015/16.
Together, the duo reigned supreme over the New Zealand team in the test match held on the Wednesday (22 July) of the show. New team manager Martyn David took over from Bill Jones earlier that day and was eagerly looking forward to working with the team in the forthcoming year: “They pushed New Zealand all the way and quality brought the boys out on top in the test against David Fagan and Dion King.
“I am really looking forward to taking this team out to New Zealand in February and I must give a mention to Bill Jones for all the work he has done over the last twelve months.”
On the same day, local boy, Ian Jones from Builth Wells and Aaron Hughes from Caernarfon defeated the French team in another test match.
Winning his first open title at the Royal Welsh Show was New Zealander Jack Fagan, son of the famous David Fagan who competed for the last time at the Royal Welsh Show having won over 600 titles during his career. David was presented a Welsh woollen blanket on behalf of the shearing committee in recognition of his achievements and support of the show.
This year’s Royal Welsh Show also staged the first ever six-nations invitational woolhandling team championships. Bronwen Tango from Usk and Gwenan Paewai from Devon did a fantastic job coming second place for Wales, just missing out to Scotland who took the title.
On the Monday of the show Welsh team members Elfed Jackson from Bethesda and Gareth Owen from Beddgelert won a three-way test match in commercial blade shearing against Scotland and England.
Amongst all the competitions the Louise Owen Memorial Scholarship was presented to Edward Davies from Llanwddyn, Powys and Bryan Williams from Ruthin was presented with Honorary Life Membership of the Golden Shears World Council. Tom Evans, who has been commentating on the shearing at the show for over 30 years was awarded the ‘Points of Light’ award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community, by the Prime Minister David Cameron when he visited the Meirion Shearing Centre during his trip to the show on Thursday 23 July.
Assistant Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Aled Jones joined the crowds to cheer on the Welsh team during the show: “Once again, the Meirion Shearing Centre was a hotbed of activity and continues to be a major draw to visitors at the Show.
“The atmosphere was electric during the major finals and the singing of the national anthems before the test matches raised the roof! All Welsh team members did their country proud as the profile of Welsh shearing continues to grow.”
Continuing the winning theme, the Welsh team of Richard Jones and Gareth Daniel moved on to Corwen Shears 2015 where on Saturday 25 July they won the final test match in the series against New Zealand bringing the official tour to a 2-2 draw.
Gareth Daniel also took first place in the Welsh Championship and Open final with Elfed Jackson winning the Open Blade competition. Elfed, along with teammate Gareth Owen also won the Blade Test.
The team then travelled to Saissac in France where Ian Jones and Rhydian Evans from Talybont, Ceredigion, who was competing in his very first test match for Wales, beat a very strong French team to convincingly win the series 4-0. Ian Jones then went on to win the French Open Championship title.
The Welsh Shearing and Woolhandling Team is sponsored by Mid Wales Egg Packing, an up and coming free range egg production company supplying feed, pullets and support.