Welsh shearers head to New Zealand for the World Championships

24 January 2017

Wales’ top shearers have made their way to New Zealand ahead of next month’s World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships.

In the lead up to the championships being held at the ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill, the Welsh team, along with competitors from the other 32 competing countries, will be getting in some final shearing practice on farms and by competing at local competitions to gain as much experience on the sheep as possible.

Whilst over on the other side of the world, Team Manager, Martyn David from the Vale of Glamorgan, will be keeping a close eye on and giving plenty of encouragement and support to the six members of the Welsh team as they prepare for the championships.

Starting on the 8 February with the All Nations competitions, the championships really start heating up with the first round of the World Machine Shearing on Thursday 9 February, where Ian Jones from Builth Wells and Gwion Evans from Denbigh will be representing the Welsh team. The excitement will continue into the next day where Ian and Gwion will be competing in round two of their competition and Gareth Owen from Beddgelert and Elfed Jackson from Bethesda will be competing in round one of the World Blade Shearing championships and Robyn Charlton from Presteigne and Ffion Jones from Corwen will be taking part in the first round of the World Woolhandling championships.

The championships continue on Friday 10 February with the finals of the All Nations competitions, with the last rounds and semi-finals of the World Championships being held during the day on Saturday 11 February. The grand finale of the championships will be on Saturday evening with both the team and individual world championship finals being held for all three disciplines.  

Ian Jones
Gwion Evans
Elfed Jackson
Gareth Owen
Robyn Charlton
Ffion Jones

“We couldn’t be prouder of our Welsh Team as they head over to New Zealand for a tough couple of weeks training and competing.” says Aled Jones, Assistant Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. “Their hard work and dedication has been incredible throughout the 2016/17 season, with all six of them very much deserving their place on the Welsh Team. We very much hope they enjoy their time in New Zealand and wish them the very best of luck when competing for the coveted world champion titles.”

“We must also thank all the team’s loyal supporters who have helped them realise their chance to compete in the world championships.” added Aled. “All shearing and woolhandling competitions are organised via a huge network of willing volunteers and supporters, all of whom have helped maintain the high standard of competitors able to make up the Welsh Team over the years. A special thanks must go to the team’s main sponsors; Mid-Wales Egg Packing, Lister and KiwiKit, and all the other organisations and individuals who have made donations towards the cost of the teams trip to New Zealand.”

For more information on the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships and the progress of the Welsh Team, please visit: www.worldshearingchamps.com