Best set for boards battle

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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The best shearers from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia will battle it out on the boards at this year’s IGA Perth Royal Show.

The all new tri-nation competition is set to become a reality for co-ordinator Don Boyle, who said it was his hope that the event would lift the game and set a higher standard of workmanship, especially where it all counted — in the shearing sheds.

“I am sure there will be at least one WA shearer on the Australian team, ” Mr Boyle said.

Competing in Perth for a spot on the two-man Australian team will be three shearers from each State.

“That in its own right will be thrilling to watch as they go head to head, ” Mr Boyle said

He said the three WA shearers still needed to qualify for a shot at the Australian team which will be decided at the State championships in September.

Mr Boyle said there would also be a blade open event between the three countries.

Also taking place at the Show will be the Sports Shear Australia Association Tran Tasman shearing and woolhandling competitions.

The event will include the best Australians and New Zealanders competing for full bragging rights.

“It will be a challenge to find accommodation for some 150 shearers and 50 woolhandlers, but it’s so well worth it, ” Mr Boyle said.

The Cranbrook farmer and long-time sheep shearer, who is a long-standing committee member of The Royal Agricultural Society’s shearing committee, said taking wool off the sheep’s back was one of the oldest competitions in Australia and one of the most prestigious in the industry.

“This is the biggest competition the RAS has ever had and the first time the South Africans have taken up the challenge, ” he said.

Also walking the boards at the Show will be the fashion parade models who will bring the glamour of wool to more than 400,000 visitors.

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