Harding by a whisker

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Luke Harding won the open shearing title at Wagin Woolorama.
Camera IconLuke Harding won the open shearing title at Wagin Woolorama. Credit: Bob Garnant

The battle on the boards at the Clean Shear open event at Wagin Woolorama was as close as they come.

Only a split point (0.15) separated winner Luke Harding from his nearest rival, Damien Boyle.

While Mr Boyle finished his open finale with the fastest time of 8min.26sec., with Mr Harding 31 seconds behind on 8:57. But judges’ scores on how clean they had shorn set a counterbalance for the latter competitor.

Mr Harding said it was his first open win at Woolorama following his recent win at Pingelly Shears.

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“My wife Jess won the open woolhandling, so we were quite pleased to take both titles home,” he said. “Winning is another exceptional reward for all the hard effort we put in to the industry.”

Mr Harding, who runs a shearing contractor business at Boyup Brook, said he was concerned there were fewer new entrants on the shearing boards.

“The challenge is to make the industry more attractive for young people to want to pick up a handpiece,” he said.

In the National Shear Off event at Woolorama, Mr Boyle turned the table on his nearest rivals by placing first to qualify for the November national competition with teammates Jeff Banks and Richard Sturis.

Accompanying the shearers at that event will be woolhandling competitors Aroha Garvin, who placed first in the National Wool event at Woolorama, and her teammates, Joe Garvin and Kelly Muir.

Australian Wool Innovation chairwoman Colette Garnsey was on hand at Woolorama to open the second day of proceedings.

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