Stakes high for shearing title

23 Feb, 2001 10:00 PM
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WA'S fastest shearers will go in as the under-dogs when WA attempts to wrest the Heiniger 100 shearing record from NSW at Woolorama in March.

The task will be anything but easy amid allegations of rule-bending leveled at the NSW shearers who shaved a massive 1 minute and 35 seconds off the latest WA record time set at Woolorama 2000.

It was the first time another state had made an assault on the record which WA had held for four years after beating the inaugural SA time.

To add further insult WA's five-man team made up of the fastest and cleanest shearers from the individual events probably will have trouble beating last year's 16min 10.3sec.

Speed shearing co-ordinator David Iles is doubtful the WA team will be able to achieve it: "just when we were hoping for some real flyers the season is bad and all the sheep are really poor."

Speed shearing has become one of Woolorama's most rousing spectacles with entries last year increasing to 97 in the individual events for intermediate, open and master shearers. The line of Corriedale lambs that are specially selected for the competition ensure the action is swift.

The addition of an interstate challenge and a trans-Tasman relay makes for fierce rivallary and the sponsorship of $10,500 from Heiniger in cash, plus products, makes the show the richest speed shearing event in Australia.

The speed shearing will start after lunch on Friday with the individual events followed by the state challenge with shearers from NSW, SA and Victoria already indicating their intention to compete.

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