World shearing champs set for Christchurch in 2017
The 2017 World shearing and woolhandling championships will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand, says Golden Shears World Council chairman Greg Herrick.
The bid by Shearing Sports New Zealand was one of two considered yesterday at a Golden Shears World Council meeting on the eve of this year’s championships in Gorey, south of Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland.
Scheduled for late January 2017, it will be the fifth time the championships have been held in New Zealand, and the first in the South Island, and will.mark the 40th anniversary of the first championships held in England in 1977.
Masterton, where the Golden Shears International Championships have been an annual event since the movement was founded in the Wairarapa town in 1961, was the only previous New Zealand venue for the World titles, in 1980, 1988, 1996 and 2012.
Mr Herrick, who is from Wairarapa, said there had been sympathy at the Council meeting for the only other bid, from Northern Ireland, but there was also a “mood” for alternating the championships between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
He accepted the Northern Ireland contingent would be disappointed, but believed they could become bidders for the following World Championships to be held in 2020 or 2021.
The successful bid for 2017 was launched after it was learnt a bid from Australia was not being pursued.
SSNZ chairman Gavin Rowland said current hopes are to use midweek dates, to avoid direct clashes with established late-January weekend "shows" on the organisation’s annual calendar of more than 60 events.
Christchurch currently stages the New Zealand Corriedale Shearing and Woolhandling Championship at the Canterbury Show each November, but the World Championships are expected to be a stand-alone event, hopefully in a significant stadium.