Forbes bid to host shearing titles

Forbes Show may well become the national headquarters of sport shearing, if a small sub-committee of local enthusiasts achieve their goal.
Nanjing Night Net

With the generous support of several local businesses and the sponsorship of AWI (Australian Wool Innovation), the sub-committee of the Forbes PA and H Association has been quietly toiling away at the showground’s Ben Hall Shears complex for several months.

The aim is to win the rights to host Sports Shear Australia’s national titles next year.

In preparation for the title bid, the shearing competition at next month’s Forbes Show (September 6-8) will double as the sport shearing association’s NSW titles, where the state shearing and wool handling team for 2013 will be selected.

The Ben Hall Shears Committee is led by chairman and former PA and H Association president Norm Haley, with assistance from vice-chairman Rowan Woods, managing director of Forbes-based woolbroker, Jemalong Wool.

Mr Woods said the committee hope to establish Ben Hall Shears as one of Australia’s best permanent sport shearing venues and further enhance Forbes Show’s reputation.

“This year we expect to attract around 60 shearers and 30 wool handlers [to the shearing at Forbes Show],” Mr Woods said.

“The shearing board has been extended from four stands to six, and with some other minor improvements to the venue, the Ben Hall Shears committee is excited about another successful event,” he said.

With Mr Haley, Mr Woods and well-known wool industry identity Stan Kingham leading the committee, last year’s Forbes Show shearing was reinvigorated.

The 2011 event attracted 32 shearers and 20 wool handlers, leading the committee to consider a bid for national titles.

Mr Woods said many other sport shearing venues have struggled for various reasons, and Forbes is well placed to host the event.

A delegation will travel to Warrnambool in Victoria in October for this year’s national titles, when the 2013 venue will be selected.

If Forbes is successful, it is hoped that the titles would regularly return to Ben Hall Shears, every two to three years, and would be held in conjunction with Forbes Show.

“We are really trying to make this a feature of the Forbes Show,” Mr Woods said.

“We have modified the shed, turning it into a six stand shed which is necessary for the sport shear titles, and we will have food served, a bar, some of the best shearers in Australia and the best wool classers in Australia.

“We are also holding a blade shearing round for interest, so for anyone that hasn’t seen sheep shorn with a blade, that will be a sight to see. I’ve only ever seen blade shearing done a couple of times and I’ve been in the industry for 30 years or more,” he said.

Mr Haley and Mr Woods said everyone on the committee had given countless hours of their time to prepare for the shearing show and the title bid, with a special mention to engineer Richard Nixon, who volunteered his expertise to improve the flooring and holding pens.

Noel Parsons, Nigel Kingham and Brad Pavey get Forbes Showground’s Ben Hall Shears in shape for next month’s show.

Bob Duffy and Brad Pavey have both donated materials and Forbes businesses Coles Hardware and Haley’s Steel have provided materials at cost price and on extended terms.

Local feedlot operator Chris Sweeney has offered to provide up to 800 Merino sheep for the shearing contest.

Stan Kingham, a shearing instructor with the Australian Wool Commission for 20 years, said Forbes Show had an opportunity to become one of the country’s top sport shearing destinations.

“This year we are making a real push,” Mr Kingham said. “I’m confident that when people have a look at what we’ve got, they will say ‘we are confident you can run the national titles’,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Posted by at 05/06/2018
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