Sheep shearing championships prove popular with crowds

Jack Robinson, Claudy was the winner of the Zoetis/ RUAS National Sheep Shearing Championship at Balmoral. Raymond Irvine, right, Zoetis and Ken Ayres, Worshipful Company of Woolmen are pictured congratulating the champion. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Jack Robinson, Claudy was the winner of the Zoetis/ RUAS National Sheep Shearing Championship at Balmoral. Raymond Irvine, right, Zoetis and Ken Ayres, Worshipful Company of Woolmen are pictured congratulating the champion. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

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Shearing expertise completed in record times certainly attracted enthusiasm and excitement from the packed audience at the Zoetis/RUAS National Sheep Shearing championships at Balmoral Show.

The cheering and applause from the capacity crowd reached fever pitch as the six finalists went head to head for time points as they sheared the last few sheep allocated to them.

However it was Jack Robinson, from Claudy, who repeated last year’s performance by carrying off the trophy, not only for a record time of 11 minutes 37 seconds but also for the wool quality, his shearing technique and the safety of the sheep themselves to ensure that they had not been damaged. When all of these factors were taken into account Jack was still in the lead.

Jack has been competing in shearing competitions since he was 17 years old and has spent four different three month spells in New Zealand shearing commercially and entering competitions. Currently he spends six months of the year shearing in Europe including Finland, Latvia and Estonia. The other six months are spent farming at the home farm in Claudy.

In second place was Ian Montgomery, Ballymena, while third place was taken by Paul Smyth. These two competitors along with Jack Robinson will be the team to represent Northern Ireland at the Six Nations Championships in Donegal at the end of May.

In fourth place at the RUAS event was James McAuley, Ballynure while Thomas Perry and Graeme Davidson, Larne, took 5th and 6th respectively.

Another important aspect of any sheep shearing competition is the wool handling and the Wool Handlers Trophy was presented to Jayne Harkness Bownes.

Raymond Irvine, from the sponsors, Zoetis, who manufacture Cydectin and STARTECT, congratulated all of the shearers in the final and presented them with their awards. He said that the company was delighted to be associated with the skills and enthusiasm portrayed in the competition and its popularity with the general public.

Raymond also referred to the success of Cydectin and STARTECT pointing out that Cydectin is a potent worm and scab treatment, while STARTECT is the only product that can provide the benefits of a dual active wormer giving enhanced efficacy against worms resistant to other wormer groups.

For further information on Cydectin or STARTECT, Raymond Irvine can be contacted on 079 7747 4286.