It was a nail biting finish at the Zoetis/RUAS National Sheep Shearing championships at Balmoral Show, as the shearers fought furiously for the coveted prize of leading the Northern Ireland team at the World Shearing Championships in New Zealand.
Encouraged by the capacity crowd at the final, with standing room only, Jack Robinson from Claudy and Ian Montgomery from Ballymena went head to head on timing with Ian shearing his 15 sheep in 14.12 minutes and Jack completing the task in 14.22 minutes.
However it was Jack Robinson who made it a hat-trick by repeating his last two year’s performances carrying off the top prize. When the judges added their points for wool quality, shearing technique and the safety of the sheep themselves to ensure that they had not been damaged, Jack took the lead place.
Jack has been competing in shearing competitions since he was 17 years old and has spent a number of three months’ spells in New Zealand shearing commercially and entering competitions. 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.
Jack will also captain the Northern Ireland team at the Six Nations Shearing Championships at the Royal Bath & West Show in Somerset on 3rd June. The team will include second placed Ian Montgomery and third placed Robert Davidson from Larne.
Fourth place at the Zoetis/RUAS National Shearing Championships was taken by Tom Perry, Strabane with Paul Smyth, Ballymena in fifth place and young shearer, Stephen Morgan from Newry in sixth place.
Raymond Irvine, from the sponsors, Zoetis, who manufacture CYDECTIN® and STARTECT® Dual Active, 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 Dual Active pointing out that CYDECTIN 20mg/ml (2%) LA injection for Sheep is a potent worm and scab treatment, while STARTECT® is the only licenced product that can provide the benefits of a dual active wormer giving enhanced efficacy against worms resistant to other wormer groups.