The success began at the Royal Bath and West Show on 28 and 29 May in the first ever Six-Nations Blade Shearing Championship where Elfed Jackson from Bethesda and Gareth Owen from Beddgelert had a triumphant win with fellow teammates Richard Jones from Corwen and Gareth Daniel from Machynlleth also winning their first machine test match against England.
Gareth Daniel and Richard Jones also came second and third respectively in the Lister Golden Shears Open Championship.
Richard Jones earlier in the week had won a very competitive open final at the Northumberland County Show.
Next came the All Ireland and International Sheep Shearing and Woolhandling Championships held at An Grianan Estate in Burt, Co Donegal back on 30 & 31 May.
Gareth Owen won the very strong Open Blade Shearing Competition, just beating his close friend Elfed Jackson into second place – a great achievement in Ireland where the blade competitions are always very strong. Together the pair competed in a Blade Shearing Test match against Ireland and won.
Machine shearer, Richard Jones, the winner of the 2014 Lister Shearing Personality of the Year award, also won the International Open Shearing Competition with an awesome shear to hold off Ireland’s Ivan Scott into second place. Gareth Daniel came a very respectable fourth.
The success continued with Gwenan Paewai, formerly from Corwen and Bronwen Tango from Usk winning the woolhandling test match against Ireland.
The biggest achievement came on the Sunday with the Welsh team of Ian Jones from Builth Wells, Richard Jones and Gareth Daniel retaining the Six-Nations title for the fourth year in what was one of the strongest Six-Nations Championships for many years. Wales won the event when it was first held in 1963, and has now won 14 times.
Welsh competitors also dominated the shearing competitions at the Royal Three Counties (12-14 June) earlier this month with wins in the three of the four machine classes with Aled Jones from Builth Wells winning both the Junior and Intermediate classes and Richard Jones winning the Open competition, just in front of Welsh teammate Ian Jones.
Robyn Charlton from Presteigne narrowly missed out on first place to world champion Hilary Bond in the Open Woolhandling Competition.
Meanwhile, up at the Royal Highland Show last weekend (Sunday 21 June), Gareth Owen took first place and Elfed Jackson second in the blade shearing competition.
Mr Bill Jones, the Welsh Shearing Team Manager is very proud of the team’s recent performances. “I would like to congratulate the Welsh Shearing and Woolhandling Team and all Welsh competitors who are currently doing so well in the international competitions.
“I would also like to thank our new sponsor, Mid Wales Egg Packing, while we now look forward to the up-coming competitions this summer, especially those being held during the Royal Welsh Show on 20-23 July, including the first Six-Nations Woolhandling Championship. Let’s hope we continue to see our shearers winning competitions on their home turf.”
Mid Wales Egg Packing is an up and coming free range egg production company supplying feed, pullets and support. Managing Director, Roger Lewis said: “We are delighted to be the first dedicated Welsh Shearing and Woolhandling Team sponsor and look forward to cheering all our competitors on in the many test matches happening throughout the season.”