There are three core events in the Golden Shears as well as several specialty and novelty events.

 Sheree Alabaster NIWC woolhandling final


Shearing has progressed from being a physically demanding and arduous farm task to being recognised as an elite sporting pursuit with an outcome that contributes to the economic well-being of New Zealand.

Using the NZ developed Bowen technique, a true tradesman/sportsman will efficiently remove the fleece from the sheep without double cutting the wool fibre or causing injury to the animal or self, all at speed. Judges closely watch, monitor and assess these key aspects.

The Bowen technique is globally widely used, although there are some parts of the world that still uses other less efficient methods.

Shearing is something that seems to ‘get into the blood’ and as a result the competitive scene can cater for the spectrum from Novice, Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Open grades. Add to that Young Farmer teams & individual events  and International Tests means there is something for everyone to enjoy.

There is something truly magical and inspiring watching the strength, grace, power and precision of an open shearing final.


Wool handling

For the past 25 years wool handling competitions have become an integral part of shearing events throughout the country. In fact one could say wool handling is the biggest growth industry on the New Zealand shearing circuit.

With four grades in the Wool handling Championships – Novice, Junior, Senior and Open. Record entries are likely to be received again for these highly skilled competitions.

Because there are so many different methods and systems of wool handling practised world-wide, due to different kinds of sheep and degrees of processing for wool fleeces, no uniform standard could be expected from competitors especially in the Northern Hemisphere.

The New Zealand, Australian and to some lesser extent British and South African standards and methods are now becoming used more commonly, due partly to New Zealand wool handlers travelling the globe, and intense marketing programmes by most of our New Zealand Wool Exporters.

The wool handling competitions are of great importance in the presentation and marketing of wool world-wide and the style and grace of these supreme athletes creates a colourful and exciting contest.

 C Abraham

Wool pressing

If one wants to see “muscles in motion” then the Wool pressing Championships deliver this, and more!

It ‘s common knowledge that one of the most demanding physical activities in the wool shed operation is that of the pressers. The job demands not only having to pen hundreds of animals, tramp and press a few thousand kilos of wool per day, but also fill and boil that kettle so everyone can enjoy smoko!

The skill, strength and power of these individuals can only be admired. Golden Shears recognised and appreciated the task of the Wool pressers as a vital part of the wool industry and incorporated a Pressing Championship into the program from 1986. 

The 2000 Championships saw a Women’s pressing competition included which proved an outstanding success, and we now have an extension to the Wool pressing with both men’s and women’s singles pressing, plus a pairs competition.

The Wool pressing continues to be an extremely popular event with both audience and participants alike, with entries growing year by year.