Greatest little town to host quick shear comp

Speed: Paerata Abraham won first place in the Open Shear category of the 2016 Mulga Bill Quick Shear at Yeoval. Photo: Supplied

Speed: Paerata Abraham won first place in the Open Shear category of the 2016 Mulga Bill Quick Shear at Yeoval. Photo: Supplied

A record $10,000 prize pool will be up for grabs at Yeoval’s annual Mulga Bill Quick Shear competition.

The quick shear competition is now in it’s 10th year and will be held on Saturday, July 29.

It will see a record number of shearers from Australia and New Zealand converge on the small rural town, where they will compete in four major categories.

The competition will kick off at 12pm at Yeoval’s Royal Hotel which will be transformed into a mock shearing shed complete with stage and sheep pens.

The event coincides with the town’s ‘Back to Yeoval’ weekend, which is held from July 28 to 30.

Kicking off at 12 noon, Yeoval’s Royal Hotel will be transformed into a mock shearing shed, complete with a competition stage and sheep pens.

Gold sponsor Les Ryan, Gillmore Poll Dorset Stud, Yeoval, said the Mulga Bill Quick Shear began as a small community event a decade ago.

He said it had grown every year since to become a regular fixture on the competition shearing calendar.

“It’s an event where the people who remove the wool, celebrate with those who produce the wool,” Mr Ryan said.

“It also allows novice through to experienced shearers to showcase their skills.

Mr Ryan said Yeoval has been strongly connected with the wool and sheep industry since the town’s inception, and without shearers there wouldn’t be an industry.

“This event is an important opportunity to celebrate the district’s agricultural roots, and to promote shearing,” he said.

A shearer for some 20 years during the 1960s and 1980s, Mr Ryan is the only shearer to compete every consecutive year at the Yeoval Mulga Bill Quick Shear event.

“There is a huge emphasis on quality, with three judges on every sheep...so the competition is not just about speed,’’ he said.

Mr Ryan said there could be more to shearing than just working in the sheds.

“We like to encourage novice shearers to enter the competition. Shearing can also be a sport in which you have the opportunity to represent your country,” he said.

Highlights of the 10th Anniversary Mulga Bill Quick Shear include the coveted Open Shear Award (offering a $2000 first prize), an Intertown Competition between Yeoval, Cumnock and Welling- ton.

Other competition categories include Seniors, Intermediate, Novice and the HM Lowe & Co encouragement award with a chrome-plated hand piece as first prize and an engraved ferrule for the second place-getter; a Mulga Jill jumper is also given to the most successful female competitor on the day.

Food, refreshments, children’s entertainment and wool spinning demonstrations.

There will be plenty to see and do throughout the afternoon.

Spectators can also purchase souvenirs like the 10th Anniversary Shearer’s Singlets. MC for the event is local radio personality Wes Taylor who will entertain the crowds with Australian folk songs such as “Click go the shears’’ throughout the afternoon.