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The last shearing competition of the season held at the Kington Show

British wool

Visitors to Kington Show in Herefordshire (10/9/11) were treated to a fine display of sheep shearing by competitors from all over the United Kingdom.

Since they started in 2006, the shearing competitions at Kington Show have become increasingly popular, and are a testament to the numbers of talented young shearers in Britain today.

I think the standard of shearing is very good, said Rhydwyn Price, former Champion Shearer of Wales and one of the competitions four committee members.

Rhydwyn believes the quantity and quality of gifted young shearers in the country today is definitely due to shearing courses run by the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).

I dont think the UK shearers would be competing with the kiwis on the level that they are at the moment without the Wool Board courses, he says.  Welsh, English and Scottish teams all managed test wins against New Zealand this season, something that would be almost unheard of previously.  A United Kingdom team also beat New Zealand in a one-off test at the Royal Highland Show in June.

Kington Shows own international event was the Tri-Nations test, new this year, between Wales, England and Scotland.  It was won by the English team of Steven Lloyd and Kelly Atkinson.

Witty commentary added further entertainment value to the test and other fun events, including a veterans competition and a shearers versus axe-men test in which two shearers managed to shear their lambs faster than the two axe-men could chop through their logs.

Until last year, Kington Shows bar was situated next to the shearing; the shearing has now become so popular with the general public that this year show organisers moved the bar to another area to disperse the crowds more evenly over the show field.

When its this much fun and so popular with the public, its no wonder that the BWMB shearer training courses are overflowing with keen young recruits.

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