Sheep shearers flock to tomorrow’s Tullamore Show

Tomorrow’s Tullamore Show will see the country’s top sheep shearers compete and demonstrate hand shearing and machine shearing skills in the various classes.

Competitors from all over Ireland and the UK are expected to attend, including captain of the Irish Shearing Team, Donegal-man Ivan Scott, 32, who has spent almost half his life shearing and travelling the globe. Ivan got his first world record shearing 736 sheep in 2008 and 744 in 2011. The training process is hard work and involves a full body workout. Ivan is in demand around the world for his shearing skills.

“There are about 10 countries in the world where I can go and basically get a job right away; right now I’m splitting my time between Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland,” he said.

Competitions have been continued on this year for young people, who wish to compete for the Junior Sheep Stockperson of the AIB National Livestock Show. Competitions classes include Confined sheep searing, Heats for Blade Shearing, Heats for Junior Machine classes, Open class Machine Shearing.

The sheep section of the Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock Show includes 73 pedigree and nine commercial classes, covering the Texel, Vendeen, Suffolk, Charollais, Rouge De L’Ouest, Galway, Beltex, Welsh Lleyn, Jacob, Belclare, Zwartbles, and Border Leicester breeds.

Always a popular and interesting area, activities in the Sheepdog Trails Arena include demonstrations by Eamon Egan, Teagasc Roscommon, on the skills involved in training a farm dog.

In the Sheep Dog Trials arena both the speed and the skill of the handler and the dog are tested. It is run in an enclosed arena, measured 60 x 120 yds. The handler must complete, without error, a prescribed course against the clock. This course consists of driving four sheep in a figure of eight around two barrels, twice through a Maltese Cross and into a small pen, without penalties, in the fastest time.

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