Organisers of the 16th Golden Shears, the World Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships, which is taking place in Gorey, Wexford this May, is on the look out for more than 6,000 sheep. 

“We’re looking for sheep to be sheared during the competitions, from 22-25 May 2014,” a spokeswoman explained. “We need strong dry hoggets with full wool, also second shears. Sheep breeds required include Suffolk, Suffolk X, Texel, Texel X, Cheviot, Cheviot Suffolk X.”

According to the organisers, the benefits to the farmer for supplying sheep include: getting your sheep shorn for free, a bonus price for wool, sheep crutched on farm, a free product for the number of sheep given, free tickets to Bord Bia Gala World Dinner and a free event daily admission passes.

Already some 3,000 sheep have been secured. For more information please contact organiser George Graham directly on 087 2569072.

Gorey was the venue for the 1998 world sheep championships, and Ireland is one of eight countries to have staged the championships. More than 30,000 spectators are expected from across the world this May and a family-orientated festival of Good Food Ireland, crafts, fashion and entertainment will be running in tandem with the main shearing competitions.

The Golden Shears Fringe Festival, with a wealth of attractions showcasing all aspects of rural life, will also take place, along with the All Ireland and All Nations Sheep Championships as a prelude to the world event.

The event is to be officially launched by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney in Dublin next week.