Lesson from the Best for Young Shearers
Young sheep handlers who help with the shearing classes at the Great Yorkshire Show will have a unique opportunity to learn from a world champion at this year’s event.
Matt Smith took the World Nine Hour shearing record in 2016 and will be at the Show on the final day, Friday 15 July, to share his expertise with the young shearers, focussing on sheep welfare.
Matt, a New Zealander now living in Cornwall, broke the record in 2016, shearing 731 Romney ewes in nine hours, finishing each ewe in an average of 44 seconds. Matt still holds the record and has also helped Stuart Connor break the world nine-hour lamb record on his and his wife’s farm in Cornwall, which now stands at 872 Romney lambs.
He will be working with the young shearers on a one-to-one basis, while providing a commentary for the crowds.
Matt and his wife Pip run 1,000 Romney breeding ewes on the northern edge of Bodmin Moor, as well as the highly successful West Country Premium Venison. With the effects of Covid and its restrictions making it difficult to teach shearing in a normal manner, Matt set up Matt Smith Training which now offers courses while shearers work.
He said: “I will be sharing the latest methods not only for speed and efficiency but also to maximise sheep welfare during the process. Welfare is important and I will be showing them how they can be quicker without compromising that.”
This year’s Show will feature 12 shearing classes, including international competitions and Young Farmers Clubs’ competitions all under the watchful eyes of 17 judges from as far afield as Co Antrim, Wales and Scotland. There are also qualifying competitions for the British Isles Shearer of the Year.
Domestic sheep breeds do not shed their fleeces naturally so need to be shorn annually to prevent disease and overheating.
The Great Yorkshire Show has become a four-day event after a raft of changes were implemented at the 2021 show due to Covid 19 regulations.
Tickets are on sale now for the show which will run from Tuesday 12 July to Friday 15 July, 2022.
Tickets must be purchased in advance, there will be no ticket sales on the gates, and they will be day specific to manage numbers attending. The opening times are 8am to 6pm on all four days. To see what is happening on which day, go to: https://greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/whats-on/
Tickets are on sale now at: https://greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/ticket-information/
- The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event, organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity supporting rural Yorkshire.
- YAS supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, business, education and scientific research.
- The Society is supported by its family of businesses including Fodder, Yorkshire Event Centre, Pavilions of Harrogate and the Harrogate Caravan Park as well as events Great Yorkshire Show and Springtime Live.
- Businesses and events held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in 2019 contributed £73.7 million to the economy.
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Sara Lamper Press officer
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