Keep Labour Weekend Sunday free for a day of exotic sheep shearing, displays of wool crafts, an ancient fossil recently discovered, some unique critters and spectacular food.

Brian Hales from Wimbledon is inviting people to visit his farm to view 14 different types of sheep, including the most ancient breeds — Arapawa, Pitt Island German Marsh, Lincoln, Black Romney, Karakul, Jacob, Stewart Island Mohaka and Herbert.

Expert opinion will be given as each breed is shorn.

Sheep shearing

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The Gotland sheep will be the feature shearing and will be shorn at noon.

During this time in the woolshed, the Scandinavian Choir from Norsewood will sing traditional songs which will include a song specially written for the occasion.

For spinners and weavers, wool will be available on the day.

Visitors may select from the stocks in the woolstore. Exhibitors have first pick of this year's crop. All wool is free.

Meat tasting

To ensure that you get the opportunity to experience the taste of the exotic breeds and to promote the industry, Brian is providing:

• One giant Meatmaster sheep cooked on a spit roaster,
• Four hangi cooking individual NZ feral sheep breeds, garnished with Angora Valley watercress.
• Five barbecues cooking sample pieces of the various exotic breeds.
• Six cafes cooking exotics using their traditional homeland recipes.
• Strange critters and historical information.

Brian has organised a display of all things special to this farm, many of which featured on television's Country Calendar a year ago.

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These include a rare fossil, peripatus, fresh water fish and geckoes.

Brian has recently recovered an ammonite fossil in a five tonne rock.

The recovery was quite a mission but he says it was worth it.

Dating back 65 million years the fossil tells an interesting story.

Hugh Morgans, a senior scientist at GNS, will tell this story on the day.

Rare Breeds Conservation Society

Brian says he has invited members of the Lower North Island branch of the Rare Breeds Conservation Society to bring their animals along.

"There will be animals here I have never seen before and I am so much looking forward to this."

 A goat tries to steal the limelight from a flock of Karkul sheep which are the oldest breed known to man.
A goat tries to steal the limelight from a flock of Karkul sheep which are the oldest breed known to man.

Wool creations

There will be a variety of exhibits of wool creations.

Some exhibitors will have items for sale but take cash — there is no eftpos.

This year there will be walking models to exhibit the wool creations throughout the venues to enable better exposure and to give people committed to other venues the opportunity to see the quality of work.

Brian has donated a trophy for Outstanding Use of Non-commercial fibre to the Manawatu Branch of Creative Fibre Association of NZ.

Designed and created by Cherry Peeti-Tapurau from Tiki 2 Gallery in Dannevirke, the trophy — known as 'Jacob' — incorporates18 different wools from the breeds on Brian's farm.

Which are cuter mums or their offspring?
Which are cuter mums or their offspring?

"I am very proud of this trophy and it will be on display here at my shearing day until such time as I gift it to the members of the Creative Fibre Association," Brian said.

If you would like to exhibit or want more information contact Brian Hales, Wimbledon, RD 10, Dannevirke — Route 52 Herbertville.

Phone 06 3743584 or email: brianhaleswimbledon@gmail.com