More than 500 shearers and woolhandlers are arriving in Masterton for the 52nd Golden Shears which include the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Masterton this week.

They start Wednesday and finish late on Saturday night, with almost 30 events to be decided, including the individual and teams titles in machine shearing, woolhandling and bladeshearing.

But a special place has still been reserved for the Golden Shears own glamour event, the Open shearing final, made famous by such starts six-times 1960s and 1970s legend Snow Quinn and 16-times champion David Fagan.

Following the World individual machine shearing and woolhandling finals on Saturday, the six-man, 20-sheep Open final will be the last event on the programme in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium, where the Shears have been held every year since the wool-industry showpiece was founded in 1961.

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While organisers have chosen mixtures of wool types to suit the international nature of the World championships, which have attracted a record southern hemisphere entry of 25 countries, New Zealanders will be favoured to win the machines shearing titles.