Geraldine blades shearer Allan Oldfield is set to emulate the achievement of his father in becoming a New Zealand World Championships team member, just days after helping mark 150 years since one of the first shearing competitions ever held.
Oldfield, and Fairlie farmer and shearer Tony Dobbs, lead a selection series and are in the plum seats going into the final round in the national Corriedale Championships tomorrow and Friday at the New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly the Canterbury A and P Show).
Oldfield's father, Phil, was third in the 2017 world bladeshearing final in which Dobbs was runner-up in Invercargill.
Last Saturday, Oldfield and Dobbs travelled north to take part in a rare North Island blades shearing event, held at the Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show.
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That event marked a century-and-a-half since a blades shearing competition was held at Waipukurau on January 21, 1868, which predates the first Canterbury show blades event by five years, and the CHB Show by almost 50 years.
The first machine shearing competition in New Zealand was held in 1902, at the Hawke's Bay A and P Show in Hastings.
The pair, among about 30 still bladeshearing in New Zealand, commercial bladeshearing almost exclusive to Canterbury with about 300,000 shorn each year, never hesitated to make the trip in the late planning of the event, with North Island shearers Russell Knight, of Apiti, and Neil Weggery, of Dannevirke.
Knight has done little more blades shearing than being taught by Dobbs, while Weggery has shorn with the blades abroad, including in a competition he himself sponsored in Scotland, and they took part in the first bladeshearing match in the North Island since the 2012 World Championships in Masterton.
The shearers were paired one from each island in each team, the southerners each shearing three and the northerners one.
Weggery surprised even himself by being first to finish.
The corriedale championships in Christchurch tomorrow and Friday include blades and machine shearing, and woolhandling.