Planning is well under way for an exotic sheep shearing day to be held on the Sunday of Labour weekend, October 27.

This annual event is hosted by Brian Hales on his exotic sheep farm at Wimbledon.

Hales says the season has been favourable to grow a good clip of wool and the sheep to be shorn have been selected.

He said the shearing date has been moved closer to summer to benefit the wool being produced.

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Wool from the exotic flock will be available.

But the event is more than just a sheep shearing day. Stalls will be available for people wishing to exhibit or sell their creations. Those wishing to do so can contact Hales.

A new feature at this year's event is an exhibition of creations by modelling them throughout the complex.

"Models will walk about exhibiting a creation. This will give people a greater opportunity to see some of the wonderful work that is created."

Young shearer, Lance Morrel, shearing one of the Stewart Island sheep, a pre-industrial breed at last year's exotic sheep shearing and open day at Brian Hales' Wimbledon farm.
Young shearer, Lance Morrel, shearing one of the Stewart Island sheep, a pre-industrial breed at last year's exotic sheep shearing and open day at Brian Hales' Wimbledon farm.

Hales invites those wanting to exhibit their work in this way to let him know closer to the day.

Guest exhibitor Annette Montgomery, a Creative Fibre tutor from Auckland, is intending to have several exhibits on mobile models.

Hales says a further feature will be samples of the exotic sheep meats available to taste while cafes will provide tastes of the different breeds cooked in their traditional ways.

"I have bred a four-tooth meatmaster wether, he is huge, and will spit roast him for people to try."

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Also planned for the day is an exhibit of all the special features unique to Hales' farm. This will include the peripatus, recent fresh water fish findings and rata trees. The display will also include the geology of the area, which has been the focus of much study recently.

"With luck, I will rescue a one ton rock which contains an ammonite fossil, a paper nautilis, dating back 600 million years," Hales said.

There will also pay tribute to the 70-mile bush which the farm was part of and will recognise the trees, and the pioneering lifestyle.

Organised trips to feed the long-finned eel colony and to the wetland will occur on the day.

Hales has around 300 exotic, rare or heritage sheep from 20 different breeds and a lambing season that is about to happen.

Hales says he is constantly improving his flock with sensible culling and purchasing.

"I have recently bought Gotlands from Rose Waterworth, Lincolns from Heather and Terry Nelley, Damara and Gotland rams from Gail Simons of Stoneyoaks and Stewart Island, Spanish Merino and Mohaka sheep from Helena Graaf. I'm proud to include these in my flock and will exhibit them at my exotic sheep shearing day."

Hales currently has a strong interest in Tukidale sheep.

"They were bred here in Hawke's Bay but are now thought to be extinct in New Zealand.

"There is still a small flock in Australia. I would be very happy to know if anyone has any knowledge of or the whereabouts of Tukidales."

Hales has accommodation available for the sheep shearing day. He has made a paddock available for the NZ Motorhomes Association for those with motorhomes, campervans, caravans or tents.