A new shearing and woolhandling competition season is underway and organisers hope they have seen the back of the worst of the Covid-19 crisis which led to the cancellation of several events on the calendar.
The season has competitions at 51 venues throughout the country from this week's Waimate Shears, to the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti on April 8-10.
Hit mainly by the cancellation of A and P shows - as organisers tried to plan around the changing Covid levels and uncertainty about sponsorship - eight of those held last season were cancelled.
In addition the cancellation of the New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly the Canterbury Show) led to a decision to hold the two-day Canterbury Shears' New Zealand Corriedale Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in a woolshed near Hanmer Springs.
But Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan was confident all of the competitions would be back on the programme again in the 2021-2022 season.
Among those expected to bounce back are the nine shows which had to be cancelled as the Covid levels stepped up to the lockdown in March and April.
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview Sir David Fagan about the shearing season on The Country below:
The competitions still expected to be held included 32 at A and P Shows, and major stand-alone events such as the Golden Shears in Masterton and the New Zealand Shears in the North Island, and South Island events the Waimate, Otago Shears in Balclutha and Southern Shears in Gore.
Machine shearing will feature at all of the competitions, except the Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championships just before the Golden Shears in March.
Woolhandling is on the programme at 19 of the competitions, and blade shearing is included at six shows, all in the South Island.
While there was no printed competition directory this season, there was a Shearing Sports New Zealand app which would be updated as information became available.
The Shearing Sports New Zealand Calendar for the 2020-2021 season is:
• October 9-10 (Fri-Sat): Waimate Shears NZ Spring Championships (National Circuit, Rds 1 and 2), at Waimate
• October 17 (Sat): Poverty Bay A and P Show, at Gisborne.
• October 23 (Fri): Great Raihania Shears Hawke's Bay, at Hastings.
• November 5-6 (Thurs-Fri): Canterbury Shears (National Circuit, Rd 3), at Marble Point, Hanmer Springs.
• November 7 (Sat): Pleasant Point.
• November 14 (Sat): Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show, at Waipukurau.
• November 21 (Sat): Nelson A and P Show, at Richmond; West Otago A and P Show, at Tapanui.
• November 28 (Sat): Taranaki Shears Stratford A and P Show, at Stratford.
• January 9 (Sat): Duvauchelle A and P Show, at Duvauchelle.
• January 15 (Fri): Northern Southland Community Shears, at Selby's woolshed, Lumsden.
• January 16 (Sat): Kaikohe A, P, and I Show, at Kaikohe; Wairoa A and P Show, at Wairoa; Golden Bay A and P Show, at Takaka; Southland Shears, at Winton A and P Show.
• January 23 (Sat): Tapawera Sports, at Tapawera.
• January 24 (Sun): Horowhenua A, P and I Show, at Levin.
• January 30 (Sat): Taihape A and P Show, at Taihape.
• January 31 (Sun): Rotorua A and P Show, at Ngongotaha.
• February 5 (Fri): Dannevirke A and P Show, at Dannevirke.
• February 6 (Sat): North Kaipara A and P Show, at Paparoa; Aria Waitangi Day Sports, at Aria; Reefton Shears, at Reefton.
• February 7 (Sun): Rangitikei Shearing Sports (National Circuit, Rd 4), at Marton
• February 13 (Sat): Northern Wairoa A and P Show, at Arapohue; Otago Shears, at Balclutha
• February 19-20 (Fri-Sat): Southern Shears, at Gore.
• February 20 (Sat): North Hokianga A and P Show, at Broadwood; Ohura Sports, at Ohura; Murchison A and P Show, at Murchison.
• February 21 (Sun): Counties Shears, at Pukekohe.
• February 26 (Fri): Taumarunui Shears
• February 27 (Sat): Apiti Sports Shears, at Apiti; Kaikoura A and P Show, at Kaikoura.
• February 28 (Sun): Pahiatua Shears (National Circuit, Rd 5), at Mangaone Valley Rd.
• March 3 (Wed): Pre-Shears Woolhandling, at Mikimiki.
• March 4-6 (Thur-Sat): 61st Golden Shears International Championships, at Masterton.
• March 6 (Sat): Amuri A and P Show, at Rotherham.
• March 13 (Sat): Kumeu A and H Show, at Kumeu; Cheviot A and P Show, at Cheviot; Mayfield A and P Show, at Mayfield.
• March 20 (Sat): Warkworth A and P Show, at Warkworth; Waimarino Sports, at Raetihi; Methven Lamb Shears, at Methven.
• March 21 (Sun): Sefton Shears, at Sefton
• March 27 (Sat): Waitomo Caves Sports, at Waitomo.
• March 28 (Sun): Flaxbourne A and P Show, at Ward.
• April 2-3 (Fri-Sat): Royal Easter Show, at Auckland.
• April 3 (Sat): Oxford A and P Show, at Oxford.
• April 5 (Mon): MacKenzie Shears, at Fairlie.
• April 8-10 (Thu-Sat): New Zealand Shears, at Te Kuiti.