French group in bid to welcome world’s top shearers [fr]
World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships will take place from February 8-11 in Invercargill. Among the countries represented, France’s team hopes to do itself proud and will present its bid to host the next world championships in 2019.
From February 8-11 2017, top shearers from 30 national teams including France will compete in Invercargill in the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships. Shearing is at times a spectator sport in New Zealand, where various shearing competitions are held in summer.
Ambassador Florence Jeanblanc-Risler will attend the championship and welcome a delegation from association française pour le Mondial de Tonte de moutons (French Association for the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships).
In order to better prepare for this competition, some French shearers are already in New Zealand to get themselves used to local conditions and see how they measure up against top local shearers. Over four days, the participants will compete in three categories:
- Machine shearing
- Blade shearing
Competitors are judged on their speed as well as the quality of their shearing.
In a letter, French Minister of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry Stéphane Le Foll, confirmed his full support for the delegation’s initiative.
"Your determination and professionalism are a reflection of the quality of our sheep breeding industry.
"I give my full support to the French candidature that you will present in 2017 in New Zealand", Mr. Le Foll wrote in the letter to association president Christopher Riffaud. Mr. Riffaud is himself a professional and competitive shearer.
Some shearers see the French candidacy as the next step in the development of shearing on the international stage.