2012 Bucking Horse Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling contests successful
The bleachers were packed in the Agri-Sports Complex during the 6th annual Bucking Horse Sale Sheep Shearing Contest held in Miles City, MT on May 20. Top-notch shearing talent from across the U.S., as well as shearers and wool handlers from New Zealand, attracted the standing-room only crowd.
In the sheep shearing contest shearers are evaluated on how well the wool is shorn from the sheep, the finished appearance of the sheep and the amount of time it takes to finish the job. Penalty points are earned for mistakes that decrease the value of the wool as well as for wool that is left on the sheep; points are earned at a rate of one point for every 30 seconds that it takes to complete the pen of sheep for the contest. Similar to golf, the object is to achieve the lowest score possible.
Shearers competed in three divisions: novice, for those just learning the business; intermediate, shearers have learned the pattern but are shearing at a rate of less than 15 head an hour; and professional shearers able to shear 100-plus sheep, day in and day out.
The Novice Division boasted four competitors. Chris Schuldt of Chinook, MT, won with an overall score of 44.57, and brought home Best Pen honors, sponsored by Gietzen Shearing, and fastest time in the novice division. Tyler Wilde of Idaho competed for his second time in the contest and placed second. Westin Hyllested of Idaho was third and the youngest competitor, Ben Roeder of Ft. Shaw Montana was fourth.
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In the Intermediate Division the competition was fierce with two heats of seven shearers in the preliminary rounds. During the finals, Intermediate shearers had four sheep to shear. In the end, time and quality allowed Ryan Keyes from Livingston, MT, to take first. In addition to prize money Keyes also sheared his way to the Best Pen award and received a Heiniger Icon hand piece donated by Heiniger USA courtesy of Rita Long. Terrance Pelle from South Dakota was second and Josh Jones of Idaho was third. Jake Yerger of Harlowton, MT, rounded out the finals and placed fourth. Levi McTaggert had the fastest time in the Intermediate Division.
Professional shearers from all over the U.S. look forward to the Bucking Horse Sale Contest since it features a 10-head final. They also like coming to Miles City for the hospitality during the Bucking Horse Sale and seeing friends at the end of the spring shearing run. This year there were 18 contestants in the Professional Division coming from as far away as Missouri and Iowa in the U.S.; four shearers competed from New Zealand and two from Canada.
When it was all said and done Mark Hoogendorn of Iowa sheared 10 sheep in 16 minutes, 32 seconds. That means he averaged a little over a minute-and-a-half per yearling ewe to make the minimum necessary 48 strokes with the clipper to remove the wool fleece! This was Hoogendorn’s second championship this year on the U.S. shearing circuit. Alex Moser of Iowa was second and Chase Cantrell of Buhl, ID, placed third edging out Hilary Gietzen from Minot, ND who placed fourth. Don Metheral of Ontario, Canada, won the Best Pen in the Professional Division sponsored by Chuck and Kelly Waterland, Waterland Shearing, Alzada, MT. The fastest time in the Professional Division went to Kiwi shearer Mitch Hawea who sheared in Idaho this spring.
This year’s Wool Handling Contest which had 10 contestants from the U.S. and New Zealand was a huge success. This is the only wool handling contest held in the U.S. The top-placing contestant was Amanda Cantrell of Buhl, ID. Cantrell has spent the past two years handling wool for Kopren Shearing and worked most of this wool harvesting season in Wyoming. Second place was taken by Chris Kubala of New Zealand; third place was last year’s champion Sally Hawea, also of New Zealand, and Leann Brimmer from Biddle, MT took fourth.
Plans are underway for the 2013 contest to be held in conjunction with the Bucking Horse Sale on Saturday, May 18, 2013.
– Bucking Horse Sale Sheep Shearing Contest release
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