NSW shearers on the world stage

Australian shearers and wool handlers compete for the Golden Shear in France


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Shearing unfamiliar breeds a challenge.

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Daniel McIntyre came 16th out of 62 starters at the Golden Shears World Shearing & Wool Handling Competition in France.

Daniel McIntyre came 16th out of 62 starters at the Golden Shears World Shearing & Wool Handling Competition in France.

Australia's top shearers and wool handlers have taken on the best in the world at the Golden Shears World Shearing & Wool Handling Competition in France.

Daniel McIntyre of Glen Innes was one of the most successful, making it through to the semi-finals and placed 16th out of 62 starters. The result put him just behind fellow Aussie, Jason Wingfield, from Cobram, Victoria.

Mr McIntyre said he was happy with that outcome considering the challenge of competing with unfamiliar breeds of sheep, including Texel and Ile-de-France.

"I think gear selection was one of the biggest things I struggled with," Mr McIntyre said.

"There's obviously a bit of a technique change there."

When the 2005 world championships were held in Toowoomba, Mr McIntyre came second behind South Australian, Shannon Warnest.

"We were very dominant that year with our home sheep, Merinos," Mr McIntyre said.

Gilgandra wool handler, Racheal Hutchison agreed working with unfamiliar breeds was a challenge.

"It's certainly very different," Ms Hutchison said.

"When you're looking at the different wool, it can be confusing when you're not used to it."

Wool handler, Racheal Hutchison came 9th at the Golden Shears World Shearing & Wool Handling Competition in France.

Wool handler, Racheal Hutchison came 9th at the Golden Shears World Shearing & Wool Handling Competition in France.

Ms Hutchinson came within an inch of the top eight that went on to the semi-final, placed in ninth place by just 0.6 points.

She said wool handlers were judged on their throw of the fleece, how it lands on the table, as well as their ability to separate the wool while keeping up with the shearer.

Ms Hutchinson has been named national champion five times since she started competing in wool handling in 2007.

"I left school when I was 15 and started working in the shearing sheds with my brother, Bill Hutchison," Ms Hutchinson said.

"He represented Australia in shearing so I actually started in shearing competitions and then got into the wool handling."

Ms Hutchinson now has three children with her partner Jeff, Maverick, 11, Conrad, 9 and Sasha, 6.

She said training for the World Championships this year involved going back to full time work in the sheds for three months.

"I just had to get back into the pace and the rhythm of the work," she said.

"I also did some boot camps and did some training with my kids running up and down the paddocks."

Daniel McIntyre and Racheal Hutchison were two of six Australians who competed at the World Championships in France.

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