Sheep Shearing For shear entertainment, it can’t be beat!

May 26, 2016

Press Information

Filed under: — Colm Webster @ 8:46 pm

Jack Robinson, Claudy Co Derry 

Jack Robinson













Horney Sheep












Tullynally Castle

Tullynally Castle










Ivan Scott Guinness World Record Holder











Or contact us for any information

Townspark Vintage Club
Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath

The All Ireland & All Nations Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling Championships will be held on the 4th & 5th June 2016 at Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath. More than 120 competitors will shear 2,500 sheep across 19 different categories in two days of intense, national and international competition.

For many years Townspark Vintage Club has been running a vintage day which was a very successful local event. For many years it has included a sheep shearing event. Because of the success of this event and the ability of the committee to run such an event “Townspark Vintage Club” submitted a bid to hold the 2016 shearing championships. This was accepted and we look forward to running a successful event (1965 was the last time that the All Ireland Sheep Shearing Championships were held locally, in the Lough Lene Gales pitch, Collinstown, some of the old committee members are looking forward to being guests at this event)

Amongst the many competitors will be the “World Champion” and “Golden Shears” holder Gavin Mutch. The 36-year-old is keen to shear as long as he can because he thinks his best years of shearing are still to come, and he had this advice for some of the younger contenders “It seems to be you shear the best from your mid-30s to your early 40s. You’re in control rather than being gung-ho and just going for it, as you do in your youth. As you get older, you get better and you handle the pressure better. You’re almost starting to think you should be stopping when suddenly everything clicks into gear. I know of no other sport where it works that way

Amongst the “younger” shearers are local rivals, Current Irish Champion Jack Robinson from Claudy, Co. Derry and Current Guinness World Record Donegal’s own Ivan Scott, the 33-year-old from Kilmacrennan shaved 1.41 seconds off the existing world record live on RTE’s “Big Week on the Farm”, shearing a sheep in an impressive 37.9 seconds. Both these men are hotly tipped for glory this weekend and intense competition is expected.

Jack Fagan hails from the small town of Te Kuiti, located in the north of the King’s Country region of the North Island of New Zealand. The Fagan’s are a legendry sheep shearing family; his father David Fagan has 640 Open final wins to his name. His son Jack Fagan is carrying on the family tradition, and will shear for the New Zealand team in Castlepollard on Sunday.

Gareth Daniels will also join us to compete for the Welsh Team. The 33 year old holds many shearing honours, including being declared Champion Shearer of Wales three times and representing Wales at four World Shearing Championships.  His proudest moment was winning the Open Championship at Corwen Shears, becoming the first Welsh winner and only the second UK winner of this competition. Gareth was presented with the Lister Personality of the Year award at a recent annual meeting of the British Isles Shearing Competitions Association.

Scotland’s Hamish Mitchell will join Gavin Mutch to form the Scottish Team in the international events, and will present a formidable challenge to the other contenders

Along with the National Championships, the All Nations International Event will take place. This is a major event with the best shearers from Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the “Home Nations” competing for the coveted title of All Nations Champion 2016 on Sunday 5th. June

The Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships will be held in Invercargill, New Zealand, from 9 – 11 February 2017 and places on the All Ireland Open Team will be decided over the weekend and by Sunday evening the team members will be known.

Of course it is not all Sheep and Shearing!
There is a complete programme of entertainment for all the family, young or old.

The fabulous Tullynally Castle is the home of Thomas and Valerie Pakenham and the location for this event Admission to the event covers admission to these wonderful gardens. This is a great time to view these gardens which will be in full bloom at this time of year. The layout of the gardens and magnificent parkland date mainly from the early 1800s, but the present owners have added many new features. Take the main path to the walled Flower Garden and visit the llamas and the stone “Nandi” (sacred Indian bulls) next door or take the path to the Grotto with fantastic carvings by a local artist. Or follow the Forest Walk to the Chinese garden and onto the Lower Lake with its pair of swans. Everywhere you will find superb trees and views – and pretty ornamental summer houses to rest in. For tree enthusiasts, there is a special Tree Trail to follow and for children an exciting Treasure Trail to explore.

Food and Craft Village:  As part of the Sheep Shearing Championships we have a wide and diverse range of food and craft businesses to showcase their produce from the local area and surrounding counties. Many artisans and food producers will exhibit their wares at the food and craft fair. Bread, cakes, pastries, cupcakes, jams, chutneys, cheese, wheat free spelt bread, are just some of the tasty morsels that will be available.  In the craft section we will have a fine display of wooden bowls, turned using native Irish timber. Various craftspeople will display a wide variety of carved spoons and candle sticks along with other carvings. Several jewellery makers will amaze all with stunning pieces of handcrafted jewellery. Stained glass work and slate works are also on display. We have arranged for basket making displays and with, leather work, clay figures and ceramics, this promises to be a section not to be missed.

Strictly Come Shearing: Is a novelty shearing event with local non shearers who have been extensively coached by real shearers in a light-hearted competition.

Pedigree Sheep Display: Can you tell your Mayo Mule from your Texel?

Fun Fair: All the fun of the fair and more!

Sheep Dog Demonstration: Demonstrations of how shepherds and dogs combine to collect sheep.

Vintage Display: We will have a large display of vintage tractors, cars and machinery

Pet Farm: Great for the little ones, hens, lambs, goats, calves, rabbits and other children’s favourites. Try and get there for feeding times!

Fashion Show: Lunchtime on Sunday will be the fashion time! Clara Ellen Boutique will be showcasing some of their fabulous summer range – there are also rumours of sheep shearers strutting on the catwalk! That’ll be a first!!

Dog Show:  classes of competition from Chihuahua to Collies to Cocker Spaniels!

Saturday Night: The popular Gerry Guthrie and his band will entertain in the Big Red Barn. Just back from an extensive tour of Scotland to promote his latest hit “A New Moon over my Shoulder”, Gerry has been nominated for The Irish Country Music Awards – Best Male Artist of the Year. We wish him well and look forward to Saturday night.

Sunday Night: Rhythm & Sticks. If you have not heard of this band, don’t worry, you will! The band from Longford, describes their unique sound as “trad-folk-rock mix” and were strongly influenced by bands such as Mumford and Sons and the Saw Doctors. Their track “Between the Hours of 2 and 4” is a YouTube hit!




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