Over 100 shearers are set to compete in 19 categories – including the six nations wool handling – at the Kepak All-Ireland Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling Championships across two days in Kiltoom this June Bank Holiday Weekend.
The closing date for entries has now passed and it has been confirmed that over 100 shearers will compete for prize money totalling close to €9,000 at the Championships which take place on the grounds of St. Brigid’s GAA Club, Kiltoom from 2nd-4th June.
Among the competitions which will take place are a number of All Ireland events including: Intermediate, Senior, Blade, Novice Blade as well as wool handling events, Queen of the Shears and a Roscommon Confined competition. All Nations competitions include: Intermediate, Senior and blade.
One of the major attractions will be the All Nations Open Heats which take place at 11.15 a.m. on Sunday 4th June with a total prize fund of €3,150 on offer, including the George Graham Perpetual Cup and €1500 for first place.
Speaking about the competition Tomás Beades, Chairman of the organising committee, said: “This promises to be a memorable weekend of shearing competitions attracting some of the biggest names in shearing – including world record holder Ivan Scott.
“We are also putting together an extensive programme of attractions and live music which will put Roscommon on the map this June Bank Holiday weekend.”
Large numbers of spectators are expected to flock to the venue and, in addition to the sheep shearing competitions, there will be a range of other attractions including nightly entertainment in a fully-licensed bar, children’s activities, arts and crafts, artisan food, heritage features, sheep shows, sheep dog trials, trade stands, cookery demonstrations and a food quarter.
A further highlight will be Friday night’s performance by Nathan Carter, who will be on stage in the main marquee with dancing until late into the night. Tickets are €25 and people are encouraged to purchase early to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased from any committee member.
Shearing gets underway on Saturday 3rd June at 7am and by nightfall the Irish Open Champion will be crowned. The event also boasts a number of highlights including a vintage display, sheep breeds demonstrations, the ever popular sheep racing, fashion shows, kids entertainment, football skills tests which will continue throughout the weekend.
On Saturday night dancing in the Festival Marquee will be to popular country singer Johnny Brady and his band. Tickets are €15.
Sunday 3rd June sees the competition take on an international flavour with a Six Nations Team competition featuring Ireland north and south, Scotland, England, Wales and France. The final event of the weekend is the International Open where some of the world’s top shearers will compete for the biggest purse of the weekend and the title of International Champion.
Described as a mini version of the All-Ireland ploughing championships, The All Ireland & All Nations Sheep Shearing & Wool handling Championships is an agricultural show with a difference and a great day out for all the family.
To keep up to date with the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing weekend log on to www.sheepshearingkiltoom.com or if you’re on Facebook visit St. Brigid’s GAA Club Kiltoom and All Ireland and All Nations Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships 2017.