One of the biggest events on the WA shearing calendar will mark 20 years this weekend, with a record number of shearers expected to sweep floors with the best.
The annual Dyson Jones Corrigin Shears was founded by Corrigin Agricultural Society committee member Lyn Ling in 2000 as a way to boost numbers at the local Corrigin Agricultural Show each September.
But the event quickly found legs on its own and attracts up to 40 shearers to the Corrigin Recreation and Events Centre each year.
This Saturday, the Dyson Jones-backed competition, renowned as the prestigious qualifier for WA’s Trans Tasman team selection, will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Dyson Jones Corrigin area manager Rodney Coake said the event had snowballed from its humble beginnings.
“It has been very important to the local community,” he said.
“When we first started the Corrigin Shears, the whole idea was to enhance and lift the Corrigin Show to keep the gate numbers up — we have really never looked back.
“It has been a big plus for our business, and is just so important for the Corrigin community. Entrants come from everywhere, all over, which is good.”
Graeme Downing, who was Corrigin Agricultural Society president in 1999, admitted he was doubtful when the shears competition idea was first floated because there was not any existing infrastructure.
“We almost sniggered at the idea,” he said.
But committee and community spirit pulled together through fund raising and grants, which paved the way for the construction of a removable four-stand floor, but there were a few more important elements required — mainly a suitable sponsor.
“In April, 2000, I rang Ken Dyson, of Dyson Jones, the prominent wool broker of our district have been sponsors ever since,” Mr Downing said.
“We also found some good plain-bodied sheep through local woolgrowers Ernie and Rhonda Lohoar.”
Initial preparations also involved having the then WA Shearing Contractors Association president Don Boyle conduct a judge’s workshop to bring potential candidates up to certification standards.
“Both Ken and Don will attend this year’s celebratory Corrigin Shears and are expected to speak alongside myself at the anniversary sundowner this Friday night,” Mr Downing said.
Registrations open at 7.30am this Saturday, with novice heats at 8.30am.