Longreach shearer Dave Grant has had a tough time getting ready for the upcoming Jackie Howe Festival Invitational at Jondaryan’s Festival of the Golden Shears.
He’s the holder of the world record for shearing merino wethers, set in 2007 when he shore 356 sheep in one day, but a distinct lack of sheep in the west has not given him many opportunities to practice.
Dave has been in the industry for 27 years and in a normal season might compete at up to four shows a year, travelling anywhere from 700-1100 kilometers to get to each competition.
“Although we’re seeing the land turn around now with recent rains in the region, the past few years have been incredibly tough and as a result not as much work has been around for us in the sheep industry,” he said.
He’s still looking forward to showcasing his industry and introducing people to what he thinks is one of the least-changed jobs in the world.
“Our industry is quite professional and our competitors are true sportsmen. A lot of people don’t often get to see this side of it so coming along to a festival like the Jackie Howe is as good a chance as some people might get.”
Dave, currently the Australian team manager, will be competing at Jackie Howe on September 2 - 4 and said he was looking forward to seeing old friends and stoking a friendly rivalry when Queensland goes up against Canterbury (NZ) in the shearing competition.
Festival-goers can keep an eye on the www.jondaryanwoolshed.com.au website for regular updates and holiday packages to be released in the near future.