Up to 2,200 sheep to be sheared by world class champs in Roscommon
HUGE crowds are expected to turn out for the official launch of Kepak's All-Ireland and All-Nation's Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships at The Square, in Roscommon town this Sunday.
Details of this year's event, which is due to take place at St Brigid's GAA club in Kiltoom, Co Roscommon over the June bank holiday weekend, will be announced by organisers who promise that the upcoming 2017 championships will be "bigger and better than ever".
The launch will offer spectators a flavour of things to come at the summer event with representatives from Kepak, Roscommon County Council, Roscommon Leader Partnership, St Brigid's GAA club and The Irish Sheep Shearers Association expected to be on hand to get community momentum rolling.
At the June event, up to 2,200 sheep will have their woollen fleeces cut off by superstar shearers, including Donegal native and world champion, Ivan Scott, who recently broke the nine hour 'Strongwool lamb record' in the UK by just one lamb, setting an incredible new mark of 867 lambs.
It was the first attempt of this record by anyone in the northern hemisphere. He beat the previous record of 866 which was set by shearer Dion King in the central north island of New Zealand a decade ago.
The 35-year-old, from Kilmacrennan now has a staggering nine All-Ireland championship titles and a New Zealand and Corriedale Championship accolade to his name.
More than 200 other top class shearers from New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Wales and France will also fly in to compete in Kiltoom across 19 different categories in two days of intense, international competition.
Country music superstars Nathan Carter and Johnny Brady will also perform for crowds on the Friday and Saturday night and organisers say the musicians may even be tempted to give the shearing a go too.